Watercress Line

Wagon Group Report 8th May

A bright and sunny day to greet them at Medstead on Tuesday, with Richard, Chris S, David V, Old Dave and Brian.

As Chris was back they returned to work on the second swollen cupboard door for the Cattle Wagon, and with assistance from Richard they made the same cut in the outer panel. The gap in the timber was filled along with other holes. No further work could be carried until all of this had dried, and it will need preparation and painting next week. 
Keith continued to update the facilities in the woodworking CCT, and inconjunction with Old Dave they were given the opportunity by the Buildings dept to look in the lower yard for a suitable door that could be adapted for the paint store. A door was finally recovered and modification work for the paint store will commence in the coming weeks.

Brian had made a start on fitting the replacement of the first solid wood panels for Palvan B 776446, assisted by Dave V. Richard continued with the second, but work was halted as they had to take cover after a sharp and heavy shower. They should get the two remaining fitted on the running side next week, together with a coat of paint.

Brian and Dave V discussed the manufacture of the new steps for the CCT being assembled with Chris and Malcolm, and their needs for Timber posts etc, 

There followed a walk down Bennetts siding to establish a project list for the coming months, and a list has now been prepared which includes vehicle repairs and restoration, workshop repairs, replacement of the paint store door, manufacture and erection of wood store adjacent to the CCT, cleaning of the Pipe and Tube Wagons at the far end of Bennetts.

Well the forecast for Wednesday was heavy rain in the morning at Alton, and it did not disappoint! As most could not make Thursday we progressed anyway with Wednesday.
The milk tank needed another jet wash on the tank, so that did not really make much difference in the rain! Roger, helped by Paul and later Steve in the dry, did some more investigative work on the dance hall brake van  .......... chipping loose rust off the steel floor.
John Q and Bob were working inside the grounded van body mess room, and Mick and Steve were installing a saw in the ISO container.
At midday Bob, Paul, Ian and myself caught the train to Medstead, where magically the rain had stopped and blue sky was to be seen!  We collected 5 ply sheets from under the wood working CCT. These we put on the 1327 return train down to Alton. The sheets are for internal lining of the grounded van body, and I think the wood store.
After lunch back at Alton the axle boxes were oiled on the milk tank W 2960 and vanfit M 520771, by which time in the sun steel work had dried allowing some areas of top coating to be done. Both wagons should be completed next week, subject to the weather being dry.

Saturday at Medstead was an unusually hot one. With the Rudd still AWOL at Alton, Dillon suggested that the three of them, including Jamie and Jose, should tackle the London end of the BY S 653 underframe between the headstock and the first axle. This had thick flaky rust shelling off. 

They set about with chipping hammers and cold chisels and in just 30 mins had removed a large amount of it. Then a buzz over with palm sanders to rough up the remaining gloss paint, just in time for Dave to arrive. Jamie gave the surfaces a quick dust down before him and Dave red oxided the areas.

Jose started looking at the brake rigging on the gunpowder van, and broke one of the pins just trying to get the split pin out. Dillon has taken this home to manufacturing a new one.

After an early lunch, the group decided to go hunt the Rudd! When first arriving at Alton it was nowhere to be seen, but they headed off down the headshunt anyway. Eventually they came across it ...........at the very furthest point east on the railway, behind the Mk2 (accommodation) coaches. They had a good look around it and discussed the plans for work on it, when it returns to Medstead.

They all caught the last train back from Alton, rather wilting in the heat. Jose got the kettle on while Jamie and Dillon finished off putting things back in the Yard, before washing up and departing.


Chris Le Corney

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