Watercress Line


At Medstead on Tuesday they started by replacing the tarpaulins over the “A” and “AF” containers and removing the bulls head from the cattle wagon in the goods train in Bennetts siding,........ this following the photo charter the previous Saturday.
Kevin, Adrian, John D, Chris S and Dave applied the first silver top coat to the top half and ends of the SW Tar wagon tank. The sun came out to shine on it when the photos were being taken. Ian J and Chris set about remove the remaining big nuts from the four diagonal support rods. They managed to get three off before they ran out of oxygen (the tank that is, not them!).
Keith completed the two pieces of timber that needed attention on the workshop PMV side. One has been filled as most of it was in good nick, and the other is now screwed in place. He then turned his attention to measuring up for the steps into the woodworking CCT. They think they have enough timber to complete these.
Chris and Malcolm on BY S 653 had not a lot to show for their efforts .......... as they were cutting and fitting the Country End boards that have to follow the curve of the roof. A bit needed now to do to complete this next time.
Wednesday at Alton it turned quite warm......... Steve, Mick and Bob did a bit more painting inside the ISO container and some other bits ............ which I think was some sealing ............ They have started constructing a wooden “sheet” store to go alongside the container.
John B sanded down and applied red oxide to horizontal checker plate on large crane DS 1580 runner. Meantime Roger and I started work on SR brake van S 56506 rubbing down, cleaning green mould off, filling, sanding, spot priming and spot undercoating. It was last repainted in 2012, so is not in too bad a condition. Ian did some washing down of the black underframe/ buffer ends, but he seems very water saving conscious, so it really needs jet washing.
We had a visit from a couple who have a grounded van body in their garden/plot which was previously used for storing pigs on a farm, and they wanted some tips as to how to restore it! They came along and I showed them B 763661, which is of similar design. I gave them a spare end vent we had, and they went away happy with some good ideas hopefully.
Saturday at Medstead initially consisted of Dillon, Jose, John D and Jamie, with Dave R turning up later on. After a chat over tea about the days plan of attack, John, Jose and Jamie dropped into the lower yard to have another go at the Fergie tractor, which still didn’t want to play ball and start. Dillon returned some of the brake rigging for the south side of the tar wagon, namely the re-bushed brake hangers and brake blocks. These were refitted with copious amounts of grease, bolts drilled and fitted with new split pins. The push rods are finished but await refitting when the paint has hardened.
There are apparently a number of storage containers coming into the lower yard soon, and it had been suggested that the Fergie be moved ...........or blocked in for ever! Accordingly it as decided to tow it up to the top yard, and it now sits just outside the mess room. At least it’s now in the right place for loading onto a wagon.
After a spot of lunch Dillon and Dave obtained permission from the signalman to move the overhauled vacuum cylinder for steel sided open B 481682 down the running line on the rail skate to the wagon was positioned in Bennetts siding. After a lot of physical effort they managed to get it from the running line across the other side of the siding and underneath the vehicle. John came down and helped them ramp it up almost into position with the aid of two bits of 4x2 and a couple of ratchet straps. With it being so warm it was decided to take a drink break!
On returning to the mess room they found John from the P-Way with a battery booster pack with Jamie and Jose. The tractor engine was spinning over and firing, even for about 10 seconds....... a real sense of achievement for all! One or two more faults were discovered, but will hopefully be rectified soon.
D, D and J returned to the steel sided open, finally getting the vac cylinder into place and bolting it up, and the piston rod connected. This still needs a piston rod sleeve fitting and also requires piping up to the train pipe before testing. As Jamie and Dave left, John dropped into the lower yard and removed most of ‘our junk’ from the tractor restoration shed just leaving a few bits of rubbish to clear up midweek. With Jose receiving a phone call from home “where are you” they decided to call it a day............
Chris Le Corney  

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