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News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum

A museum covering all aspects of the narrow gauge railways of the British Isles, and of the Talyllyn Railway in Particular.
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum added 4 new photos.Thursday, May 18th, 2017 at 7:09pm
Working Party, 18 May

Is your weather mojo letting you down? Too much grey sky? Come to Tywyn where the sun is shining. This fine Thursday morning our team was David Broadbent, Allan Black, Lisa Brian, Neal Chapman, Charles Benedetto, Winston McCanna, and John Olsen.

With blue skies above most of the team were allowed to stay outside and work on their tans whilst indulging in a bit of wagon timber and ironmongery painting. Allan once again picked up his angle grinder and wire wheel to clean more of the splay side wagon floor; this work has revealed that our earlier efforts were not quite sufficient to remove the old rust as much still lurked in dips and depressions that wire brushing hadn't successfully removed, but the wire wheel is capable of getting down into for a proper clean up. Winston got the painting challenge of the day, the new wire mesh panel that will prevent people from falling off William Finlay's footplate, which was fiddly in the extreme, consisting of 4 mm rod, lots of 4 mm rod.

John and David got the indoor/outdoor jobs this week; starting with erecting the scaffolding on the platform to take down the museum sign, which is looking very weather beaten, for repainting then taking the scaffolding down to re-erect it up on the first floor to hang an 8 foot long banner advertising the fact that we have received Lottery funding. The latter task was made more interesting by the strange composite nature of the beam at the head of the stairs that was the chosen hanging site, suffice to say that after an examination a satisfactory solution was hatched and enacted.

Coffee was a tad late this morning and the 10:30 train had long departed before we got our coffee and biscuits, but Anne can be forgiven for her tardiness as she was dealing with a family call. Our break was shared with Barbara Tinsley, duty attendant, and John Turnbull, trainee attendant, and Max Birchenough, who would normally be with us but he too has had family matters to attend to. Partway through our chat in the warm sunshine Ray Brooks stopped by to catch up on our progress whilst waiting for his train (a spectacular MOT failure had left him temporarily car less and so the TR had become a part of his journey home after shopping).

Eventually we did return to our tasks so that by the end of play the slats of wagon 164 had received their quota of primer and one set had received a topcoat on three faces. The axle boxes and other minor ironwork of the frame of 164 now look very smart in fresh black paint and the fiendish frame for Finlay had two coats of black Hammerite thanks to the excellent drying conditions. Allan's efforts have made the splay side floor closer to completion with one more session necessary before wire wheel can be traded in for a paint brush.

Lisa removed the letters from the museum sign so that they can be properly cleaned up as some are peeling badly revealing the underlying metal. David and John decided to mount a very nice perspex Lottery sign beside the platform entrance just to round off the morning, well the brickwork at the chosen site had other ideas and the rest of the team were long gone before they finally got it in position and peeled back the protective plastic. It does look good and is a very necessary part of complying with the terms of our grant award from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) as they require, not unreasonably, clear recognition of their financial support. The sharp eyed among you will no doubt spot other signs acknowledging the HLF around the museum when you come to visit.
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum added 3 new photos.Friday, May 12th, 2017 at 11:28am
Working Party, 11 May

The Tywyn weather mojo has been very kind of late and today it needed a break, but not before the museum volunteers had enjoyed another dry warm morning to work outdoors in.

This mornings team of Winston McCanna, David Broadbent, Allan Black, Lisa Brian , Barbara Tinsley, Charles Benedetto, and John Olsen tackled jobs involving a bit of speleology and more high steel working as well as more grounded jobs. Barbara got on with printing up new notices for the coming weeks in the season and also badgering us to sign up on empty days in the attendants’ roster.

The concrete floor in front of William Finlay was given a coat of grey paint by David, who felt as though he had been caving to get down under the buffers and drawgear, but the result was worth the contortions (really, it was David) as it looks very smart. This is very timely as the glass balustrading will be arriving shortly and once installed the ramp will be fully open, with new views of just that patch of floor.

