Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 28th February 2017

Dave V reports from Medstead that they had a very good Tuesday. David T continued with restoring the south side of the workshop PMV S 1851, and it now looks even better than it did last week.
On the SW Tar wagon No 95 Keith has completed the carving of the town end timber block to go under the tank.  This now needs bolting in place. The tank needs to move an inch towards the country end as it is lowered. Two more timber blocks will fit under the tank and be bolted to this one later. Ian Johnson used the gas axe to release all 16 nuts and bolts holding the country end steel frame in place. After oiling they have been replaced thus making it a quick and easy job to remove the frame when they get to that end ... and also saving having to buy more nuts and bolts.
John D, assisted by Richard, made the final fitting of the two inner timber bulks under the tank after a quick coat of creocote. These are held in place by the large bolts Ian Johnson made on the outside, and coach screws up underneath in the middle. Richard, John D and Dave continued derusting and painting of the chassis. A lot of this is now up to undercoat stage.
Dave V, with excellent help from the P-way gang, moved two 12 foot long timbers down to the woodworking CCT, dug out two trenches and fitted the sleepers under the rails to provide a base for a set of steps similar to those to the workshop PMV. A further shorter sleeper was moved ready to provide a base at the bottom of the steps.
Chris and Malcolm finished painting all the BY T&G with ali wood primer, and these were readied for the Saturday gang to undercoat.
Wednesday was a bit drizzly on and off, but at least it was reasonably mild, well for February. We started at Alton by releasing the sheets over vanfit B 763661 in order that we could make a “tent” to work under for painting, in case it drizzled. A 50/50 mixture of bauxite topcoat and undercoat was made up and myself, John B, Ray, and Roger R applied it over the steelwork and timbers above the solebars. Subsequently Roger, John B, and Paul more or less completed the black topcoating of the under frame areas underneath the van.
With the half term train service running today, it seemed a good opportunity to collect our new side timber for low sided M 460001, so Adam, John Q, Ray and Ian were dispatched on the 1050 train to Medstread. The said timber was some 20 feet long, but fortunately it managed to fit in the Bar car of the Real Ale train which was in the set, and they arrived back at Alton around 1140.  With Ray’s precision measuring and cutting the ends and around a couple of rivets, we loosely fitted the plank on the south side of the wagon.
It started drizzling quite hard around 3’ish, which seemed a good excuse for those working outside to start packing up, leaving those working in the dry inside the ISO container to carry on a bit longer...
The ISO container insulation, with Steve, Mick and Adrian progressing further along the roof. Two further sections of insulation were applied and stapled to the battens previously glued to inside the roof of the container.  An additional batten was later glued across the doorway with the glue setting noticeably more quickly in the warmer weather,  Double layer bubble insulation has now been applied to three sides and the ceiling of the container.  The remaining two, 4" x 4" side to side rafters secured by wood blocks to the plywood sides on the door side and by direct screwing through the rafter to the plywood on the London side.  The rafters were then braced by two 4" x 4" cross members screwed into them. Fillets were also screwed to the upper part of the container sides between the rafters as lateral supports for the ceiling sheets. At the end of the day they decided to cut to size, drill and fit one of the 9mm plywood sheets by screws into the ceiling framework, which went very well for this thickness of plywood.
A rather unpleasant, wet and windy day at Medstead on Saturday. Jose and John D opened up the BY and made a start on the undercoating of the timber boards that had previously been primed. They then had a walk down to Bennetts and removed Terry bull's head from his pole, putting him safely into storage until his next Gala performance.
After lunch, Jose cleaned and painted the pins from the north side brake rigging of the Tar wagon.  John D carried on painting undercoat in the BY. They then had a joint effort on trying to remove the brake rigging on the south side of the Tar Wagon. Some of the split pins came out relatively easily but one or two were not shifting. The rain became quite heavy and it was getting dark so we decided to call it a day and attack the stubborn pins another day . The  part of the brake rigging that we removed was put safely in the PMV.
Last, but by no means least, one of our members Roger Fletcher passed away last Thursday night. HJe joined us about 6/7 years ago, working initially at Alton and then more recently at Medstead on a Tuesday. He became ill last year, and unfortunately deteriorated over the past few months. Our thoughts are with his wife and family.

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