Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 13th June

Dave V reports that despite the rough, wet and windy weather on Tuesday they managed to make progress at Medstead. Numbers were also limited, and a couple of the guys had to leave just after lunch.



By making use of the workshop PMV Richard undercoated the four big clamps for the tar wagon diagonal rods, and Clive silver top coated the four rods. Brian continued sorting out the electrics, replacing the defective fluorescent tube in the workshop PMV and rerouting a power supply around one of the doors in the wood working CCT. Dave and John D made a wooden frame to support the gunpowder van roof, and Chris S continued working on the tar wagon timber supports by fitting the remaining pieces under the tank and bolting and screwing them to the existing pieces. 


Around mid day the weather improved and they managed to get some painting done on the tar wagon. Dave asked for volunteers who had steady enough hands to tackle lettering and painting silver right up to the letters. Clive D and Richard stepped forward to do the silver painting, and Brian and Dave took on the lettering. The photo may not look impressive but they had to work on different bits in order to not get in one another’s way……….. It also didn't help with strong gusts of wind blowing their hands around while trying to paint straight edges! It will all come together eventually. Meanwhile John D continued with black top coating the chassis. 


They called it a day early when it started raining again.


On BY S 653 Malcolm advises they moved all four Country End luggage doors into the Country End of the BY. They are mostly completed, apart from some minor attention, but they wanted to make sure they could match the complete sets of interior boarding for each door. In due course they will need to find the associated iron work too. They also located the spare felt and bituminous glazing tape for the drop lights.


The next stage is to finish off the drop lights which still need attention and new felts to be fitted. When this is done they have to ensure they slide smoothly in the door guides. The last thing to do before re-hanging the doors is to make the removable window trims. They started to do this and have cut the hardwood to the overall dimensions, ready for cutting the joints.


The plan for Wednesday was to torch on roofing felt on SR van S 47777. A nice sunny day, but unfortunately it was too windy for torching. The roof however needed doing, as with the Gala weekends looming up, the existing roof felt was partly flapping and partly missing – well there was about half still intact also! So as an interim job we applied some heavy duty shed roofing felt. S 47777 is now pretty watertight, and hopefully the felt will last a couple of years at least.


Aside from the above Ray fitted the hose between the vac cylinder and vac pipe to steel open B 481682. Roger, Bob, John B, and John Q removed the ropes and timber securing the base of the crane grab on B 726064 – the plan being to move the crane grab to B 481682, thus creating space on B 726064 for the Fergie tractor to be loaded thereon.    


Roger and Bob drove back to Alton to do some more derusting on the big crane DS 1580, and Richard and Claire arrived at Medstead with a delivery of three large sections of timber framing with translucent sheets for Alton. These we loaded, onto the 1327 train from to Alton, and later thence from the station and down into the ISO container. These will form some roofing between the ISO container and the grounded van body, in due course.


After some pretty heavy shifting we were all getting tired, so had a relatively early finish.


No Saturday at Medstead this week, but a Sunday gang of John D, Jose and Jamie oiled axle boxes on the north side of the freight rake in Bennetts, and prepared the Fergie tractor for it’s loading on wagon for next week, hopefully.


Chris Le Corney

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