Blue Flower

MOVING THE RAILWAY WAGON WHICH WILL BE USED AS A VISITOR CENTRE AT THE MILL

The wagon had been cleared of wood and other items ready to move out of the barn, but first we had to dig the hard flooring away from inside the wagon to avoid damage to the end panel when pulling it out, and some rubble in front of the wagon was moved with the digger. Chains were attached to the wagon front and the digger pulled it out of the barn. Then it was taken down the drive with the loader and digger each end. It leaves a large clear area of the barn to be used for supplies of firewood. A large flatbed trailer was left at the end of the drive and this was brought down to the wagon, one end of the wagon was lifted with chains and the trailer moved under it. Then the other end was lifted up on forks and slid onto the trailer, it slipped over the side and had to be pulled back with load straps, then when in place it was strapped to the trailer and taken up the road to the yard.

At the yard a skip was moved out of the way with the loader to make room for the wagon, and the elevator found at the mill which had been sandblasted and painted light blue was also moved aside. The wagon was then fork lifted off the trailer and put in position as near as possible, then scaffold poles were put under it and it was rolled into its final position. We then went in for a cup of tea and discussed various options of layout and where to put the wagon when its ready for use as a visitor centre and volunteer room at the bone mill.

After tea we looked around the wagon to see what work needs doing and discussed the best ways to achieve it. Debris was scraped away from the metal work and we could see it was in good condition, but we will strip it back and paint all the metal. The roof will need replacing and new doors will have to be made, we discussed various combinations of doors, windows and shutters. We took out one of the bolts holding the plywood sides and it unscrewed easily which was surprising after so many years. As the floor had fallen out apart from one plank, it needs replacing and several options were considered including thick tongue & groove oak. The wagon will need to be mounted clear of the ground when in use to prevent rotting, and various methods of achieving this were discussed.

The plan is for volunteers to work on the wagon this week, taking off side panels and roof, chopping off protruding nails and bolts ready for cleaning up the metalwork. We will also think about ideas to suggest for the layout and fittings for the inside, space saving solutions as used in caravans might make sense.

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