Watercress Line


On Tuesday at Medstead with the weather not good for working outside, Chris P, Keith, and Malcolm carried out the overdue clean and tidy in the Woodworking CCT. It may never look so good again!. This resulted in a good pile of scrap wood for the bonfire heap...
They checked the metal sheets for BY S 653 wagon ends, which have been nicely repainted. These can be re-fitted once both ends of the BY are topcoated. They found some suitable timber for the end capping, and marked out a piece which will provide the two centre sections, which are 5’ long. They also found timber which will provide two of the four side pieces.
By this time the sleet had started coming down in serious quantities, so they wisely decided to finish early.
Well the forecast for Wednesday was dry, but as I came through Aldershot and Farnham on the train... it was chucking down! However at Alton there was no rain, and it stayed dry all day, thankfully. This was just as well, as we had a good turnout of 9....

On vanfit B 760337 Roger, Clive and I ali primed and undercoated the Alresford end ply panels, and the south side doors have been filled, sanded and spot ali primed. The north side doors seemed wet, (there must be a leak in the overall protecting sheet that side!), so on conclusion we put an additional sheet over the middle section of the van. Clive in the interim had spent a considerable time with a hair drier drying the door timbers out a bit. 

Adrian did some more work on the corrugated Alresford end of the van, and on the top metal strip on this one, and the corrugated L/E of vanfit B 772824 also. 

Bob undercoated angle iron on the dance hall brake van, which was previously in red oxide. Steve and Ray were working on the timber store retractable sheet on the south side, and the end door fittings. Mick re-established power to the Wagon Group areas (it was off when we arrived first thing), and then fabricated a dedicated electrical board ready for mounting on the inside of the mess room west wall, as well as cutting timber to size for John Q's ceiling/wall cover strip, which the latter fixed on the walls.

There was a 'working' party Saturday at Medstead... Jose, Jamie & Dave R, but the weather put paid to any work on the gunpowder van - it was too dank, wet & miserable to do anything, other than a bonfire from the Tuesday activities. They gave it until circa 13:00 when they all left for Ropley, as Jose had a footplate turn on the RAT that evening - so he & Jamie helped with loco prep on the 9F.

Jamie was going to stay & watch the spectacle of steam at night & then go home - but thanks to Richard Bentley, got a round trip on the footplate - he came off grinning like a Cheshire cat & it had rekindled his desire to get on the cleaners course - another driver for the future?...

So the day wasn't entirely lost!

Chris Le Corney

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