Monday 15th January 2018

We start this week’s blog with the news that one of our senior members, John Houghton, is in Preston Hospital after suffering a suspected mild heart attack earlier last week. John is expected to stay in care for a little while until he recovers fully and we send our best wishes to him.

Work in the shed continues on the RSR TPO vehicle where the double door featured last week continues to present stubborn resistance to attempts to improve its shape. It was decided that the profile could be improved by the insertion of a coach bolt through the outer metal skin and by tightening the nut against the interior wooden frame. Unfortunately, Mike didn’t reckon on the strength of the steel which appears to be of the hardened variety…! Drinking tea is the really hard workMike is seen here last Wednesday with the statutory assemble of onlookers drinking tea whilst he attempts, in vain, to drill a hole. This is how you drill a hole!Paul took up the cause on Friday and was more successful, only breaking one drill bit in the process!

The sanding and filling of the exterior of the TPO continues apace, although new holes in the bodywork seem to appear on a regular basis as rust is tackled. Fred at work on the TPO underframeGood progress is being made on the bogies and underframes and Fred is seen here in action with his paint brush.

Adrian and Howard, when not drinking tea (see above) have been making further progress on Caliban with a view to lifting it clear of the wheels in the not-too-distant future. Keith has received yet more new steel for Wootton Hall and it is planned to have the new tender frame sides welded on the 2nd and 3rd of February.

Meanwhile, and in the warmth of the new mess hut, John Dixon has continued his ongoing task of fitting out the kitchen area. The new kitchen units and worktop taking shapeThe new worktop is seen loosely in position awaiting adaptation to accommodate the double sink. It is planned on Wednesday to dig a trench outside for the drain, although the weather conditions look a little wintery this week!

Looking forward, the Ribble Steam Railway is receiving a visit from a Pathfinder Rail Tour on Saturday, 10th February. The Tour commences at Eastleigh in Hampshire and is planned to arrive at the RSR top and tailed with Class 66 and Class 57 locomotives. It will stay at Preston Riverside for an hour or so to allow passengers to stretch their legs and to visit the Preston site. The FRT has been requested to open up the shed to visitors and Alison is planning to have the sales stand there. Help to show visitors around the shed would be appreciated.

 

And finally, after what must clearly have been a successful New Year gig, our folk group, Live Steam, has been requested to appear back at the Engine Inn at Cark on Saturday, 17th March as part of some planned St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Monday 8th January 2018

A belated happy New Year to all our readers as we head into a fresh year. Who knows what it will bring?

There wasn’t much let up in the pace of work at Preston over the Christmas period with working parties continuing to take place on their usual days of the week; Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The concrete under the east end shed doors is now completeThe first photo shows the completed concreting under the east end shed doors which was laid just before Christmas. There is still plenty more to do in the east half of the shed, but the more immediate task has since been to continue the installation of the kitchen in the new mess room. As John Dixon is both our head of concreting and chief plumber, it is a case of one job at a time. More new kitchen units under construction in the new mess roomWe then need to dig a channel outside the mess room to allow a pipe to be laid to a nearby drain manhole. Once this is achieved, new tarmac can be laid there as part of the overall plan to create a new playground.

Inside the shed, work has continued on the repairs and painting of the RSR’s TPO vehicle. John Davis and Howard Fletcher inspect the RSR's TPO door which requires corrosion repairsJohn David and Howard Fletcher are seen here examining a corroded and ill fitting door whilst, below, Ade is seen demonstrating his method of fixing the problem – with a hammer! Adrian shows how C&W repairs should be carried out - with his hammerTim has continued with the filling and sanding, Paul with the renewal of rotted woodwork, and Fred and Roger have continued to clean and paint the headstocks and bogies.

Ade has spent the rest of his time moving on the project to restore Caliban including more sanding and painting .

Alan Ogden with Fluff's fuse boxAlan Ogden made a welcome re-appearance from Devon to refurbish Fluff‘s fuse box.

More steelwork has been added to the rear of Wootton Hall's tender chassisKeith has continued to assemble more steelwork on Wootton Hall‘s tender frames as can be seen from this view of the rear of the chassis. Some more components for the locomotive, which have become available recently, have been purchased, including these two rear valve head cover castings which cost £60 each.Two new rear valve head cover glands castings - £60 each.

Plus there are four castings which will make up two steam heat valves. Two new steam heat castings. £240 each in total.The smaller items cost £60 each whilst the larger casting cost £180 each.

Sponsorship of any of these items would be very greatly appreciated.

Live Steam in action on New Year's EveFinally, Live Steam played their last gig of 2017 at the Engine Inn at Cark-in-Cartmel. Both Alan and Tim were suffering for the excesses of singing on the Santa Special Trains at Preston but just about managed to sing without too much coughing and spluttering!