Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 19th March

At Medstead on Tuesday Brian advised it was warm enough to sit outside in the sun for lunch, along with Dave V, Richard, John D, Chris S.

John and Richard took a look at the Queen Mary Brake chimney following advice of slight water ingress on the preceding Saturday. Nothing untoward found until later in the day when they had a short but heavy shower which shows some water entry despite Brian resealing the patress and fitting a small strip to divert any water. Further work required next week. In the mean time John and Richard continued with fitting the Fire Extinguisher wooden mounting block, complete with padding and the fitting of a fabric strap to stop any movement of the Extinguisher

Brian, David, and Chris discussed the wood work required on the cattle van, and it was decided that they would remove both cupboard doors and put them in the CCT to dry before further work. Getting the doors removed turned out to be pretty labour intensive with up to 6 people at various stages. The track side door was some what easier to remove, with some kind assistance from the P.Way road railer.
Malcolm apologies for lack of report last week, where they panelled BY S 653 Town End and Running Side of the guard's compartment. This week they panelled the Country End partition of the guard's compartment. They marked the position of the supporting framework which will be useful for fitting the braking system vacuum gauge etc.
A  record turnout at Alton on Wednesday. Adrian, Ray B and myself spent all day on LMS van M 520771, sanding down, filling, priming and undercoating on the London end, this time.
Steve and Bob were continuing with their vice installation in/on the ISO container workbench, not without some issues trying to fit the wood vice under the worktop. Mick was giving advice along with helping John Q with the installation of the window at the Alresford end of the grounded van body. This is now installed, complete with a protective mesh. So we now have windows and daylight at both ends! The worktop at the Alresford end has also now been installed, and John bought along a cupboard to go underneath.
John B, Roger and Clive were rubbing down some rust areas on the milk tank W 2960, and priming and undercoating. Ian cleaned off the springs and oiled them, and Paul was washing down and cleaning green mould from the milk tank and LMS van underframes.  
Work stopped for some minutes around midday as 45321 was departing Alton on the main line, platform 2, heading for Southall.

Saturdays plan of Dillon doing some welding on the gunpowder wagon and Jose doing some painting on the Rudd were somewhat scuppered. On arrival at Medstead it was -2, and snowing, with a bitterly cold windIt was accordingly decided to change the "plan" and sheet over the gunpowder wagon. This took some time... fighting with the wind and dead with cold fingers. Good job Jose had lit the stove in one of the brake vans... they needed it!


After an early lunch they decided to change the last four worn bolts on the brake hangers of the cattle wagon (running side). Dillon marked them out for drilling, Jose disappeared into the workshop van to do the drilling in the warm, while Dillon used the disk cutter to remove the old ones. New ones were duly fitted with copious amounts of grease and new split pins. Another warm in the brake van while making sure the fire was safe to leave, then they decided to call it a day at 1430.

Chris Le Corney

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