The Christmas Dinner last Tuesday evening ensured that the gang was well fuelled on Wednesday morning to undertake the task of concreting the base of the eastern end doors to roads three and four of the shed. After more materials were requisitioned on Thursday, the job was finished on Friday morning and it should be possible to remove the shuttering this Wednesday. The photos show the gang concreting and John Dixon levelling off and then brushing off the finished concrete.
Tim continued the long task of filling and sanding the north side of the RSR’s TPO vehicle on Wednesday and then Fred and Roger spent Friday painting one of the headstocks and a bogie side.Staying with the TPO, the new water filler cover has now been fitted.
Adrian is continuing to work on Caliban‘s motion and Howard is seen here fettling one of the loco’s new sand box covers.
Keith has been undertaking some more metalwork on Wootton Hall and was joined on Saturday by George to prepare the new extension pieces for the tender frames for welding.
The next edition of The Iron Horse magazine has now been proof-read and will hopefully be back from the printer this next week. Plenty of good reading for members over Christmas!
With all the work currently in hand, the Christmas rest period at Preston is now planned to be rather short – just Christmas Day and Boxing Day..! Normal working parties will resume on the Wednesday after Christmas!
It only remains for us to wish all our members and supporters a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. (And talking of New Year, Alan, Tim and George will be hard at it with Live Steam playing music at the Engine Inn at Cark on New Year’s Eve!)
The cold weather hasn’t yet deterred our working members although there was a slightly smaller attendance at the Friday working party with Fred and Roger missing.
John Dixon was once again diverted from fitting out the mess room kitchen, with compacted ash having been laid in the six foot between roads 3 and 4 in the unheated part of the shed during the week. After a long discussion which eliminated many options, it was decided that there was no easy way to get ready mixed concrete in from a lorry. Therefore the best way forward was to mix it manually in the concrete mixer. Ed and John therefore got on with the job of making up the shuttering and cement, sand and aggregate have now arrived for mixing on Wednesday.
Tim has once again been making dust as he attempts to improve the look of the north body side on the RSR’s TPO vehicle. Mike and John Davis have created a replacement filler cover, seen here on the right.
Adrian and Alan have continued work on Caliban, and Wootton Hall‘s tender wheels have now received three coats of paint.Keith is seen here making sure that all areas have been adequately covered before they are put back outside.
Alan and Tim have reached the half way mark in playing Jingle Bells etc. on the RSR’s Santa Specials and Jen and Alison have again been braving the cold selling FRT souvenirs. Alan had a trying weekend as he managed to lock his keys in the car at Preston on Saturday (very late arrival home) and his central heating has packed up!
Thoughts are now turned to the FRT Christmas dinner tomorrow evening.
We hope to have finalised dates for working parties over the Christmas period in next week’s blog – and, no, we are not planning to publish a blog on Christmas Day.
There has been no let up in work as we head towards the Christmas break – well, we might be allowed the one day off at least!
The tracks at the east end of roads three and four in the shed have now been packed which has enabled John Dixon to lay some Visqueen against the rails to stop concrete sticking to them and causing cracks when drying. It also stops the concrete from seeping into the four foot, which isn’t going to be concreted. Ash has now been laid to top up the levels in the six foot and the job now moves on to the shuttering phase.
John has also been continuing his work in the new mess room and another trip to Wickes was planned.
Mike has been lettering the gas compartment doors for the RMB, surely one of the very last jobs remaining on the project. Tim has been busy sanding the RSR’s TPO coach and Mike and John Davis have been tackling the replacement of one of the water filler covers. Fred and Roger have continued the job of cleaning and painting the headstocks and bogies. The proofs for the graphics have been received and approved. It was only during this process that it emerged that the dimension panels at the opposite ends of the coach differed, one stating that the width was 2.74m whilst the other showed 2.83m! We have plumped for 2.74m so at least they will be consistent in future, if incorrect!
Adrian has once again been working on the job of cleaning and painting Caliban‘s motion whilst Alan has achieved success at last in removing a stubborn pin from one of the motion retaining collars.
Wootton Hall‘s tender wheels were grit blasted on Saturday and two of the wheelsets had received the attention of David’s paint brush by the end of the day. Keith has continued to work on the replacement steel sections for the front of the tender which are now held in place prior to welding at some point in the future.
The RSR’s Santa Specials started this last weekend with Alan and Tim providing the music and various other FRT members assisting. Alison and Jen staffed the sales stand and Alison took the opportunity to photograph Tim’s latest Christmas hat – we’re not sure that Father Christmas will approve of the two legs poking out of the top of the chimney which suggest that he (Santa, not Tim!) has feasted on too many mince pies!