Out in the sunshine Winston and Lisa picked up their paint brushes to apply black Hammerite and grey primer respectively to our current wagon restorations. While Allan set up shop in the splay side wagon, now sitting on its new frame after an extra working party involving Allan, Lisa, Keith and John on last Saturday afternoon. They drilled new fixing holes in both wagon body and frame and put the whole thing back together for the first time. Allan then began to remove the existing paint on the wagon floor with a wire wheel as it was already bubbling up due to rust despite only having been painted last year - standing uncovered in the yard all winter almost certainly caused this premature aging and failure of the bitumenous paint.

Inside the museum Charles and John formed a working platform on the western ramp beside William Finlay to safely support the mobile scaffold, adding to David's speleological sense as he painted below. This was in order to secure a batten high on the west wall from which printed banners showing William at work in the quarry were to be hung.

Coffee time was taken out in the sunshine on Wharf station platform, with Anne McCanna dishing up the brew and chocolate biscuits. We were joined by duty attendant Noel Williams, and Ray Brooks stopped by to see how things were progressing.

After coffee, and plenty of chat, David joined the painting crew out in the sunshine after his incarceration 'under' William, putting the first topcoat on wagon 164s frame. Charles and John got the batten in place and then unrolled two of the prints and hung them in position, covering up the not so pretty wall and showing our visitors where William had spent its working life. Whilst they had the scaffold in position they also removed three redundant lighting track fixings, which will be reused elsewhere in the museum, and filled the holes.

By close of play the weather mojo was showing signs of pegging it but manfully held out until everything was safely put away or covered over, ready for further work next week.

Photos by Allan Black, words by John Olsen
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum added 6 new photos.Saturday, May 6th, 2017 at 7:33pm
Working Party 4th May

The morning was cool and overcast as the team assembled outside the Gunpowder Store but the weather mojo was already at work and it wasn't long before the cloud broke and the sun was in charge.

David Broadbent, Charles Benedetto, Lisa Brian (fresh from her prolonged shop sabbatical), Allan Black, Andy Sheffield, Winston McCanna and John Olsen started by reclaiming the museum siding for our wagons after its use as a car park during the closed season. This entailed clearing accumulated stone and mud from the flange ways before we could shunt the incline wagon and the splay side wagon frame over the newly completed point work, courtesy of Andrew Wilson, onto the siding.

This allowed the slats of wagon 164 to be brought out for final sanding and initial priming by Allan, Charles and Winston. Lisa got to play with the boys toys first cutting 12 support slats to length then chamfering off the cut ends ready for securing to the weatherproof wagon cover frame, which had been sitting forlornly naked of its blue plastic since last autumn when the pooling water had finally split the plastic. The new slats should prevent this pooling from occurring again.

Andy took one look at the mess outside the Gunpowder store, both rusty bits and burgeoning vegetation and his gardening gene kicked in; it now looks a lot smarter.

David and John marked up the wall behind the engine bay of Baguley 774 with the position of a new hinged mirror to show our visitors the more interesting far side of the engine. David completed the fixing of the mirror to this hinged frame while John collected a piece of heavy gauge mesh that will form a safety barrier preventing accidental demounting from William Finlay's footplate, to begin smoothing off the sharp edges with a file.

Anne McCanna was on site to brew up coffee and to share the fruits of her culinary labours, fairy cakes filled with jam and cream, to celebrate her birthday from a few days ago. Happy Birthday Anne, you made us all very happy too! We were joined at coffee by Barbara Tinsley, duty attendant in the museum, and Mike Green and friend, for our customary chat. Very agreeable with the warm sun beaming down.

After coffee David and John secured the mirror in place and adjusted it with guidance from Barbara, before joining Lisa working on the wagon cover. A new double skin of heavy gauge black plastic (no more Wharf paddling pool jokes) was first tacked in place with a staple gun before it was all secured with wooden battening and trimmed up neatly. A final finishing touch was to re-attach the graphic banner proclaiming its purpose to our visitors, so that they know it is a wagon cover, not a prop left over from 2001 A Space Odyssey.

