Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 1st August

A very hot Medstead on Tuesday, for Dave V et al, and accordingly progress was slow with lots of rest breaks...

Brian and Chris did some testing at scraping paint off the Mark 1 carriage roof, and to see how well the galvanised paint adhered to the surface.The whole roof will be rubbed down and painted when the scaffolding is up, so there should be no old and new paint joins.

Richard continued derusting and "vactanning" BY S 653 steel work at the country end, and Dave busied himself with a number of odd jobs. These included more tidying of the workshop van, emptying the bin, clearing a shelf in the workshop van ready for carriage roof equipment and supplies.

By 2:30 they had all had enough of the heat, so it was an early finish.

Wednesday at Alton was another very hot and humid day. Mick and John Q and subsequently Pete were continuing with the ply lining inside the grounded van body (rest room). Roger, John B and I did a bit more derusting, priming and undercoating steel work on the Alresford end of the Dance Hall brake van.

Pete and I went down the Meon siding and did a bit more oiling on the dogfish door hopper mechanisms, but fortunately I think the Saturday gang seem to have done most of the hard work! There was only 1 wheel which was still a bit stiff ... well apart from the one that is blanked off.The brake gear however needs freeing up, so we will do that another, hopefully cooler, day.

Roger spotted a kite soaring overhead, but I think he was having heat halucinations. It was actually a vulture on the prey of a wilting corpse below!

After lunch, with the heat and humidity, we decided to pack up and go home. Well that's one of the advantages of being a volunteer! 

A very good productive day for Dillon + 5 on Saturday at Medstead, with the weather being kinder at last, generally sunny and 20 degrees, although a bit on the breezy side. 

Darren and Jim dressed the area of the gunpowder van that had been previously cut out, ready for the next piece of new steel work. Over the course of the day this was clamped and welded into place. Next visit will see the weld ground back and levelled.

Meanwhile underneath, Dillon, Jose, and Jamie started de-rusting the underframe. Working from the Alresford end they had done as far as the first axle when Dave turned up. J+J then took a car trip down to Ropley to watch the goods come through, leaving Dillon de-rusting on the centre sections, and Dave starting the red oxiding. Upon the lads return they mucked in with more de-rusting, before all three joined in with Dave with the red oxide. Approx. 2/3 of the under frame has been has now been treated.

Many thanks to those who came and saw the freight running over the weekend, hauled on Saturday by 92212 and a wet and windy Sunday by 76017. We seemed to have a lot more passengers in the Queen Mary brake van on the Sunday. With a load of 19 wagons behind the loco, everyone seemed pleased with the sight and sounds...

Chris Le Corney 

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