Monday 12th March 2018

Breaking news this week is that the mess room has now been commissioned, the keynote moment being the transfer last Wednesday morning of the kettle and tea bags from the shed into our new accommodation for members. Keith had wired up the hot water system so John Dixon and Tim then set about re-arranging the tables, chairs, desk and filing cabinet into their new positions, setting up the oven and microwave, as well as selecting those tables which could go into store for use with the sales stand. With the permission of the executor of the late John Houghton’s estate, the FRT has been allowed to clear some household items from Garstang and some cooking pans and a camp bed have been installed in the mess room. These will be followed this next week by cups, plates and cutlery as well as the store of tinned food from John’s cupboards. We are setting up a mess room fund into which donations can be made for tea bags, coffee, milk and the food.

Back to the work place, there has been a continuing push to get the RSR’s TPO coach ready for painting, with Tim John, Dixon, John Davis, Paul Balshaw, Paul Newton, Mike, Fred and Roger all lending a hand. It is hoped to start painting the corridor ends this week before the rather larger task of painting the sides begins. The role of supervisor is obviously very pressured!Mike can be seen here offering suitable supervisory advice to John Davis from the comfort of his chair as John paints a bogie.

Ade and Howard have been making steady progress with Caliban, managing to remove all the pins which were holding the axlebox keeps in place.

Keith has also been making some progress with Wootton Hall and Wednesday saw the arrival of a new clack valve.. New clack valve for Wootton Halland an eccentric rod… Second hand eccentric rod for Wootton HallKeith is asking for expressions of interest to sponsor these items – the clack valve is £400 and the eccentric rod £375 .

With the roads almost clear of snow, Alan and Tim finally made it over to the north east for a meeting on Friday. Alan and Alison have been spending all their spare time this week at John Houghton’s house sorting out his possessions. The items from the train set are being catalogued and Alison is planning to have a sale of the rolling stock during the Ribble Steam Railway’s Steam Gala. A special preview session for FRT members will be held from 09.00 on Saturday, 24th March after which the sale will be open to members of the public. With a bit of luck, it is hoped to have a list of the main items available in time for next week’s blog.

Finally, this next weekend sees Alan and Alison heading over to Shildon for two more steamings with FR 20, with them beating a hasty return to Cark on the Saturday evening for a St. Patrick’s night gig at the Engine Inn with Live Steam.


Monday 5th March 2018

A short update this week.

Attendances at working parties were somewhat reduced owing to the arrival of the so-called “Beast from the East”, which caused travel problems throughout the week.

John Davis, Tim and John Dixon continued work on the RSR’s TPO coach on Wednesday, with both Johns and Paul doing the same on Friday. John Dixon preparing the west end of the TPO coach for paintingJohn Dixon is seen here working on the west corridor end before applying some primer to bare metal.

Alan and Ade continued work on Caliban. Ade attending to the hornstay bolts on CalibanAde is seen here attending to one of the hornstays.

Both Alan and Tim had been due to travel across the Pennines on Wednesday for a meeting, but this was cancelled on Tuesday with the expectation that the A66 snow gates would be down, which they were – for several days! However, Alan and Tim, chauffeured by Ade in the RSR’s pick-up truck, did manage to make a trip to Crewe on Thursday afternoon to bring back some loco parts. There were very cold gale force winds to endure, but the trip was successful.

Saturday saw Alan, Alison and Tim at John Houghton’s house where, at the request of the Executor of John’s estate, they started the sad task of collecting together the rolling stock on his extensive model railway. These items have been put into store and will be made available for purchase, with the FRT benefitting from the proceeds. Please let Alison know if you are interested in purchasing any of these models. Some of Caliban‘s components, which were also at John’s house, have also been removed for storage elsewhere.