The freshly primed slats and frame of wagon 164 were put away in the Gunpowder Store and the splay side wagon frame covered over with our newly restored wagon cover to leave the site slick and span ready for next weeks working party.

Photos by Allan Black
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum added 4 new photos.Thursday, April 27th, 2017 at 4:11pm
Working Party 27 April

On a morning when the Arctic air was driving some stormy clouds over Tywyn the museum volunteers reassembled after our Easter break. Winston McCanna, David Broadbent, Andy Sheffield, Allan Black, Neal Chapman, Barbara Tinsley and John Olsen were on this mornings team.

Winston had flagged up a dust accumulation that he had seen whilst on duty earlier in the week. With cloths and Henry the hoover he, Andy and David began removing the grey layer that little fingers had already found and started writing messages in! Allan took delivery of fresh filler to continue the restoration of wagon 164s slats, but with one eye on the heavens as he had set up shop in front of the Gunpowder Store.

John climbed into 'the gods' over William Finlay to attach self adhesive cable clips for the cable of the fourth William camera that he and Keith had attached to the overhead wiring tray on Tuesday, keeping it tidy. He then added more clips to the cab roof to tidy up the cables that Malcolm had connected up over Easter.

Neal cut and fitted a head protector (foam pipe insulation) to the edge of the cab roof to prevent injury to our taller visitors when they access the footplate via the ramp. He then adorned it with black and yellow warning tape to increase its visibility so that hopefully no one accidentally tests the protector.

Anne was on hand to brew up the coffee, and three teas, for a chat and biscuit break, with other guests joining us - Richard Stoner, Mike and Georgie Christiansen, and our duty attendants Alan and Diane Chetwynd. Mike and Georgie were in for another session on the Tyers tablet instruments. These are working but need the ooomph of a mains supplied DC supply that the current batteries are lacking.

After our deliberations we returned to cleaning, filling and testing. Neal and John tried out a mirror behind the engine bay of Baguley 774 to ascertain whether it could provide a decent view of the more interesting far side of the engine to our visitors. It definitely will do this but needs some additional illumination to make it work, probably four of the LED spotlights that we use for general illumination would provide ample light.

While John measured up some timber for some bogus sleepers to cover the current steel ties holding the Baguley track in place Neal wielded a big heritage spanner to undo the large brass fitting on the upper gauge glass mount of William Finlay in order to insert a length of perspex rod to replace the previous glass tube. It took a bit of wiggling but the rod went in and Neal was able to mark it up for shortening to give a nice snug fit of the final length.

We are awaiting delivery of the glass and stainless steel balustrading to go around William; the latest estimate being in about two weeks time. Once this is fitted we can allow visitors up onto Williams footplate for a whole new son et lumiaire experience.

Working parties will now resume on every Thursday Morning
Photos by Allan Black
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum added 4 new photos.Sunday, April 9th, 2017 at 10:57am
Sticky Friday

Having announced that there would not be a working party report week, John and Keith have been making good progress with fixing the rubber matting down around William Finlay on Friday. They have been preparing the area and the various sections of rubber flooring. They also devised a sticking plan because once opened the adhesive has a limited life. After lunch they masked a few areas and then got stuck in. By the close of play all the rubber was stuck down leaving only some trimming to do once the adhesive set. on Saturday they fitted the metal strip at the end of the ramp and tiled around the base of the ramp. Once all the adhesives have cured we can open the lower gallery ready for Easter. A temporary fence will be erected around the front of William Finlay to stop visitors falling off the raised platform. Now that the final positions of everything have been fixed, the drawings of the balustrade which will perform this role have been finalised and it is now being manufactured by an outside contractor.
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway MuseumFriday, April 7th, 2017 at 10:55am
Working Party 6 April

The Tywyn weather mojo has been making up for its recent poor performance with some bright warm days recently and this morning was another sunny start for the museum volunteers. We were fewer in number as some of our regulars had been drafted onto railway duties, but David Broadbent, Andy Sheffield, Neal Chapman, Charles Benedetto (right arm still miraculously attached), Allan Black and John Olsen picked up the jobs list and started work.

