Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 5th January 2017

A very Happy New Year to our “reader” or even “readers” if there are more than one ... Christmas may have come and gone for some, but we have been working every week, and below is a compilation of activities since the last report.
Not quite a wagon, but we helped out with sheeting over recently arrived LSWR grounded carriage body No 7719. I’m sure others know it’s history better, but latterly it has been an extension to a bungalow, and supported on a brick base. Upon it’s arrival at Alresford it was loaded onto a Salmon wagon, which was subsequently moved down the headshunt as close as you can get to Winchester on the Mid-Hants now! Someone kindly donated a sheet for it, which was rather large, and would have fitted a rake of carriages ... but we were able to double it over and tie it down.
Up at Medstead the workshop PMV S 1851 is having the ends and south side overhauled, and some sections of the side is now in undercoat. SW Tar wagon No 95 has had more dismantling of the tank supports, and derusting and priming of these, the brake gear, and the underframes. BY S 653 has more work done to the new bottom T&G at the Alresford end, and the London end of the current wood working CCT has been cleared out for more storage/wood working activities. The Fergie tractor is progressing steadily, and we have acquired new rear wheel rims and rear tyres for this project – which will be a nice looking wagon load later this year.    
At Alton work continues on the internal insulation and framework thereof for the ISO container, and on vanfit B 763661 the body work is pretty well all overhauled/repaired and in second undercoat stage. It needs a light rub down and then some warmer weather before we can apply any top coat. Meantime we have started to derust the underframes for probably their first repaint since it’s construction some 60 years ago. Being a van the undersides are normally in pretty good condition (unless it’s a fish van which suffered from salty water dripping), so it’s just a dirty, grimy, contortionist job, working as best you can with artificial light, in the cold, kneeling on ballast! It would be easier if we removed all the floor boards, but only a few in the centre section need renewing ... and there is the small matter of the world’s supply of spare BR Mark 1 doors and other unidentified bits stored inside the van!  
Chris Le Corney

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