Monday 29th April 2019

The job of re-boring Caliban’s cylinders was finished last Tuesday by Team Marrow, which marks the completion of another important stage in its overhaul.

Cumbria being prepared on Sunday, 28th AprilAde got himself out of bed at an early hour to light up Cumbria (thank you, Ade) so that it could undergo a pre-hire inspection in steam by Tony Wright of the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway. All went well and Cumbria then went on to appear at the RSR’s Spring Steam Gala on Saturday and Sunday. It is seen here being prepared on Sunday morning and also at the head of the 11.30 train from Riverside station on Saturday with Hudswell Clarke 0-6-0ST No. 1208 Illingworth (also bound for Embsay in the near future) on the rear.Cumbria on the 11.30 train at Riverside Saturday 27th April

A myriad of jobs have been taking place at Preston. John Dixon measuring one of Wottoon Hall's axleboxes in order to make a pattern for a missing piece.John Dixon has been measuring up one of Wootton Hall‘s tender axleboxes so that he can make a pattern for a casting to repair some damage.

John Davis at work on Wootton hall's tender tankJohn Davis has been spending more time working on Wootton Hall‘s new tender tank.

Roger Benbow getting down to work on Fr 20's boiler crinolinesTim has again been cleaning up FR 20’s frames whilst Roger Benbow set to work on cleaning up the crinolines for FR 20’s boiler.

Fred has cleaned up the platform ticket machine pedestal ready for it to be re-painted.

The new running board support on FluffWork has also continued on Fowler 0-4-0DM Fluff where a replacement running board support, fabricated by John Stewart, has been fitted.

5643 at work at EmbsayOver at Embsay, 5643 has been busy turning its wheels again and we have an Instagram photo here of it on a dining train there.

Mystery photoAlso, Mike Rigg has submitted a mystery photo for you identify. Answer next week.

Finally the fruits of our Treasurer’s work on the 2018 accounts have been delivered today to the Independent Examiner for scrutiny. We shall no doubt have to fix up an AGM soon.

Tuesday 23rd April 2019

Just a brief post-Easter update this week for you…

Alan peers into the fireman's side clackbox on CumbriaWork at Preston last Wednesday concentrated on following up issues brought to light from the test steaming of Cumbria two days earlier. Alan is seen here peering into the fireman’s side clackbox to try and identify the cause of a small steam pass.

John Dixon spent an uncomfortable time underneath the loco on replacing cotters which hold the ashpan in place. He then set about cleaning out the slide bar trimmings on Friday. Cumbria is due for another steam test tomorrow (Wednesday) and is then due to take part in the RSR’s Spring Steam Gala this weekend. After that, if all is well, it should shortly be heading off to Embsay to join the FRT’s GWR 0-6-2T No. 5643 which is currently holding the fort there until reinforcements arrive.

Work on our Fowler 0-4-0DM Fluff continues and it is hoped to lift out the engine in the not-too-distant future, assuming that a shunt can be arranged.

Phil Scales and John Davis at work on Wootton Hall's tender tankFinally, outside the shed, work has continued on cleaning off and painting of Wootton Hall‘s recently purchased tender tank. In action on this are Phil Scales and John Davis (above) and Ed Tatham (below).Ed paints Wootton Hall's tender tank


Monday 15th April 2019

John Dixon fits the drivers side water valve on CumbriaThe Trust’s ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST Cumbria was once again the centre of attention this last week as final preparations were made for a test steaming. The loco had a second washout on Wednesday and the mudhole doors and washout plugs were refitted. Alan finished fitting the regulator quadrant and┬áJohn Dixon is seen here fitting the driver’s side water valve.

Phil Bell touches up the paint on Cumbria's nameplatePhil Scales and Phil Bell continued the task of sprucing up the appearance of the loco with the latter touching up the black paint on the nameplates.

On Friday Ed pulled Cumbria out of the shed, cleaned the firebox and emptied the ashpan. The boiler was also filled but it was decided to delay the test steaming until today when there would be more people to assist and more time for testing.

Cumbria back in steam with members Keith, Ade and Dave StarkieAde appeared bright and early this morning and had Cumbria lit up by 8.15. Steam was raised just after 1.oo and the pressure brought up slowly. Tim and Matt Jervis were looking at the drain cocks closely with fingers crossed as steam built up, to detect whether the regulator or ‘J’ pipe were passing steam, but all was well. The afternoon was spent chasing up steam leaks on cab fittings and then moving the loco to test the regulator and brakes. Tim tightens the steam brake pipe to Cumbria's manifoldTim is seen here tightening up the brake steam pipe to the manifold whilst Alan looks on.

