Once again a small but dedicated gang reported for duty for what will be the final working party in 2011.
Present were :-
Dick France; Phil Sayers; Ann McCanna and Winston McCanna.
Phil spent an hour in the Gunpowder Shed putting a coat of dark grey paint onto the floor of the TR slate wagon currently under treatment. Meanwhile Dick continued with the revision of the Attendants Handbook and at the close of the session has done all the work possible, with the exception of all the additions made to the three volumes presently in the Museum. These additions vary from copy to copy and will need some executive decisions. Similarly input is now needed from others who who have indicated a wish to do so.
Ann completed decorating the Christmas Tree by fixing a number of little wood railway locomotives to the branches. If anyone else has such engines and would like to see them adorn the tree then please bring them along.
A smaller gathering of regulars this week, due no doubt to the appalling weather in Tywyn currently. Present were Ann McCanna; Ray Brooks; Dick France; Phil Sayers and Winston McCanna
Richard Evans had stayed over following the working party on 3 December and had spent Sunday 4th in the Gunpowder Shed, putting a third coat of paint on to the TR slate wagon which is being repainted. Phil Sayers proceeded to paint a fourth coat of grey paint on to all the timber-work in the wagon.
Dick continued working on the up-date of the Attendants Handbook. He downloaded a copy of the existing version from a disc supplied by Don Newing and started working through the corrections that he had found to be necessary. Others have also prepared changes and Dick is attempting to co-ordinate these.
Ray cleaned inside the nether corners of the Guiness locomotive, while Frank attempted to get lubrication into the moving parts of the locos prior to a future task of moving all the locos to prevent the bearings from seizing up. This task is ongoing.
Ann removed a considerable quantity of personal effects and rubbish from the Attendants Cupboard, disposing of most of it.
The next working party will be held on Thursday 15 December. The session previously notified on Thursday 22 December has been cancelled.
Future Working Parties Thursday 5 January; Saturday 7 January ; Thursday 12 January.
Present: Richard Lawrence, Ray Brooks, Richard Evans, Winston McCanna, Chris White.
Richard Lawrence was carefully cleaning the brass nameplates on Wall Panel M05. Richard Evans worked on the slate wagon in the gunpowder store, rubbing it down and cleaning it with white spirit in preparation for repainting which he started later on and continued on Sunday as well, completing two coats of grey paint. Ray Brooks was duty attendant and between his other duties gave general assistance. A highlight of the morning was when Martin Fuller arrived with two items which have recently been presented to the Museum. These are two commemorative plates for the one hundredth and one hundred and tenth anniversaries of Davies and Metcalfe, founded in Aberystwyth in 1858 and builders of two locomotives for the Vale of Rheidol Railway. These were the only two locomotives the firm ever built being much better known as makers of exhaust and live steam ejectors and brake equipment. Chris took pictures of the two plates and along with Winston placed them in the Recent Acquisitions display; Chris later added a descriptive label and also one for the 1915 Isle of Man Railway hanging card timetable which was previously displayed there . He also continued to collect images for use on the website. Tony Edwards was the afternoon attendant and there were just six visitors, four adults and two children.
The two Davies and Metcalfe plates
The Recent Acquisitions cabinet
Richard Evans with the slate wagon in the Gunpowder Store
Richard Lawrence cleaning the brass nameplates
Present - Phil Sayers; Dick France; Chris White; Richard Lawrence; Ray Brooks; Ann McCanna; Eric Wooding; Brian Kelland; Winston McCanna.
The masking from last Thursday's application of grey paint to a number of surfaces was removed.
Masking was applied where wall surfaces required fresh white paint. The affected areas were cleaned and white paint then applied as required.
Keith Theobald provisioned further supplies of Grey emulsion paint.
The information panels which had been removed prior to painting last week were re-instated.
Chris was busy making images for the website and record purposes, including pictures of a cardboard carriage destination board from the Welsh Highland Railway which had been thought missing for many years but which has recently been found in the archives.
Dick continued with the revision of the Attendants Handbook.
Ann got the Christmas Tree out of the store and put it up for the festive season.
A new display panel was installed to identify the name plates on the most recently installed grill on the wall above the Industrial show case on the ground floor. This is now ready for the text.
Richard continued with the deep cleaning and polishing of brasswork on "Rough Pup".
A sizeable gang reported for work and comprised Malcolm Phillips; Phil Sayers; Dick France; Ray Brooks; Richard Lawrence; Brian Kelland; Winston McCanna.
Malcolm worked on the cataloguing of additions to the collection on the Office PC.
Phil washed down dirty white paintwork with a detergent solution. This shows that some re-painting of these surfaces will be necessary at a future date.
Dick commenced the task of revising and updating the Attendants Handbook.
Ray made notes on his use last weekend of the new electric stove for the preparation of conservation wax. He then tidied up the Gunpowder Shed before restocking the leaflet racks. Finally Ray used "Henry" to good effect around the Nantle Wagon and the signalling equipment by the head of the stair case.
Richard completed the re-painting of damaged grey surfaces. He then commenced a deep clean of locomotive brass-work by starting on "Rough Pup".
Brian was very busy with a duster, and endeared himself to all the gang by making coffee to complement Ann's biscuit box.
The next working parties will held on Thursday 1st and Saturday 3rd December.
