Monday 20th May 2019

With Cumbria now safely delivered to the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway last Monday, it was time this week for the Trust’s working members to concentrate on other jobs at Preston. The following photos give a flavour of what has been going on.

Phil Bell reassembles Fluff's handbrakeFluff‘s brake shaft, which controls the brake rods that apply the brake shoes, has been proving difficult to rotate. In short, it has seized up because of lack of use. The application of a 14lb sledge hammer proved to be fruitless so Phil Bell decided that it would be helpful to re-mount the hand brake handle and pedestal to apply pressure and we are pleased to be able to report that this was a success.

John Dixon cleans the underside of FR 20's tenderThe seven wheelsets that were sent away for machining are due to be picked up from Coalville next Wednesday and are likely to be delivered to Preston the following Wednesday. In anticipation of this, John Dixon has been cleaning the underside of FR 20’s tender so that it can be painted before the wheelsets are fitted.

Keith cuts up the remains of Wootton Hall's old tender tankKeith has been cutting up the last portions of the base from Wootton Hall‘s old tender tank….

Fred paints the inside of Wootton Hall's new tender tank…. while Fred has been applying black gloss paint to the upper inside parts of the new tender tank….

John Davis removes rivets from Wootton Hall's tender tank.…. meanwhile, John Davis has been removing rivets from the bottom of the tender tank coal space so that new plate can be fitted….

The new water hose connectors for Wootton Hall's tender…. finally, the new water hose connectors for Wootton Hall‘s tender have been made up and await silver soldering of the flanges.

The Trustees meet tomorrow evening at Alison’s house in order to tackle the usual mountain of refreshments as well as to agree and approve the Trustees’ Annual Report and Accounts for 2018. Hopefully it will also be possible to set a date for the Annual General Meeting.

Advance notice here that there won’t be a blog next week because the editorial team is taken up with other duties during the Bank Holiday and half term week – OK there’s a holiday beckoning!

Monday 13th May 2019

Alan inspects Cumbria's left hand piston glandAde got up bright and early again last Wednesday to put Cumbria over the pit at Preston before putting a small fire in the firebox ready for a test steaming. Alan and Tim then dismantled the left hand piston rod gland and found the metallic packings to have fragmented, confirming this as the cause of a steam leak when the loco was under load. Soft packing material was located and fitted prior to steam being raised to maximum. Tim and then Ade took Cumbria for trips up and down the yard in order to test the new packings and the steam brake before Ade loaded up the spare springs.

Friday saw John Davis and Phil Bell descend on Cumbria to clear the coal bunker and to give it a final clean and polish. Tim meanwhile removed the lubrication pipes to the piston rod and valve spindles to be cleaned out. The oil pots were replenished with fresh oil and the trimmings cleaned, primed with oil and replaced to give a steady satisfying drip of oil over the rods and spindles.

Fred with paint brushWork has again continued on Fluff, FR 20 and Wootton Hall. Fred is seen here painting Wootton Hall‘s tender tank in between heavy showers of rain. News from Leicestershire is that machining work on the wheelsets for Caliban and the tenders for Wootton Hall and FR20 has been completed and arrangements are now being made for their return to Preston. One of the additional tasks undertaken was removing a score from one of the crank pins on Caliban‘s wheels. Jeff at CMS Cepcor kindly sent us this short video of the crank pin being machined – click on this link to view.

Cumbria heading for Embsay 130519Today saw Cumbria loaded and despatched to Embsay where it will join the Trust’s GWR 0-6-2T No. 5643. We show here a photo of 5643 double heading with Illingworth, also a recent temporary resident at Preston, courtesy of the Embsay Locomotive Department Facebook page.


Monday 6th May 2019

Just a very brief Bank Holiday update for you.

More work was carried out on FR 20’s engine frames, including the chipping away of loose concrete on the cylinder block by Phil Scales.

Alan spent some more time investigating Cumbria‘s left hand clackbox to try and eliminate any showing of steam at the injector tail pipe. It is proposed on Wednesday to re-pack the left hand piston gland, which started to blow over the RSR’s Steam Gala, before conducting another steam test. It is expected that Cumbria will be then heading off to Embsay shortly to join the FRT’s 0-6-2T 5643 for the season.

Stanlow doing the businessAde and Mike set about moving 0-4-0DM Fluff last Wednesday afternoon in order to position it over the pit. Stanlow was brought around from the running shed and, after a complicated set of moves, Caliban‘s boiler was moved out of the shed and then Fluff took its place. The frames of Fluff and Caliban (left rear) in the FRT shed formerly nos. 2 and 1 respectivelyThis should enable the engine to be lifted for overhaul.

Keith working in Wootton Hall's cabAs ever, Keith has been busy with Wootton Hall and is seen here measuring up the cab.

We must mention the sad news that Fylde based folk singer, Alan Bell, passed away a week last Thursday at the age of 84. Alan wrote many fine songs, including the much-covered “Bread and Fishes”, and was Director of the long running Fylde Folk Festival, to which the FRT supplied sound personnel and equipment for 17 years, which in turn helped the Trust’s coffers. Alan’s funeral is at Carlton crematorium at 10.30 this Friday.

Mystery photoFinally we cannot go without resolving the mystery photo from 7 days ago!

Mike Rigg’s shot was taken through one of the holes made in Caliban‘s buffer beam to enable the cylinders to be re-bored.