Neal and Charles took down the white panel door to swap over the hinges for a set of more beefy specimens as the originals were a bit too wimpy and would likely have pulled free due to clashing screws. As a final embellishment a new catch was fitted to the top, which holds the door closed against inquisitive little eyes and fingers.

Outside on the platform David and John took down the noticeboard and shifted it sideways so that a new weatherproof (time will tell if its Tywyn weather proof!) A3 noticeboard could be hung beside the door. This will make updating notices about the museum a lot easier and it is very professional looking.

Andy took up broom and sponge to remove yet more of the dust and grime that our winter activities had stirred up; many a bucketful went in clean and emerged black! Allan continued winding back the years of rot and neglect wrought by Tywyn winters on wagon 164s slats, patiently extracting the rotten timber and building up layers of filler to form a totally solid repair.

In the absence of our coffee brewer in chief, Anne, David stepped up to the task and we took our seats out on the sunny platform to enjoy chocolate biscuits, coffee and chat with Ray, who was taking his break from museum attendant duty, Phil and Nigel who had just seen the 10:30 safely off up the line.

To round of our morning Charles fabricated a second camera bracket for the William Finlay cab cams while David and John began making and fixing a security panel to cover the operating chain of the vertical rising door, hiding it away from little (and not so little) fingers so that only the duty attendant can open it during the season.

Andy continued his alchemical experiments in turning base water into black gold, well he succeeded in the black bit at least!
So a few more jobs were ticked off the list and with a bit of extra curricular activity other jobs will be progressed in the run up to Easter.

A bit of news away from Tywyn. This weekend there is a special steam event at Beamish museum, which sees the first public appearance of our museum's Kerr Stuart gas works loco, albeit as a static load on a wagon. It is seen here in a short train headed by Phil Mason's Kerr Stuart "Diana" together with Stafold Barn's Kerr Stuart "Wren" class "Roger". Photo by Anthony Coulls.

Due to Easter holiday commitments there won't be a working party until after the break; the next will be on April 27th.
Until then a happy Easter from all the museum working party.
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum added 3 new photos.Friday, March 31st, 2017 at 10:20am
Working Party 30 March

The weather mojo hid under the sheets this morning as heavy rain showers blew in from the south west but the museum volunteers still turned out to continue the refit. Allan Black, Andy Sheffield, Neal Chapman, Ray Brooks, David Broadbent, Phil Sayers, Winston and Anne McCanna and John Olsen began to roll back the dust that had accumulated on every horizontal and near horizontal service.

But there were still other jobs to complete as Neal and Ray took on the task of fitting a 'door' panel to close off the hidey hole behind Baguley 774 from inquisitive youngsters. Sadly the hinges proved unsatisfactory but were left in situ until beefier specimens could be sourced; even so the appearance of this corner of the museum has been greatly improved.

The Eaton Hall display was restored to its relocated cabinet by Winston, immediately drawing the eye now that it is in a location befitting this pioneering narrow gauge railway. Nestling beside it, the tipper wagon has been provided with a substantial 'chock' to prevent the body being swivelled or tilted but does not interfere with viewing.

Over on the other side of the museum, Rough Pup got a good dusting and clean down thanks to Anne and Andy and the general environs got a thorough clean up with first the Henry, wielded by Phil, and then sponging up much of the trodden in dust and grime from the slate floor tiles.

Allan took up the filler over in the Gunpowder Store, single handedly keeping our restoration of 164 on the rails, patiently building up the filler in the deep holes left by rotted out wood in the middle set of slats, so that it can be smoothed down next week.

More of the displaced signage was restored by David to correspond with the new layout, so that every exhibit will be properly labelled when the public are readmitted.

Further visual improvements to the area under the stairs were made by Winston and David so that the public don't have to look at the back of the Woolwich wagon display until one of the interactive displays is installed later this year.

