Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 3rd April

Brian reports from Medstead on Tuesday, along with Dave V, Chris S, John. D, and Keith.
Dave and Chris continued working on the same cattle van cupboard door from last week, and with the door being in the dry a lot of progress has been made. The largest strip of wood which they cut from last week was much improved and they secured this with many nuts and bolts. The other panel was also much better and stayed in place when the large nuts and bolts and washers were removed. After much rummaging around they found some
suitable countersunk bolts which were fitted, and various areas were filled with mastic. Only one more to go.

Keith continued working in the CCT, and later with Chris help they sorted some of the timbers for a couple of the projects including the steps. After lunch they decided that they would fit a "tarp' or two over the Colliery Supply coal wagon, and as with these things it took twice as long and needed the whole team to get them in place.

With a dire weather forecast for Wednesday it was decided to largely cancel proceedings at Alton, excepting three hardy souls who could work inside .......... John Q, Bob and Mick. Mick got stuck in to setting up the circular saw to cut the angled window head at the country end of the grounded van, and this was completed prior to elevenses.
Meanwhile Bob, (the only member of the vice squad present), finished the shimming the wood working vice, before moving on to designing how to fix prefabricated cages around the overhead strip lights in the ISO container. He then walked into Alton in the pouring rain, and returned with a handful or two of oversized cup hooks. Using these to hang the prefab cages sorted the problem.
John Q elected to commence phase 5 of the grounded van body “get rid of the crap” campaign. A prodigious effort resulted, inter alia, in the floor being cleared of all but very heavy kit and the table and chairs now being fit for purpose.
Back to Mick who, having primed the widow head, switched disciplines and installed the permanent fused spur for the kettle and microwave. And then the sun finally came out............

A grey and rather damp Saturday greeted Dillon, Jose and John D at Medstead.


John had managed to source a new horizontal exhaust pipe for the Fergie tractor, so he and Jose had a rummage around in the workshop van and found all the relevant bolts and gaskets, before disappearing off down the siding. Luckily Dillon had brought the tractor battery with him.


Dillon in the meantime had set up in the gunpowder wagon with the disk cutter, welder and all the necessary pieces, making sure this week that he didn’t break the spot light! Panel number three had the top corners scalloped out to go around the rivets that are being kept, before trimming the body to suit the new panel (this was the straightest cut he’d ever made!). This was then clamped and bolted in place.


John and Jose had by this point fitted the exhaust and battery and fired the tractor up. After being stood all winter it fired up on the first attempt, and sounded so much sweeter.


After an early lunch, Dillon started welding the new panel, and is starting to get the hang of it now. John and Jose removed the tractor battery before sheeting the tractor back over. Once all the tools were packed away, all threee of they removed all of the scrap metal from the end of the workshop CCT and deposited it in the skip in the lower yard.


Chris Le Corney

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