Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 22 November 2016

Dave V reports from Medstead last Tuesday. Brian and John D disappeared to the lower yard and selected and cut ten lengths of timber for floor planks to be used at Alton. These were loaded onto the “Atlas” wagon to be kindly moved down to Alton next week, as part of some P.Way works.
Dave V, Chris and Richard made a start derusting the SW Tar wagon no 95 chassis. Chris and John D then applied Vactan, until they ran out.
Meanwhile, Keith and David T continued work on PMV S 1851. All was a bit damp at 09.00.  However the untreated timber underside was dry, so this received a coat of ali wood primer. Keith has cut out rotten wood sections and made a good job inserting some new timber inserts. Later in the morning the ends had dried off, so both received a coat of black gloss paint. With a bit of time left the buffers were washed down, getting rid of the lichen. Chris and Malcolm meantime have finally finished fitting, to their satisfaction, BY S 653 non-running side board which runs into the Guard's compartment, and have almost finished the last of the bottom row boards.
Wednesday at Alton saw overnight rain again, but this time it did not seem to penetrate the covers on the vanfit B 763661. Those who are alert might notice that this is a different van number we were working on last week, as B 760337 mentioned last week is actually in the Freight rake at Medstead ... my error in reporting! But we do look forward to seeing B 760337 for a repaint in 2017.
First thing we removed the sheets at the Alresford end, rubbed down and applied the first undercoat to the ali primed timbers. Once this had dried we put the sheets over the Alresford end and revealed the London end. Here we sanded down, applied wood hardener, filler, sanded again and applied ali wood primer by close of play.
Mick spent most of the day on the north side doors, which now actually open ... indeed with the removal of some rotten areas thereon, the doors are now more open than usual! However I’m sure in a couple of weeks time all will be repaired/replaced, and they will look fine.
Clive and John D continued on derusting and priming the large crane DS 1580 runner wagon. Ian top coated the grounded van body front door, dried out some timbers on the vanfit north side door, and helped with ali priming the north side, as did quite a large number of people, after those who completed the south side came round to help! Mick bought along two large rolls of aluminium foil, which will form part of the insulation for the ISO container.
Jim reports from a cold and frosty Saturday Medstead morning which greeted John D, Jose and Chris R, to be joined later by Jim after a trip to the vets... (is the NHS really that bad now?). The first job was John, Jose and Chris refitting the battery tray to the Fergie tractor, as Jim arrived. After discussion they started defrosting (it was not that cold ... I think that should have read derusting!) the underside of the “Gunpowder” van W 105761.
Jose and Chris lit the stove in the brake van B 953701 for some warmth, while Jim and John continued under the GP van. After lunch there was more derusting, and Jim and Jose checked and assessed the body work and outside frame finding several holes. At around 3.30 it was decided to pack away, have a cuppa and call it a day.
Chris Le Corney

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