Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 15th May

The good weekend weather continued into Tuesday for John D, Richard, Keith and Brian at Medstead. John and Brian started the day completing by the work on the Palvan B 776446 fitting the two replacement panels on the running side and with Richard finishing off the country side. They then applied a top coat of paint to both sides.
Keith had arrived in a some what distressed state as he left some tools behind at home; a list of notes; and worse of all his lunch (!), so after tea break he took himself into Four Marks and bought replacements. He continued to fit out various items in the CCT workshop, and then assisted Brian in improving the circular hole in one of the Cattle wagon doors. Brian continued to rub down the original paintwork in preparation for repainting. Subsequently Keith made a start on repairing the paint store frame work in preparation for fitting a new door.
Some good weather at Alton on Wednesday, and not too windy. That was important for doing the lettering and numbering on the milk tank W 2960 and LMS van M 520771. I completed this task more or less in the morning. Steve and Mick fitted 3 missing bolts to the LMS van, north side, and John Q applied some blackboard paint to the chalk boards and fitted those on the ends of the van.
Roger and John H were applying an oily wood preservative to the timbers supporting the tank on the milk tank underframe. John B and Roger were black top coating on both the wagons under frames.
John Q was doing some roof repairs to the grounded van body (mess room), and was helped in the afternoon by Steve and Mick in applying an oversheet, pending a more permanent solution.
Ian and Daniel did some rust chipping on the dance hall brake van south side solebar, and the last hour or so was spent touching up little bits of paintwork on the two completed wagons.......... the milk tank and LMS van.   

Saturday was a day of two halves, or two teams. Dillon, Jim, Jamie and John B met up at Medstead and discussed a plan of attack for the day. Jim and Jamie sorted out some tools and bits of equipment they needed and loaded them in a wheel barrow before catching the first train up to Alton.

Here they spent all day working on the Rudd, and managed to get quite a bit done. They fitted the two link plates on the brakes, the correct size split pins in various places; sanded and red oxided the country end north side door; and de-rusted the London end axle and inner surfaces of the wheels before giving them a coat of red oxide.

Back at Medstead, John B started sanding down and filling the last two plates welded into the gunpowder wagon, while Dillon attacked the brake rigging. Earlier in the week he had turned up a new pin to replace the broken one, found last week. This had to be marked out and drilled before fitting. Some of the other pins were quite rusty and resisted removal, but gave in with a little hammer technology!

After a spot of lunch, John finished his rubbing down and appied a coat of red oxide.

Dillon disappeared across to Bennetts siding with the oil drum to oil the Queen Mary brake van axle boxes ............ in readiness for the Diseasel gala at the beginning of June. The four outer ones had a fair amount of water, and the southern side Alresford end was completely full of water. The four inner ones just needed topping up. The two dashpots for the bogie centre castings were also filled with oil.

They then stopped for a late lunch, just as the heavens opened. Unfortunately the mess room was where they stayed for the rest of the afternoon until Jim and Jamie returned on the last train from Alton, and they called it a day.


Chris Le Corney

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