Watercress Line


Dave E reports from Medstead on Tuesday... A pretty successful day, but another knackering one. They replaced the rest of the defective planks on BY S 653 roof, not easy, but they did not have time to remove any of the old caulk at the town end. 
Well the forecast for Wednesday up until Tuesday night seemed dry at least. Then it changed to drizzle in the morning. Too late to change plans...
It was drizzling heavily at Medstead at 0900, so we had a cup of coffee. It was still drizzling, so we checked the freight train ropes in Bennetts siding, and Steve and Ray B refitted a detached backing bit to a QM foot board, tightened up some foot board bolts, and Roger I think swept out the verandas of leaves.
It was still drizzling, so we had another cup of coffee. It was still drizzling, so we then had an early lunch... It was still drizzling a bit, but at 1200 we got fed up and rolled back the BY country end sheet bit by bit and started torching on the roofing felt. I think it might even have stopped drizzling, but that may have been the effect of the heat from the propane burner!
Anyway the net result is we have applied 6 lengths of felt, which took us half way along the roof, to the current edge of the caulking limits. We have not tucked in the overhanging edges or the ends yet. We then removed the sheet at the London end and cut off all the sticking up dowels and swept the roof. It started heavily drizzling again then, so it seemed a good idea to pack up and go home.
Meantime down at Alton, undeterred by the inclement weather the two northern stalwarts, John B and John Q tackled the remainder of the grounded van ceiling. This work is part of the incremental transformation of the grubby old van body into what will henceforth be known as a mess room - a  double entendre given its condition at commencement and its future purpose.

They cut to size and erected 6 plywood panels to line the inside of the roof. Owing to the van roof beams being at 3 feet centres, optimum use of the plywood donated was not possible. This in turn meant that more plywood had to be sourced. Lo and behold, an 8 x 4 sheet was found in the timber store. Once made serviceable and cut to size the sheet formed the last piece in the ceiling jigsaw, which is now practically complete. All that remains is a bit of trimming to overcome the dimensional variation of the van’s structure, painting and Mick to install the dimmable wall lights and recessed GU 10 fittings.
Many thanks to all who came to the Gala last weekend, and indeed came to our sales stand at Medstead or had a ride on the Queen Mary brake van on the Freight train. We had a successful weekend.
Chris Le Corney

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