There was a general sorting out of timber offcuts by John so that some was binned but useful pieces were taken over to the Gunpowder Store by Ray and Neal, a process that revealed more dirty floor for Phil to point the Henry at.

We had expected Charles to join us for coffee to explain how his extreme physiotherapy hadn't really helped heal his recently dislocated shoulder but sadly he didn't make it, so we welcomed Chris Parrott to join us for a biscuit and banter.

The dust sheet came off Baguley 774 to reveal even more dust that Neal and Phil then industriously removed while Ray and John tucked away the drier bits of the museum mobile scaffolding, that had been commandeered for a job under Wharf Road bridge, in the pouring rain, and subsequently returned dripping wet.

The clean up in front of Rough Pup and the Padarn Host Wagon allowed the displaced Penrhyn Quarry rails and cast turnout to be restored to their former locations by John and Andy and the ironmongery that had been removed to be resecured by David and Winston.

The displays and exhibits on the ground floor are now largely finished or restored but there are still a couple of jobs to be done to make the area safe for visitors and we are aiming for being fully open in time for the Easter weekend.

Photos by Allan Black
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum added 2 new photos.Friday, March 24th, 2017 at 1:29pm
Working Party 23 March

The weather mojo was, not operating at full steam this morning, which was cloudy with a strong cold easterly wind as we gathered for the working party, but it got going later with the sun breaking through. With the days ticking down to the start of the running season it was many hands make things happen. This morning those hands were attached to Max Birchenough, Andy Sheffield, Neal Chapman, David Broadbent, Phil Sayers, Ray Brooks, Winston McCanna, Allan Black, Jenny Clark, Barbara Tinsley and John Olsen with apologies from Charles Benedetto who had attempted to separate his right hand and arm from his body elsewhere in the world and is recovering from a dislocated shoulder.Malcolm Philips was also on hand rebuilding the museums website and testing positions for the William Finlay footplate cameras. To aid him in this latter endeavour we moved the freshly painted final carcass into position and secured it to its neighbour so that the top could be laid in place to give him a working platform. Allan volunteered to be our lone wagon restorer over in the Gunpowder Store sorting out the filler in the slats, some of which had not set properly, putting in fresh filler and sanding back.

The Kettering Furnaces nameplate was lifted up to its new, and unobstructed, position on the wall and secured in position with frame fixings; the picture of Kettering Furnaces No 6 was then rehung below it, allowing us to take down the timber working platform. At much the same time Neal and Max took up station on the mobile scaffold platform to demount the big monitor we put up last week. Hold on I hear you chorus, what's going on? Fear not its not broken but when Keith loaded the William Finlay slide show he discovered that we had hung it upside down, or was it that he programmed it in Australian orientation? Anyway, down it came so that Andy could change the mounting clips round through 180 degrees and then offer it back up to our fearless high steel duo for resecuring. By great good fortune Keith was present and booted it up to show that we had cured the problem and our visitors will not have to stand on their heads to view it.

With these successes under our belts a certain thirst needed quenching and we retired to Kings Cafe to enjoy coffee biscuits and chat, served up by our brewer in chief Anne McCanna. While we were relaxing the familiar features of Charles entered to sheepishly admit to his over enthusiastic error in dislocating his shoulder so he could only indulge in coffee and banter much as he wanted to shift heavy lumps of metal......

The cast track section from the Eaton tipper display was one such item to be moved after our refreshment but like some giant jigsaw it had to await its turn in the sequence of moves; first was moving the Eaton display cabinet. This was a slow business as the cabinet isn't designed to be easily moved being both heavy and almost devoid of suitable handholds, but with a skate and three persons it was inched into place against the west wall. A gap beside it was designated for the tipper wagon and once the cast iron track had been carefully ( fingers clear!) laid into a specially constructed cradle to keep it level, an improvised ramp was constructed to allow the wagon to be rolled up into position. It took a couple of goes to get it snugly in place but when we all stepped back it was universally agreed that this was a far superior position for this humble, but groundbreaking, wagon to be in than its previous dark abode under the stairs.

