Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 14th November

Well it's been a couple of weeks since the last report, due to holidays, so a bit of a compilation of recent works.
Up at Medstead on a Tuesday the repainting and overhaul of the woodworking CCT has continued and there are now only a few planks that need replacing, the rest is in green topcoat. The new planks are undercoated in the workshop PMV, awaiting drier weather. The SW Tar wagon major overhaul is now completed. This was the first wagon to arrive on the Mid-Hants Railway in 1974, and it looks better than it ever has. It awaits a return to the freight rake in Bennetts siding.
Chris and Malcolm have been busy on BY S 653 in and around the sliding doors, either side of the Guards compartment. The left hand stile was badly rotted and they have made a replacement stile and glued it in place. The top and bottom rails and the right hand stile are in still in reasonable condition. On looking at the panelled area more closely, they felt that the T&G boards were in too poor a condition to save, and these boards are backed by vertical stiffening boards which they have also decided to replace. The new T&G has been cut and is ready for installation.
 At Alton last Wednesday, a chilly but dry day Roger, assisted by John B. and Clive, took on the difficult task of rubbing down more of the "awkward to access" parts of the DS 1580 big crane sub-structure and then applied green primer to same. Mick set about fixing the main electrical panel to the inside wall of the ISO container wrestling with uncooperative cable ends and possibly not quite the right glands. Bob made sure that the dexion shelving along from the wooden shelving was upright and secure and also made a start on an innovative tool holder, assisted by Adam, using a milk crate discovered in the grounded van body!
Meanwhile, other members of the team felt the urge to do some house-keeping which had the benefit of keeping them warm. John Q, Adrian, John B and Steve cleared out as much wood as possible from the container and stored them in large diameter plastic pipes, following Bob's clever suggestion.  Then as many paint tins as possible were placed in the new paint store. Anything useful still in the grounded van body was transferred to the container, otherwise everything but the kitchen sink was put outside in refuse sacks, just few items remaining on the last shelf for final sorting.  Finally, all the chairs and long fold-up table were installed in the grounded van body, which is now to be transformed into the Mess Room. Previously it was just a cluttered Mess!
The new paint store is an old S&T cabinet kindly donated by the S&T, which we collected from Medstead a couple of weeks ago. Our understanding of the weight of this at the time was a bit inaccurate and this caused us a few problems transporting it to Alton on the train during half term week...but it is in it's final position now.  

Up at Medstead on Saturday the younger members there have taken on a cosmetic repaint of the Rudd wagon in the yard, although having in previous weeks jet washed it out they have done some dismantling of the brake gear, painting and reassembling again. 


The two Johns B and D, Jim and Darren removed three depressed OLEO buffers from the cattle wagon, and replaced them with good ones removed from the Rudd wagon in the yard a few weeks ago. The Rudd now has bigger faced buffers which we purchased last year. At least all this buffer changing keeps the chaps warm at this time of year...


Chris Le Corney

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