On the whole the exercise was deemed to be a success although there is a list of things to follow up on Wednesday when the engine has cooled down.

Wootton Hall's new gauge frame castingsA notable arrival this week has a package with the castings for Wootton Hall’s gauge frame.

Part of the historic collection?Finally, when Tim went to the NRM at Shildon on Saturday for a training day, he came across an upstand advert inviting volunteers to work with the NRM’s historic collection featuring none other than Alan – is he now officially part of the NRM’s historic collection, we wonder?!

Monday 8th April 2019

Ade and John Dixon propel Cumbria's 'J 'pipe up a ladder whilst Phil Bell hauls on the safety rope and Alan watches on in the backgroundThe main centre of activity this week has once again been the Trust’s ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST Cumbria as members have expedited the completion of the remainder of the winter maintenance programme. The key event on Wednesday was the task of re-installing the ‘J’ pipe and regulator valves. The photo shows John and Ade in the process of pushing the extremely heavy ‘J’ pipe rung by rung up a ladder whilst Phil Bell hauls on the safety rope to prevent it from dropping back down the ladder. It was a little unconventional, but was deemed to be the safest method – and what’s more, it worked. Matt Jervis was on top of the saddle tank to receive the ‘J’ pipe and secure it back on to the main steam pipe. By the end of Wednesday all was ready for the dome cover to be re-fitted, which was achieved on Friday.

John Dixon gives one of the water valves a good cleanAlan tackled the job of re-fitting the regulator stuffing box on Friday and John Dixon had completed the servicing of the water valves. Phil Bell and Roger re-fitted the balance pipe after a through clean. Phil Scales applies a coat of black paint to Cumbria's running board.The last job on Friday was the completion by Tim of the fresh coat of black paint on the running board and cab steps that had been started on Wednesday by both Phils.Cumbria, with shiny running board, ready to leave the FRT shed

Cumbria on the way into the running shed on Saturday morningRuss Walker kindly offered to arrange the movement of Cumbria around to the running shed on Saturday morning so that a further wash-out can be carried out this week, the plugs and mudhole doors be re-inserted, and (hopefully) a fire lit. It will be a case of fingers crossed as we check out the results of everyone’s labours over the past three months.

Caliban's boiler over the pit in the FRT shed with FR 20's boiler in the backgroundCumbria has been replaced in the shed by Caliban‘s boiler, which can be seen here with FR 20’s boiler in the background.

Wootton Hall's tender shows off its new undercoat greenWork has, as ever, continued on Fluff, the former L&NWR platform bench seat, and Wootton Hall‘s tender tank, which has now received a fresh coat of undercoat green on the first side to be cleaned off.


Monday 1st April 2019

Caliban's re-bore underway on tday, 26th MarchBryn Engineering started the re-bore of Caliban‘s cylinders last Tuesday and continued into Wednesday. There is still some work to be completed which will be done shortly.

The main focus of activity has been on Cumbria which needs to be back in traffic at Embsay as soon as possible. Tim has completed his work on the ‘J’ pipe valve faces and Bill Norcross has machined two new bolts to hold the ‘J’ pipe in place which replace existing bolts with worn threads. It is hoped to be able to put this all back together this next week.

The clack on the newly refurbished fireman’s side clack box has been ground in and Alan Middleton has silver soldered a new joint on to one of the brake valve pipes. Alan silver soldering a joint on one of Cumbria's brake valve pipesAgain, the brake valve should be re-mounted this next week.

Phil Bell starts the job of undercoating Cumbria's running boardThe running board and cab steps have received a coat of grey undercoat paint, courtesy of Phil Bell (pictured) and Roger.Undercoat now applied!

Outside, work has continued on cleaning old paint from the new tender tank for Wootton Hall. Six repaired and two new springs for the tender have been delivered to Preston, and news from CMS Cepcor in Leicestershire is that the wheelsets have been in the lathe for re-profiling.

John Dixon undertook a variety of minor work on FR 20’s frames whilst anyone else spare this last week has continued the work on Fluff‘s frames.

With thanks for the image, from Embsay's Facebook siteFinally, over at the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway, 5643 was, as planned, in steam for Mother’s Day.