Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 28th March

John D, Dave V, Richard, Chris S and Brian were ready for another day of activity on Tuesday at Medstead..

John and Brian started by finishing off the repair of the Alresford end cabin door of Brake Van B 953701. John then collected a ladder and took this over to the Queen Mary brake van in Bennetts siding to see what could be done to prevent water ingress by the stove pipe. They had discussions on one option last week, and to this effect John had bought from home a suitably large jubilee clip, of around 5 inches. The plan being to use the remaining lead sheet to make a collar to sit as far down the pipe to sit close to the pattress. 
Brian made up the collar and after some fiddling around and trial fitting on a length of pipe they took this to the QM and attached this with the jubilee clip. This looked OK but they needed more lead sheet, so they left their first effort in place until they obtain more supplies.

After discussions again about the Cattle Wagon doors, which had been kept in the CCT from the previous week, it was decided that Dave V and Chris would set about cutting the bowed door panel, and they made an excellent looking cut and clamped this down until next week. 

Pete Cutler arrived together with a boot full of goodies, the most interesting of these were three original ceiling light units with their wooden mounting blocks for BY S 653. These light units were kindly donated from the Alresford Traincare BY down at Alresford. John and Brian then made a start later in the afternoon to cleaning these and found that two were made of brass and decorative wooden moulding. They could not readily separate the two half's on any of the units, so a request made for the Saturday gang assistance here later in the week...........

Richard spend his day working on the QM in painting and finishing a number of jobs. 
Malcolm and Chris P fitted the panel next to the non-running door in the Guard’s compartment to BY S 653. They then spent a lot of time cutting and fitting the top right curved panel on the Town End partition. They haven't installed it yet, as it will be a good pattern piece (reversed) for the top left panel on the Town End partition. Also it will be good for the left and right top panels on the Country End partition which has three panels in all.
At Alton on Wednesday Adrian and I started off by lightly rubbing down and then undercoating the London end of LMS van M 520771. Subsequently we pulled the sheets back over the London end, and then removed the sheets from the Alresford end. It's far easier to remove half the sheet at a time, as if you take it all off, it's a pain to get back on again. 
John B was busy rubbing down and spot priming the chassis of the milk tank. Pete, Clive and later Daniel were undercoating thereon. Steve and Bob completed the installation of the wood working vice in the ISO. Subsequently they installed the metal working vice, which was a lot easier as this went on top of the bench, rather than under.
John B and I went down to Alresford to disconnect the model railway PMV power, ready for movement into the cattle dock for the looming Easter "Thomas" week. Back at Alton the Alresford end T&G of M 520771 had been rubbed down, and then undercoated, excepting those needing replacement ......about 7, I think. Mick was preparing the replacement boards, and these were rubbed down, primed and undercoated by close of play.  
After lunch Richard Bentley made an appearance with class 33 from the Meon siding with a PMV (which will be leaving the railway), and SECR Dance Hall brake van S 55506. The latter last year had been used as a "mobile" (?) home by someone.............     

Saturday at Medstead was an early but damp start for Dillon, Jose, Jamie, Dave R and John B along with fine drizzle. Jose and Jamie spent the day working on various bits underneath the Rudd and in the workshop.


The ‘Cheshire regiment’ (Dave R and John B) came up with a plan, and successfully managed to separate the BY lights (from Tuesday) from the wooden backing blocks. This gave access to the back of the latch mechanism. With copious amounts of WD and some gentle persuasion they eventually opened, followed a little while later when the hinges gave in as well.


The second new steel panel for the "Gunpowder" wagon W 105691 was cut to the final shape and the bodywork trimmed to suit. This panel was then bolted into place and welded up. Although not a pretty weld, it was better than first panel and they are starting to get the hang of it now. While the gear was out, a few blow holes in the first panel were also filled in. These now need some filler and blending then they will be ready for painting. 


Hopefully next weekend, weather depending, the third panel should be in. With the rain starting again they packed up and called it a day at 17:00.


Chris Le Corney

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