Museum working party report 31st Aug 2023

The weather was dry for us in Wharf Yard first thing this morning, but we had one eye on the sky as rain was in the forecast. Allan Black, Pete Thomas, Max Birchenough, Charles Benedetto and John Olsen first cleared the way for the ex GWR slate wagon steel basket to be moved out of the Gunpowder Store and placed atop its frame to make way for other objects to be moved inside and potentially worked on when it is wet outside.

That was followed by removing the cover from the Corris wagon body; John swabbed down the base with white spirits before Pete got to work painting it with red oxide paint. Allan trimmed the oak pegs in the new Corris frame flush, and then he and John put the frame on the ground on its side to drill out the second mounting hole for the brake lever assembly. Turning the frame over they repeated the drilling operation on the other side and then placed the frame back on the stands for Allan to liberally anoint it with more wood preservative, paying particular attention to all the fresh holes with our patent bottle brush applicator.

Max and Charles were tasked with removing the rust and old paint from the Corris wagon brake lever assembly and axleboxes using wire brushes in the angle grinders. John found a few minutes to put the cast iron ‘Stores’ sign back on the freshly painted door.

The arrival of Ann McCanna and the rain was almost coincident so we halted work and stowed all the tools and metal work away and put the cover back over the Corris wagon body before crossing the tracks for our coffee break. The rain was persistent so we had an extended break during which Charles ‘communed’ with a pair of dogs on the platform; the howling amused their young handler mightily.

Once the rain moved off we returned to the worksite and got on with further work on cleaning up the Corris wagon metal work, Allan taking over from Max, who had another appointment; Pete also had to leave early. John applied conservation wax to the ex GWR metal basket as an additional protective layer against the inclement winter weather to come before we wrapped up for the morning.

Photos by John Olsen.