Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 22nd May

Brian reports from Medstead on Tuesday. The weather was great, but as Keith has hurt his back they were reduced to Richard, Chris S and himself that day. 
Brian and Richard set out to clean the roof of the Queen Mary brake van which had been growing quite a large amount of moss in recent weeks, this was most noticeable on the town side. Whilst undertaking this it was noticed that the zinc roof of adjacent van B 763661, town end was starting to become "detached" in one area. Brian and Richard looked at this in more detail and came up with a temporary repair by adding an additional attachment, pending further works.
In the meantime Chris continued to clean down the outside of the cattle wagon cupboard door and gave it a coat of bauxite. All of this was done outside in the hope that the paint would dry quicker. This turned not to be the case, and the door had to be left outside duly covered with a tarpaulin.
Chris also prepared and cut the adhesive strip to go on the side of the large hand hole in the first cupboard door prepared last week, and this was tacked down. The end result should stop the water problems between the two layers of wood. The second one had the same treatment, and the top edge of both doors also has to have the tape fitted again to stop the water causing more problems. The tape was cut and fettled to get a good fit on one of the doors, but will need a little attention next week ... when if they have a bit of luck and a dry day they might have the two doors finished.

A good weather day at Alton on Wednesday. John B and I took the opportunity to adjust the handbrakes on the LMS van M 520771 and the milk tank, as these otherwise completed wagons were still in the yard, awaiting swopping over with two more from Bennetts. Roger and John B, for good measure, also gave the milk tank another coat of wood preservative on the timber baulks.
Aside from the above, with the big crane at Ropley, the only other wagon around is the Dance Hall brake van S 55506. So accordingly Bob, Adrian and later Roger set to hammering scale off the steel floor inside. Although there is a fair amount of scale, the thickness of the steel is such that we have only found so far one small area where it is corroded away at the Alresford end. The Alton veranda end was vactanned by the end of the day.
Pete, Ian, John B, and myself set about derusting the Alresford end buffer beam and buffers, and some of the south side solebar. Cleaned off areas were primed.
Mick and Steve were carrying out works for the timber store, and some of the framework has been put together. There has been lots of discussion on the design between them, and I'm sure it will look good when finished. 
No working party at Medstead on Saturday ... they all had invites to the wedding!

Chris Le Corney

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