Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 5th July

Dave V reports from a very hot Medstead on Tuesday that they made steady progress on three jobs in hand. 

Chris S managed to finish the edging strips on the cattle wagon south side doors, and get out of the way long before the first train arrived. He then joined Dave and they continued setting the posts for the wood store permanently in place and aligned. They discussed how best to proceed with the rest of the structure and made a start preparing the timbers.

John D, Richard and Hamish continued derusting and Vactanning / red oxide priming BY S 653 exterior metalwork. 
Well Wednesday was hot at Alton, and based on the forecast, a couple decided it was too hot to work and dropped out the day before.
John B, Adrian and I did some bolt removing, derusting and priming of steel work on the dance hall brake van S 55506, and Ian assisted also. John Q was busy preparing the grounded van body for the attachment of the insulating ply sheets, and Bob, Mick and Steve were progressing the wood store construction.
With the heat, I remembered I had urgent appointment with a cooling bottle of beer in the fridge at home and departed ............ leaving the wood store constructors carrying on, a little longer.

Saturday was a good turn out at Medstead. Dillon had supplied the next lot of steel for the gunpowder wagon, so Jim got started with the angle grinder cutting the next two sections out. Being like an oven inside the van it took all day, with frequent stops to cool down.

Dillon, Jose and Jamie looked at the vacuum pipe on the Presflo with the corrosion holes in it. The only sensible option was to remove the said section of pipe, with a view to renewing it. After plenty of heat and the big Stilsons it gave in.

Dave R, Jamie and Jose then armed themselves with oil cans and a crowbar and set off to Alton for project ‘Dogfish’. The aim is to free off all the doors. 

DB 992987 (Alton end) was ok, but given a liberal dosing of oil. DB 993161 (centre) had seized doors. They managed to get the centre door to open eventually although very stiff, and the south door now opens. DB 993259 has the outer doors stiff and a seized centre door. 

Meanwhile, back at Meadstead, Dillon managed to get the swan neck off the vacuum pipe removed from the Presflo. These have now been taken to his home workshop as a pattern for a new piece of pipe. This he hopes to have done ready for refitting next weekend.

Then it was time to use the gas axe again to blow four rivets out for Jim on the gunpowder wagon, to enable him to remove the last piece of panel. 

Jim and Dillon had just packed away and put the kettle on as the other three returned (good timing!), at 16:30.


Chris Le Corney

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