Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 12th June

It was only slightly damp on Tuesday morning at Medstead for Brian, John D, Kevin, Chris and Malcolm.
Gordon from the Ropley C&W Shed kindly came up in the morning to take a look at the roof of BY S 653, and discuss the way forward for it's overhaul. John, Kevin and Brian had spent some time and effort pulling back the current heavy duty sheeting to expose the roof timbers./....... about 6/7 feet or so. Removal of the cover had highlighted some of the other jobs that can be carried out, such as the exterior steel work derusting and painting. Following the successful meeting, the heavy duty roof cover was put back, but this should be replaced next week with a lighter and smaller sheet to aid access to the roof areas.

In between times John and Kevin undertook further work in setting the sleepers as the base for the timber store building, assisted by Brian after lunch. A couple of small painting jobs, one on the Cattle Wagon, and the other the Queen Mary brake van were carried out by John.
Wednesday at Alton started off a bit chilly, but warmed up as the day went on, in fact ending quite hot!
Mick and Steve continued with the wood store construction, aided and abetted by John Q. I think the design has changed slightly, as last week there was a post sticking up (well held up), and this week there is not! But I think they were mainly working on the floor area......... Hidden behind the ISO container it's difficult to see what they are doing. 
Adrian and I got an old tarpaulin out (which conveniently had holes and splits therein), and with the aid of a couple of Stanley knifes made a lot more holes and splits in it .......... this converting it into some camouflage sheeting. Well that's what the Utube video suggested we did anyway. This green sheet was subsequent daubed with some ex MOD undercoat. The end result was tested out on an S&T cabinet, and a couple of "guns" (well old bits of plastic drain pipe actually) inserted. This will next week be transferred to the ex Bovington mineral wagon at Alresford for "War on the Line".     
Meantime John B was derusting the "W" irons and axle boxes on the SECR dance hall brake van S 55506, and Adrian and I subsequently joined him. By close of play 3 out of 4 had been cleaned off and primed.   

Saturday morning at Medstead started with tea, as usual. Jose, John D, John B, Chris R and Jamie were in attendance. Jose and Jamie give Corina from the P. Way, a hand to restore one of the Wickham trollies vehicles to good working order.    

John D and Chris R set about finishing the sleeper base for the wood store, and John B started the task of chipping old paint from the steel work of the country end of BY S 653.

While all this was going on, two new potential volunteers for the Wagon Group arrived, so John D abandoned Chris R to carry on with the wood store base, moving several barrow loads of cinders to fill in around the sleeper sections. John D showed our two visitors around the site, and answered their questions. The guys seemed quite impressed with works and achievements, and hopefully they will join us soon.

After an early lunch Jamie had to leave, so Chris R, having done an excellent job on the wood store base, stepped in to help Jose with the Wickham trolley. By about 2.30 pm the two Johns were hot and tired, so retreated to the mess room for tea ............ and then decided to call it a day. They left Jose and Chris R carrying on with the Wickham trolley.


Chris Le Corney  

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