Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 24th October

Work commenced quite quickly on Tuesday morning at Medstead as they started with John D, Rob, Richard and Brian. Brian hoped that with a bit of luck they should finish the SW Tar Wagon, as there were just a few jobs to complete. So John and he set about tightening up the large nuts on the town end, west side of the longitudinal strap, which had been proving to be difficult last week. With both putting all there weight into this they managed to move it around a couple of threads, but there is just one more nut that need to be tightened up a couple of threads now.
Meanwhile Rob was painting the remaining nuts and bolts etc associated with bulk end timbers in red oxide. John set about cleaning off the old adhesive from the two overhead electric warning signs, which he then glued in place with temporary holding G clamps.

Dave V arrived a little later complete with a cold and somewhat tired from holiday flight back from Canada. However he set about cleaning down the south side of the CCT and getting the various panels ready for painting. There are a number of panels that need replacing and David marked up these for future attention. 
Richard was working the panels at the London end of the CCT burning and scraping off the old paintwork, but was prevented from priming due to it starting to rain an hour or so earlier than forecast. 
Rob managed to make good a small area of paintwork on the side of the Tar wagon tank and then started to prepare the destination panels on the side of the PMV to be painted matt black.

A bit of a dampish day at Alton on Wednesday, with lots of comings and goings. Mick went to John Q's house first and they loaded up an access tower and jet washer, which we subsequently transferred from the front of Alton station to our base.
Roger spent all day derusting, Vatcaning and priming on the big crane, assisted by Pete after the latter completed his PTS at Ropley. Ian did some rust scraping, and John Q set up his jet washer and proceeded to wash down, mainly the south side of the crane, at solebar level height.
Bob dug a channel for electrical cable from the ISO container, and the cable in plastic piping was buried therein. Latterly aided by Adam and Mick some roof beams were installed in the ISO, as a timber store. 
Meanwhile Clive and myself got the bus up to Medstead and started washing down the inside of brake van S 56506 with a bleach solution ... to remove some reported mould. We were joined by Adrian, after his PTS, and subsequently we went down to Alresford for lunch and to have a look at the ex Bovingdon 21 ton mineral wagon B 310259 wagon, now in the headshunt. Then it was back to Alton to view progress there, and have a cup of coffee. As it started raining again, it seemed like a good excuse to head for home...

Saturday at Medstead started off with Dillon, Jose, Jim, Chris, John D and his nephew Hamish. First job was to unload Dillon’s trailer with the scaffold tower he picked up for the group the previous week. The trolley had four flat tyres, and Dillon used his car compressor to re-inflate them. The scaffold tower was taken down the yard and placed under the Alton end of the workshop PMV.

Dillon also supplied some 6mm diameter PTFE rod to finish sealing the axle boxes on the SW Tar wagon, which Jim and Jose fitted. The last axle box was found to be damaged on the outer front edge of the casting, so the seal was only fitted down the sides as it kept popping out the front and was deemed neither use nor ornament....

John was busy drilling out some broken split pins on the door hinge pins on the Rudd. These proved to be quite tough, so Dillon kept him supplied with reground

While Dillon, Jim and Jose went off diesel bashing, it being the Gala weekend, John, Hamish and Chris made themselves busy on the gunpowder wagon, john removing the last of the rotten wooden roof support beams, while Hamish and Chris started de-rusting some of the internal panels.


Chris Le Corney

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