Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 7th March 2017

A day of steady progress at Medstead on Tuesday. Most activity was curtailed shortly after lunch though when they had rain, sleet, high wind and even a few flakes of snow to contend with!


David T and Adrian completed a few outstanding jobs on the QM brake van S 56302. Adrian cleaned up the fire pan which had become rusty and applied some Vactan.  In the mean time David fitted  ‘D’ handles to the inside of the two cabin doors, and Adrian glossed them white. David then continued with the south side of the workshop PMV, whilst Adrian took over derusting on the country end of the SW tar wagon No 95.


Brian removed the defective light from the town end of the workshop PMV, and then completed the derusting of the tar wagon end frame and vactanned it as necessary. Ian Johnson removed more bolts from the country end, and cleaned up those we will be reusing. Keith and Chris S drilled fixing holes and cut recesses for bolt heads into the town end timber, and then made a start on making the country end timber to the same profile. John D, Richard and Dave continued undercoating the chassis until rain dripping off of the underside of the tank stopped play............


On the BY S 653 Chris and Malcolm started by undercoating both sides of all the boards for the Country End and the non-running side (End to doorway). They then began boarding the non-running side (End to doorway). They almost finished but decided to leave the rest to next time ............ as the very cold, very windy and wet weather stopped play.


On Wednesday at Alton Roger arrived first to find that the tarpaulin on the Alresford end of van B 763661 had blown back across exposing that half of the wagon. Mick, Bob and Steve turned up they helped him put it back over.

All then commenced work on the ISO container, following the usual preliminaries of emptying it of ladders and other equipment ............. but happily less and less plywood as time goes on.  The last big sheet of thin plywood was inspected for slight damage and, deemed usable, was cut to size, pilots holes drilled and, held in place by all hands and one or two heads, was screwed to the rafter framework in the second section. 
The third section was similarly covered but in two halves by salvaging two smaller, 'very non-square'  pieces of thin plywood and similarly screwing them into place.  They then had to resort to using the thick plywood but cut it into two halves to make them safer to present.  For the final narrower section at the London end of the container it was manageable to fit a single piece, cut and secured in place to complete the insulation of the roof.  After stepping back to appreciate the overall effect, they cleared up and called it a day.
A blustery, but sunny day Thursday at Alton. John B and I removed the sheet from vanfit B 763661 and I mixed up some topcoat for the second and final coat on the sides and ends. Technical mixing to get a darker shade............. 2.5L of bauxite and 2.5L of black! John B, I, followed by John Q, Clive and Ian applied the topcoat, and finished by around mid day. This gave plenty of time for it to dry before nightfall – although with the wind and sun were actually touch drying in under two hours! There are still a few bits to touch up next week around the door frames.
Ray meantime was drilling (precision) holes in the new side plank for low sided M 460001. We removed the plank; ali primed it; and subsequently undercoated it; replaced it; bolted it on; and cut back the bolt ends. Finally Clive and I ali primed and undercoated the cable drums on the north side.

Saturday at M was quite a productive day for Dillon, Jose, John D and Jim. Weather wise it was a mixed bag with sunshine, showers and a stiff breeze. Jim was only on light duties after a recent operation, so was put to work in BY S 653 undercoating the tongue and groove planks. John D disappeared into the lower yard and did some undercoating on the Fergie tractor mudguards and rear axle. Jose 2nd coated black gloss on the handbrake lever for the tar wagon and various other bits he could find. Dillon refitted the north side brake rigging on the tar wagon (minus the lever which Jose had just painted), and then removed the brake rigging from the south side. This has now been taken to his home workshop for overhaul.


After lunch, John undercoated the rear wheel rims for the tractor before assembling them on the dished wheel centres. Dillon and Jose started clearing out the thick flaky rust from the floor in the gunpowder wagon W 105761. Two steel old rusting containers inside were removed, and placed in the scrap pile. A decision was taken to remove one of the internal sections of panelling to give a better view of where water was leaking in. Most of the T&G is thought to be re-useable although the battens are rotten. The water has run down the walls and the back of the panel. Between Dillon and Jose, they think they’ve come up with a nifty plan for the holes in the roof, but its top secret! 


After a mug of tea and a good chat, (avoiding a hefty rain shower, but with a nice rainbow) they called it a day at 17:30. 

Chris Le Corney

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