Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 29th November 2016

Dave V reports from Medstead on Tuesday ... that despite the gloomy weather forecast it was no worse than they have come to expect on that day of the week!
John D, Chris S, Keith, Brian, Richard and Dave V spent the whole day moving clutter from the CCT workshop van and across to SR van S 47777 in Bennetts siding, to create additional working space in the CCT. The CCT end doors took a bit of effort to open with hammers, levers and some oil. They made good use of the trolley and a wheelbarrow, but it was still heavy work, and all felt pretty shattered by the finish. Some parts needed a four man lift!
Malcolm advises he and Chris finished machining and fitting the last of the bottom boards for the country end of BY S 653. Next session they will produce a cutting list for the remaining T&G boarding required.
A good turnout on Wednesday at Alton. A bit misty to start with, and the first job was to remove the sheets from the London end of B 763661, rub down and apply the first undercoat.
Mick and Steve were busy planning the insulation scheme for the ISO container, and went off to Wickes to buy some timber battens and screws. These they started to attach, assisted by Adam, to a cleaned off internal section of the container. This involved some moving around of the contents of the container, which meant a lot of shuffling things about!
Adrian, Clive, John and I went up to Medstead and put three sheets over the “A”, “AF” and the SR Insulated container in the Freight rake in Bennnetts siding, which will keep them dry until the Gala next February ... though we need a corner post repair to the SR insulated container. We picked up two sheets and bought them back to Alton.
Meantime at Alton those waiting for the undercoat on B 763661 to dry, had a coffee break and then some rubbing down of the bits of remaining green mould on the L/E corrugated end. After this and lunch, the sheets were put back on the London end of the van, and the Alresford end timbers exposed. This had a quick rub down and then a second undercoat applied.   
Our two “new” sheets from Medstead were spread out, had ties attached, and were then over sheeted over M 460001 and B 763661, which should keep any further rain out now.
Finally the newly delivered floor timbers from Medstead by the P.Way gang (many thanks) on Monday were put under the wagons to keep them dry.
A rather chilly and misty Saturday morning greeted Dillon, Jose, John D, Jamie and Christopher R. After the usual mug of tea and a chat it was down to business. John and Christopher disappeared into the lower yard to play with the Fergie tractor. Despite problems trying to locate the correct bolts they managed to fit the voltage regulator, the battery tray, the fuel tank and the air cleaner. They even did a trial fit of the radiator and bonnet, and all before lunch! The afternoon was spent trying to flush the radiator, which appears to be rather blocked.
First job for Dillon was to tap and fit a blanking plug (1/4 BSPT) to the bottom of the SW Tar wagon tank. While Dillon was getting “bunged up”, Jamie and Jose sorted out the tools and gas axe. Dillon then started heating the nuts on the tank retaining straps, with Jose and Jamie taking it in turns to have a go at undoing them. Despite heating them to glowing bright red they still fought them all the way. With all nuts undone, one of the straps was removed, but the other was left in situ for safety.
After lunch the three of them headed down into Bennetts siding with the gas axe and rail skate, and removed the Vacuum cylinder from steel highfit B 481682, for overhaul. The skate eased things by not having to carry or roll the cylinder. Once it was in the ‘up’ yard at Medstead it was opened up. Judging by the condition, this cylinder has not been opened up for a good many years, and the piston is completely seized. Dillon has taken the cylinder home for overhaul (much to his wife’s delight), and with all his other present projects this could be an ideal Christmas project while the family are over)!
With the cold and it not being properly light all day, after a mug of tea they called it a day at 15:00
Chris Le Corney 

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