Monday 14th January 2019

The newly riveted front left tender stepsWe start with the news that a milestone in the restoration of the FRT’s ‘Hall’ class 4-6-0 locomotive No. 4979 Wootton Hall was reached on Thursday when the riveting gang fitted the last rivet to the re-built tender frames. The front of the tender frames had been severely wasted by years of water and coal dust which had cascaded down from the cab floor. As followers of this blog will know, the riveting team of Matt Jervis, Keith Brewer, John Dixon and Chris Rycroft have been meeting regularly on Thursdays over the last few months and have been responsible for completing the fitting of several hundred rivets which have locked together the new steelwork with the old. The final day saw 30 rivets fitted, which is quite an effort! Well done to all!

John Dixon with the gas torch heats up another rivetJohn is seen preparing the gas torch to heat up the rivets.

Keith holds the last hot rivet in placeKeith is pictured holding the final hot rivet in place.

Matt Jervis applies the riveting gun to the last rivetAnd Matt Jervis applies the force to finish the job.

Newly arrived tender tank for Wootton HallStaying with the Hall’s tender, and Alan Middleton is seen on Wednesday with the newly arrived second hand 4,000 gallon Collett tender tank recently arrived from Tyseley.

Keith Brewer stands in the new tankAs you will see here, it didn’t take long for Keith to set to with a cutting disc to remove the corroded shoveling plate. This will also enable scale to be removed from the tender tank.

Matt Bedford steam cleans a wheelset from FR 20's tenderOnto other projects, and the axleboxes have been removed from FR 20’s tender wheelsets and cleaned. The wheelsets have received some attention from scrapers to remove twenty years of grime and the first set is seen here being steam cleaned by Matt Bedford.

John Davis cuts one of FR 20's tubes in halfAndy Booth has completed the removal of the tubes from FR 20’s boiler and they were cut in half by John Davis before being placed in the scrap metal skip.

Fred and Keith with 5643 and Cumbria at EmbsayThere was a visit to Embsay on Saturday by Keith, Fred and Mike. Fred and Mike cleaned below the running plate on 5643 whilst Keith attacked the inside motion. Both 5643 and Cumbria were drawn outside the shed to allow the water to be drained from the boilers and for Cumbria’s spare springs to be loaded. Fred polishes 5643 at EmbsayThere was then time to polish up the bright work.

Cumbria is due to arrive back at Preston today (Monday) to enable repairs and servicing to take place before it goes back out on hire.

Finally, the trials and tribulations of the veteran Class 37 hauled services on the Furness and Cumbrian Coast Lines have been recorded here in past blogs. It is only fitting therefore that we leave you with a photo of the Class 37 Farewell Tour about to leave Carnforth on Friday on its return leg to Carlisle. 'Concrete Bob' at the head of the return leg of the Class 37 Farewell Tour This marked the end of regular loco-hauled  services along the Cumbrian Coast. The Class 37 diagrams are now covered by Class 156 diesel multiple units, themselves now around thirty years old.

Tuesday 8th January 2019

A belated Happy New Year to all our readers!

Yes, the blog has taken quite a long break since its last publication on the 17th December. But that does not mean that the Trust’s volunteers have been idle over the Festive period – in fact nothing could be further from the truth as you will see…

Alan prising off the right hand cylinder cover on FR 20Work has continued apace on the overhaul of FR 20, with Alan seen here prising off the front right hand cylinder cover. Both covers were removed with assistance from Ade and, at first sight, it looks as if new pistons rings will be required. Tim has since located the spare set that was ordered over twenty years ago.

FR 20's wheels in primerCleaning and painting of the engine’s wheels has also continued with a primer/undercoat of red oxide being visible here.

John Dixon cleans oil and grease from FR 20's toolboxJohn Dixon has been cleaning up the toolbox that is usually located on the running board to the right of the smoke box.

Adrian tows FR 20's tender to the loading road with StanlowThe decision was taken to lift the tender to get the axle journals skimmed and polished as these had given some problems in times past. Ade is seen here moving the tender to the unloading road after a massive shunt on the 2nd January. Well done Ade!

John Davis and Mike Rigg working on FluffWork has also continued on cleaning up Fluff‘s frames and bodywork over the Christmas period and John Davis is seen here at work with Mike Rigg.

Collett style cab styleKeith has, as ever, been working on Wootton Hall and the left hand ‘Collett style’ cab side is seen here mounted temporarily.

New Year's Eve and Live SteamAfter eight days of playing Christmas songs on the RSR’s Santa Specials before Christmas you would have thought that Alan and Tim would have wanted a rest, but they are seen here with George and Pete performing a successful Live Steam gig at the Engine Inn at Cark-in-Cartmel on New Year’s Eve.

Jim Kennedy undertakes the NDT examination of FR 20's boilerFriday, 4th January brought the good news that FR 20’s boiler and the three Hall tender wheelsets had passed Jim Kennedy’s NDT examination. Jim is seen here at work on the boiler.

And so to yesterday, Monday, 7th January. A crane was at the gate at 09.00 signalling a long day of work at Preston for the team. The first job was to lift FR 20’s tender to release the wheelsets for machining in February. The tender body has, in the meantime, been situated on blocks in the RSR’s car park.

Keith looks on as John Dixon cleans FR 20's tender axlebox lids in the new cleaning tankheThe axleboxes were transferred over to the FRT shed so that the components can be cleaned up. This was an opportunity to use the previously untested parts washer that had been generously donated to the FRT some while ago. After studious reading of the instructions (that’s unusual!) Keith Brewer watches on as John Dixon cleans the axlebox covers.

Wotton Hall's replacement tender tank arrives at PrestonLate afternoon the newly purchased Collett tender tank arrived from Tyseley.

Preparations are made to lift the tank at PrestonAfter some time manoeuvring of the low loader and crane into position, the tank was successfully lifted on to pallets alongside the FRT shed. The photo below shows a winter’s evening scene at Preston as preparations are made for the lift.

Looking forward, there will be another riveting session on Wootton Hall‘s tender frames in the FRT shed on Thursday. Keith and Fred will be travelling over to Embsay on Saturday to undertake some cleaning of 5643 and would welcome offers of assistance.