Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 31st January 2017

Well it’s been another freezing week again............but plenty of work going on everywhere, as usual. 


Dave V at Medstead on Tuesday reports steady progress ........... continuing on with last week’s activities. Brian and Richard completed the electrics in the woodworking CCT by installing more power sockets. David T removed unused metal brackets etc from the workshop van S 1851, and filled some holes in the wood panelling.


Ian Johnson delivered the remaining bolts he has made for the SW Tar wagon No 95, before going to Ropley.


Keith, Simon, John D and Dave continued working on the Tar wagon. First job was to borrow some jacks and sleepers from the P-way guys and raise the end of the tank a few more inches, and the tank now looks more like a scud missile launcher than a Tar tank! They found that the metal bracket at the end was bent outward at the top by about an inch. As its about half an inch thick they looked at options to shape the timber bulk around it but none seemed right. So back to the P-way shed again to borrow a large sledgehammer to see if they could straighten said bracket. After lots of bashing they got it more or less straight. Along the way they found out that Chris S is a lot stronger than Keith and Dave. For every four hits on one end by Chris, they had to hit their end seven or eight times to keep it straight.


Chris P and Malcolm fitted the two boards adjacent to the Country End board on BY S 653. They continued on with the running side board next to the Guards Compartment. This is not been completely secured yet as they needed 2” x 12 brass screws. They also started to fit the remaining board (non-running side to Guard’s Compartment). This required some modification to get a better fit.


Wednesday at Alton it was foggy and freezing to start the morning. The paint brushes frozen in cans inside the grounded van body, gave a good indication that Wednesday was not a suitable day for painting! Mick, Steve, Bob and Adam spent all day inside the ISO container continuing round the south side with frame work, insulation and ply sheets.
John B and I removed the sheets over low sided M 460001 (loaded with the cable drums). Most of the floor timbers at the London end were rotten and needed removing. To enable this to be done, first we had to move the London end cable drum towards Alresford. This needed the timbers between the two cable drums removed, as well as those preventing movement on the floor. Soon however we had the old floor timbers off ........ another donation for the bonfire heap.  We then bought down the “new” timbers which had been delivered from Medstead some weeks ago, and started cutting these to size. John, Clive and I had our PTS renewal at Ropley and disappeared off around 1000, leaving Ray and Roger R to carry on.
Clive and Ian rubbed down some metal struts and timber packing pieces from the wagon, whilst Ray and Roger R fitted a “new” end plank and cut a couple of others to size. After lunch back at Alton we cut the remaining timbers to length, and loosely placed them on the wagon and rolled the cable drum back into it’s original position. Flooring here to be completed next week. The flooring at the Alresford end seems in a lot better condition, so we are retaining that.   
The container lining gang did finish fixing all the plywood at the eastern end of the ISO container and the south side, and it all looks tidy and firmly screwed into place.  What remains to do is the inside of the two doors and the ceiling.

Chris Rust, Jose and John D were at Medstead on Saturday. After the usual cup of tea and chat they each took on a painting task. Chris painted the Fergie tractor wheel dishes with red oxide, Jose painted some of the brake rigging off the Tar wagon with black gloss and John, later joined by Chris, gave the tractor mudguards a coat of red oxide on the inside.


They then made a start on axle box oiling.  Starting with the maroon CCT they drained the water out with their home made turkey baster syphon pumps (very effective John says, but I doubt the roast turkey will ever taste the same again! Completing the CCT they moved onto Bennetts siding and the freight train.


After lunch they went on a jolly to Ropley and to refill their container with oil, taking the opportunity to have a good nose around and see what was going on. Back at Medstead they completed the axle box draining and oiling on the north side of the freight by about 17.00. That leaves the south side to be done in the next few days.  Chris Rust heroically spent most of the time under wagons oiling all the brake pivot pins, while Jose and John carried on with the axle boxes. 


John D’s son has now fitted the new Fergie tractor rear tubes and tyres to the rims, and they are pictured at his workshop.


On the subject of workshops, Dillon continues at home on the vac cylinder for steel open B 481682, and  it has been stripped right back, sanded, and now received two coats of red oxide, two coats of undercoat (flattened back in between each coat), and is now up to first gloss black, and looking splendid. All the working surfaces have been cleaned up, and all the tapped holes cleaned out. A few days will be given for the gloss to go hard before the re-assembly starts.

Finally we have a sales stand at the Alton model railway show this coming weekend 4/5th Feb, and will be pleased to see you there. Out new 4mm limited edition model wagon for 2017, BOCM of Farringdon will be available to purchase there ............. with two different numbers, either No. 3 or No. 7. Price £12.50 each, or two for £24!
Chris Le Corney

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