… his CWLC discs?
From studying the photographs of WAP lifting I would say not.
Almost all of the discs I possess had been painted including the set I bought in 1959.
I suspect that whilst some of the very early users of CWLC kit may have painted the discs most of the paintwork has been applied over the last 100 years.
However some smaller denomination CWLC discs I recently acquired showed absolutely no signs of having been painted as can be seen in the attached photo.
When any superficial bits of 100 year old rust have been brushed off, the cast iron discs look exactly as Bill Pullum would have received them from the iron foundry.
In their original state I think they look very businesslike, redolent of the first decade of the last century and would have suited Pullum and the Camberwell Club’s ‘no nonsense’ approach to weightlifting.
I am therefore minded to keep these discs in their original condition as naked cast iron is good for centuries of use indoors without significant deterioration.
The question now is do I strip off the paint from my original set?
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Handson, i feel you are right in saying the originals were not painted. The ones we had at Darwen Weightlifting club were not and thin coat of oil every now and then kept them in good shape. However just before the club closed in 2017 the premises they were then in was very damp and the weights that were not painted rusty.I Took a couple of Hunt 5lb plates [similar in design to Pullum's] and a couple of CWLC 5lb plates and brought them back to the US with me.My brother in law cleaned them up and they looked great,probably as they had been when first sold. There are quite a few YouTube videos showing how to strip the paint off plates to get ideas from.By the way the collectors i know prefer buying vintage weights as near to the original as possible.Let us know how you go on if decide to remove the paint.