Present : -
Most of the regular crew attended, numbers being a little down on the bumper support of last week.
Ray worked in the Gunpowder Shed. He commissioned the new electric hotplate by mixing up fresh supplies of conservation wax for use at future working parties. He was able to use an extension lead which had been left behind by the track gang, This does show up the need for a dedicated extension lead, as the hot plate has less than a metre length of cable fitted. The capacity of the cable should be 15 amps min. Ray also made notes in order to revise and update the procedure page in the Attendants Handbook for future incorporation.
Richard re-assembled the stools for the patent rail which had been re-painted last week and then commenced preparation for the grey paintwork on the upper floor to be re-painted. He then applied a coat of grey emulsion paint as necessary
Phil masked up and repainted all the yellow skirting boards around "Jubilee 1897" and the steps and ramp from the door to the cafe.
Brian exercised the duster on the artefacts to good effect.
Ann McCanna supplied biscuits at coffee time, which was taken in the cafe, as although fine and sunny it was cool on the platform. She then assisted Winston in masking the floor where painting was to take place.
The next working session will be held on Thursday 24th November, followed by 1st and then 3rd December. Every one is welcome, so please lend this essential work your support.
Thanks as ever, Winston McCanna
Malcolm Phillips and Chris White carried out an inspection of the Museum's locomotives kept at North Ings.
PENELOPE was pulled out of the shed and started, then run round the circuit several times to mix in additional anti-freeze which had been added. During the summer it was reported that it was difficult to change gear on this loco and problems with the clutch were suspected. Advice was sought and kindly given by two experts. It was found that, although there is sometimes a grinding noise when changing the direction gears, there does not seem to be a problem so long as the clutch is fully depressed for every change of both direction and speed.
INDIAN RUNNER was drained of water for the winter and various investigations carried out. The stop cock between the engine and gear box was cleaned to reveal when it is open and when closed: an extension piece is needed to make opening and closing this cock easier. The brake pawl was removed as it is very worn and a spare located and taken away to be be cleaned up ready for re-fitting on a future occasion. The brakes themselves are in need of adjustment and it looks as if the front of the loco will need to be lifted up to enable this work to be done with a very large spanner, so that is also a job for another day.
Malcolm attends to the water drain tap on INDIAN RUNNER
Chris with PENELOPE and the resident yellow Ruston
Present: Richard Lawrence, Robin Phipps, Ray Brooks, Phil Sayers, Winston McCanna,
Chris White, Frank Yates, Brian Kelland and Eric Wooding.
Richard and Robin made a start on repainting the display stools with grey paint and Phil prepared the yellow paint for attention later in the month. Ray Brooks used the vacuum cleaner to good effect downstairs, on the stairs and especially in the museum office. Frank Yates fitted the replica gauge glass that he had prepared at home in Jubilee 1897. Chris added new captions to three of the panels on the Ticket Carousel and replaced many of the short screws with longer ones to tighten up better. Brian and Eric did some dusting.
All in all it was a very good start to the regular weekly Thursday working parties and we hope that the effort can continue.
Richard and Robin pause in their work to pose for the camera
Chris attends to the ticket carousel
Ray in action in the office
The new gauge glass fitted in JUBILEE 1897
Don Newing had been busy all week on Archive and Museum secretarial duties and continued with those on 5th. Winston McCanna, working on his own, started by preparing a short list of work to be undertaken at future sessions. He then washed down the worst affected areas of paintwork to remove scuff marks. These particularly seem to show on the grey paint on stands and stools. By using a diluted solution of "Flash" in hot water, some of the marks were removed, but the total effect shows that the areas will need repainting, and that work will proceed on Thursday 10th, when a better attended gang is forecast.
Outdoor week commenced and there were a considerable number of volunteers around for that, and also the regular gang worked inside the Weigh House, attending to treating the wood sections of floor and a new bench seat made to furnish the inside. It was also the Narrow Gauge Staff gathering and trains were running for their benefit and this produced visitors for the Museum. The Attendants were Tony Edwards in the morning, who swept down the staircase, and Ray Brooks pm.
It was decided that there is not sufficient room in the Weighbridge Office for the Avery weighing machine so it was returned to the store and another home will need to be found for it to be displayed.
More support is required if these Saturday sessions are to continue, so please come along and assist. We start the Thursday morning working parties on 10th November.
Keith Theobald, Ian Evans and Chris White attended: Geoff Loynes assisted with moving the wagons: and Ray Brooks was the duty attendant.
The Aberllefenni incline balance wagon was moved out and it is now sheeted outside the Gunpowder store, waiting to be carefully measured and re-bodied. Its place has been taken by Talyllyn three bar slate wagon 164. Ian spent some time rubbing it down, but did not get as far as applying primer. It has been added to the Tracksiders' October programme, unless anyone else gets to it first.
From the list of mis-placed items a couple were found and the labels amended, but some others were not found. The Avery weighing machine was moved into its new home in the weighbridge office where it needs painting to match the Pooley machine already installed. Various items not expected to be needed soon were moved into the loft space of the gunpowder store, so there is a bit more room inside now. Chris also spent some time working on the ticket carousel display.
Ian starts rubbing down the three bar slate wagon ready for re-painting
Lettering on the Pooley machine previously picked out by Rita van der Moelen
The Avery weighing machine in the Weighbridge office