The next piece of the jigsaw to fall into place was the forest panorama that forms the backdrop to Baguley 774; this could be four or five panels long so we did the 'taste' test. Four panels had already been mounted on a bracket ready for hanging but the fifth needed David's steady hands to hold it in place while stepped back and took in the view. From all angles it was agreed that the fifth panel was needed for the best effect. David secured the four panels but the fifth will need a special bracket fabricating before it too can grace the north wall.

Over the other side of the museum, between Rough Pup and the Padarn railway host wagon, Neal and Max were attachng the video monitor, with its fiendish security backplate, to the new wall bracket. Even though they knew exactly what to do it still took some fiddling to get the four lugs and holes to line up before the hidden lock could be closed up and the job finished.
While all these endeavours were going on downstairs Jenny and Phil were wielding polishing cloth and Henry hoover to good effect up on the first floor, removing the inevitable dust that the works had thrown up.

Over the last couple of weeks the railway staff have also finished off the entrance way and replaced the old, heavy and slippery removable platform section with a new lighter one with non-slip treads.

There is still a big clean up operation to conduct and more work on the ramps around William Finlay to attend to but we're getting very close to being able to open both floors in time for the running season.

Photos by Allan Black and Micheal Loterow.
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum added 4 new photos.Monday, March 20th, 2017 at 9:47am
Working Party 16 March

Sadly our weather mojo ran out on Thursday morning and we convened under grey and decidedly rainy skies, which shutdown some jobs on the wagon front but there was still plenty in the museum. Ray Brooks, Phil Sayers, Allan Black, Neal Chapman, Andy Sheffield, Bob Cambridge, David Broadbent, Charles Benedetto, Barbara Tinsley and John Olsen braved the elements and set to work.

Allan continued his work on wagon 164 by trimming the dumb buffer timber so that the metal end bands were a nice snug fit. In the museum David and Charles fixed two internal ribs inside the final ramp carcass (running up the far side of William Finlay) and then once the carcass was in its final position began installing six 'legs' that were individually set to account for the uneven surface of the slate tiles.

Our daring young men on the scaffolding platform were Bob and Neal who, having adjusted the big screen ceiling mount for length, hung the mounting from the big cross beam above the plateway display. It takes nerves of steel to work the high metal of the museum but undaunted they clamped the mount firmly in place ready to hang the monitor.

Down at ground level Phil was industriously painting the modified stand for one of the video display selection panels and a box to support the electronics pack of the same display. Ray was our man for all seasons fetching and carrying and steadying the portable scaffolding, whilst Andy and John encountered some issues trying to cut the final top pieces for the William Finlay ramp; to cut a long and frustrating story short, the circular saw no longer cut. Upstairs Barbara continued her housekeeping and poster producing.

As Ann and Winston McCanna had both succumbed to the current bug that is going around Tywyn Ray did a welcome turn of coffee brewing and we retired to the cafe, some with considerable progress to their credit and others still struggling. Our spirits were much uplifted, and our sugar levels, by David supplying jam filled donuts on the occasion of his birthday, yum. Coffee time allowed us to regroup and Allan volunteered the services of his capacious tool chest to allow the cutting of the ramp top pieces, his circular saw making short work of the task.

The 'Flying Monitor Brothers', Bob and Neal, took up station on the scaffolding once more and were handed the monitor, all 42" of it, to secure in position and then adjust for viewing angle. The ground crews moved onto new tasks such as fitting the newly cut tops of the ramp and discovering that during William Finlay's long career person or persons unknown had both welded on extra bits of metal and bent existing pieces to confound the fitting of bits of ramp, cue much trimming and trying and trimming.....

A second elevated work position was brought into action to rehang the Kettering Furnaces nameplate much higher on the wall so that the forest panorama behind Baguley 774 wouldn't hide it. John ascended the platform to drill the fixing holes and benefitted from the use of Allan's hammer drill, a beast of a machine that wouldn't accept no for an answer, even from solid concrete. In between shuttling tools to site Allan still had the time to apply the second coat of bitumenous paint to the base plate of wagon 164, now looking very smart.

