Tuesday 29th August 2017

Just like the dustbin collections, the blog has been delayed this week by a day owing to the Bank Holiday…

Alan, John H and Adrian appeared again last Wednesday to continue their good works on Caliban. Alan spent some time attending to the rusted areas on Caliban‘s cab.

John D started to compile his snagging list for the interior of the RMB and searched for various missing bits of wood to complete repairs. John at work on the new cabinHe then joined Tim on Friday to complete the rub down on the east facing wall of the new cabin and to apply a layer of dark grey undercoat. Undercoat completeIt is hoped to be able to put on the top coat this next Wednesday, which should match the RMB’s roof colour. David came in on Saturday to clear away the stones and earth from around the bottom of the cabin to allow access.

Mike and Paul fitted extracted some stubborn broken screws from the servery area foot rest and then fitted it along with the table. It’s all beginning to look very smart.

Fred and Roger hard at it with paint brushesFred and Roger have been hard at it with paint brushes again on the tender frames. Keith drilling more holes in the new piece of running plateKeith, meanwhile has been drilling more holes in the new running plate for Wootton Hall.

The 14 month boiler certificate for 5643 has now expired so Keith is looking to form a working party for next weekend to start on the necessary work to enable it to gain a new certificate. Please let Keith know if you are available to lend a hand.

Andrew Furness and Derek Milby visited Preston last Saturday and Andrew donated a new petrol driven pressure washer that should be very useful.

Finally, Alan and Alison have gone off on a short break to Cromer and called in at Shackerstone on Sunday for a ride behind Cumbria. What a great looking loco!Alan with CumbriaThey also visited Rocks by Rail for a ride in the FRT’s LMS brake van.

Monday 21st August 2017

Another inter-holiday news burst for you before things get back to normal…!

We are sorry to have to start by recording the passing of Jim Jackson (“Captain Birdseye” to some), former skipper of the MV Teal on Windermere who died at St Mary’s Hospice, Ulverston, on the 27th July at the age of 88. Jim served on the Windermere steamers for 42 years, following his father, also Jim, into the business. Those crewing trains on the L&HR could always expect a wave from the bridge from Jim followed, perhaps, by a pithy comment which kept you on your toes. Jim married Pam, who worked on the admin side of the steamer operation, and they lived at Railway Cottages, Newby Bridge, Jim’s home since the age of four. Our thoughts are with Pam and family at this sad time.

The tender frames during the process of receiving a coat of primerThere has again been more progress at Preston, the highlight being the shot blasting of the tender frames, which have now also been primed, with most available working members lending a hand with the paint brush. John and Fred painting the tender frames from Wootton HallThe frames are now in the process of receiving undercoat paint. Wootton Hall's freshened up front buffer beamWork has also continued on Wootton Hall‘s engine, with more of the replacement metal for the running board being cut and the buffer beam being filled, sanded and primed; the latter will enable the buffers to be bolted on again. And Matt has been busy making new nuts for the cylinder and valve studs.

Paul re-installs the buffet counter doorThe cupboards and bum rest re-installed in the RMBThe RMB, lino laying now completed, has received further attention from Mike and Paul who have re-installed the buffet sliding door and the cupboards and “bum rest” in the servery area.

Adrian cleaning the inside of one of Caliban's sand boxesHoward with John H as he takes a break from cleaning Caliban's cab.There has been more attention given to Caliban, with Adrian working on the frames and sand boxes, John H in the cab, and Howard on the sanding gear.

Ed Tatham, Phil Preston and Keith Brewer levelling track on road three of the shedMore progress has also been made with levelling the track on road three of the unheated portion of the shed, with Ed, Phil and Keith seen here.

Finally, Alan and Tim were at Shildon on Friday for a training session on the new rule book and newly issued procedures. There then followed a further practical assessment on FR 20. The locomotive was again used on Saturday for more crew assessments as well as for operating a passenger service.

Wednesday 9th August 2017

A quick inter-holiday blog update for you before Neil goes on vacation. And there has been plenty happening at Preston to cover.

John unrolls the last piece of lino for the RMBJohn is seen above unrolling the last piece of lino for fitting in the RMB, which he completed today. Well done! It looks great!

There has been more work on Caliban with Alan, John H, Howard and Adrian to the fore. Caliban's cab retrieved for sand blastingThe cab has been brought round to the shed in case there is time to sand blast it tomorrow with Wootton Hall‘s tender frames. The cab attracted some atttentionAs you will see from the photo, it attracted some interest and Alan is seen making some modifications to the bunker.Alan removing the internal bunker

Howard has been cleaning up threads on the sanding gear.

Newly cut running plate for Wootton HallThere has been more work also on Wootton Hall where Keith has been cutting new plate to replace the running boards above the cylinders, which had corroded beyond economic repair. Fred has again been cleaning components.

Matt Bedford running a die nut down Wootton Hall's studs for the left hand cylinderMatt Bedford has been continuing the task on running a die nut over the studs for the cylinder cover.

The reverser handle casting for Wootton HallA new reversing handle casting for Wootton Hall has appeared, purchased from the Betton Grange team. No doubt Keith would appreciate any contributions towards the cost..

Inside the new mess roomWe show a first photo of the interior of the new mess facility. Plans are being made to re-site it and have it plumbed in, hopefully in the not too distant future. Meanwhile, we have taken delivery of some surplus chairs from the RSR which will be used in the mess room and also for future meetings at Preston.

Looking forward, it is now planned to steam FR 20 for training purposes at Shildon on the 18th and 19th August. Also, a Folk evening is being planned at the RSR for the Saturday evening of the Diesel Gala, 30th September – further details will be published when the event is finalised.