Remember that forest panorama? This consists of four large printed foam board sheets on a strange plastic back frame that needed to be hung from the panelling behind Baguley 774 by dint of cunningly crafted pieces of offcut ply, attached by long bolts through the back frame. A jig had been prepared by John to guide the drilling but it was Neal and Bob who wielded the drill and assembled the bits ready to hang, once the rehanging of the Kettering Furnaces nameplate was complete. Sadly time ran out to finish the rehanging operation but there's always next week for that.
Photos by Allan Black and Keith Theobald.
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum added 4 new photos.Friday, March 10th, 2017 at 10:13am
Working Party 9 March

March weather may be mad elsewhere but it was glorious this morning in Tywyn, blue skies and a few clouds with a light breeze. Ray Brooks, Neal Chapman, Allan Black, Jenny Clark, David Broadbent, Winston McCanna, Phil Sayers, Andy Sheffield, Barbara Tinsley, Bob Cambridge and John Olsen took full advantage of this bounty to progress wagon 164 as well as continue work in the museum.

On the wagon, the filling of the cavities, left after the removal of rotten timber in the slats, was moved outdoors so that both upper and lower sets of slats could be worked on, Ray, Winston and David wielding spatulas and sanding paper. The upper set is now ready for repainting while the lower set will need further filling and sanding before flipping them over and repeating the whole process for the other side, it all makes work ..... Also enjoying the sunshine was our dedicated painting pair of Phil and Jenny who carried on with the black Hammerite on the long fixing bolts, dumb buffer caps and a bonus item, part of the heavy duty clamp that will be used to support the large video monitor beside William Finlay.

Speaking of large video monitors, Andy and Bob were set the fiendish task of assembling the heavy duty ceiling mount and then seeing the best method for attaching this to the monitor when said monitor is hung up. Sounds easy doesn't it? But the monitor came with a back plate and bags of fixings but absolutely no instructions at all, plus whatever attachment sequence they worked out had to be safely replicated on the scaffolding six feet off the floor. There was much head scratching, especially over which way round a crucial bracket needed to be affixed, but they came through with the answer.

Having fabricated new pieces to replace the rotted pieces of wagon 164 dumb buffers off site, Allan cleaned up the mating surfaces of old and new timber before gluing and clamping the new pieces in place.

Downstairs in the museum Neal and John got busy cutting, clamping, glueing and screwing the final ramp base carcass together. Just to make it more entertaining this carcass had a shallow rebate on its underside to allow it to fit over the slate floor tiles at one end, so needed a bit of 'jacking up' to get all the levels right.

Barbara was busy making and laminating the new museum opening times posters, and directions, without which our visitors would be totally lost.

Coffee time was taken out in the warm sunshine on the platform, where chocolate cornflake crunch bites were eagerly consumed, our thanks go to David for his astute and generous donation. We had another donation this morning in the shape of a collection of historic Talyllyn documents handed to us by one of the staff of a solicitors in Machynlleth. At first glance they date to the very earliest years of the railway, one set of costings was dated 1866, and they will be carefully examined as some may still have legal force as well as great historic significance. Don will add these to the TR Archives on his next visit.

Coffee over, caffeine, chocolate and tans topped up we continued our labours so that by the end of play the monitor and its mounting were locked away ready for hanging, much black Hammerite was drying in the sun and filler setting. As a bonus Allan was able to paint wagon 164's deck with its first coat of black bitumenous paint before wheeling it back into the Gunpowder Store, very smart.

The final ramp carcass was halfway to completion by mornings end with three internal ribs still to be fitted, then will come the fitting in situ...... a tale for another report next week. Photos by Allan Black.
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum
News from The Narrow Gauge Railway Museum shared Dan Quine's post.Wednesday, March 8th, 2017 at 8:30pm