A short blog this week to keep you updated before some of us join in the school holiday rush to the seaside.
Firstly, don’t forget the Annual General Meeting which takes place in the FRT shed at Preston tomorrow (Tuesday) evening commencing at 7.30. Don’t forget to bring your copy of the Trustees’ Annual report and Accounts and, even if you don’t fancy the agenda, it is worth turning up for Alison’s sandwiches and cakes!
It was more normal business last week in the shed at Preston, with further work on painting Caliban‘s wheelsets and also a start being made on the task of lining out FR 20’s driving wheels. Ade can be see here studiously tapping holes on the top of Caliban‘s spring hangers to remove any traces of paint.
John Dixon continued his work on sorting the niggling loose bolts on FR 20’s running board whilst Phil Bell applied more undercoat paint to the motion. No doubt we’ll shortly have to move the engine forward a few feet in order to attend to those parts of the wheels and motion that cannot currently be reached. Alan took the opportunity to explore the ‘J’ pipe on FR 20’s boiler to evaluate whether there was any need to remove it.
Howard, John Davis and Phil Scales have continued work on Fluff, with more primer paint being applied to the inner frames and more progress on repairing some of the components. Keith has also been busy repairing Wootton Hall‘s tender tanks.
There is no plan for a blog next week owing to the aforementioned holidays. And talking of holidays, we include below a couple of snaps from Paul Balshaw who is visiting Minneapolis St. Paul. He seems to have found a tender to bring back to Preston for repair (oh no!!) and a Q3 which is being re-built.
Work on cleaning and painting FR 20’s frames and motion continued this week. Phil Bell made use of the pit to clean up under the motion.
John Dixon, the seemingly headless man, painted under the running board, with Roger continuing the process on Friday.
Tim lined out the tender wheels.
Jimmy Dutton took on the task of white metalling the tender bearings and is seen here pouring the white metal and with a finished bearing.
We were hoping that Bill Norcross would be able to start machining the bearings, but he appeared on Wednesday to relate a sorry tale of falling down an embankment and into the river by the cricket ground at Sedbergh where Lancashire were playing Durham in the County Championship. Fortunately he survived the ordeal but will be off for a while whilst his cracked ribs recover..! We wish him a speedy rceovery.
Ade continued to clean and prepare Caliban‘s frames for the next coat of paint.
Outside, Fred and Tim unveiled on the wheelsets the ‘Pacific Blue’ paint shade that will adorn Caliban when completed.
Finally, some unexpected news this week is that some components have actually been put back on Fluff! John Davis can be seen here with the clutch control mechanism which has been re-fitted after attention.
We start this week’s blog with a couple of FRT projects which are being undertaken in the RSR’s workshop.
Alan Preston and Jim Hanmer have been busy overhauling Fluff‘s engine.
All the pistons have been removed from the liners and given a good soaking in the component wash bath. It is hoped that this process will release the piston rings which, like everything else on Fluff it seems, have seized.
Alan is seen here with one of the piston rods.
Bill Norcross has been machining out recesses in FR 20’s tender axle bearings in order that they can receive white metal.
Over to the FRT shed where work has continued on cleaning FR 20’s engine frames, and paint has been applied on Wednesday and Friday by Phil Bell, John Dixon, Roger Benbow and a rare visit on Friday from Neil.
Paul Balshaw and Howard have been working on Fluff‘s frames with Phil Bell also turning his hand (excuse the pun) to the handbrake control rod. Outside, John Davis and Keith have been working on Wootton Hall‘s new tender tank whilst Tim and Fred have been painting Caliban‘s wheelsets. The latter are now turning bright blue with undercoat paint.
Keith has been over to Embsay and reports that a problem with 5643’s vacuum pump has now been identified and fixed and that the loco should be back in traffic this next weekend.
It would be remiss of us not to refer to the step change in train service that took place yesterday on the former Furness Railway. We show a photo of a brand new Class 195 waiting to be ceremonially waved away from Barrow station to Manchester Airport, one of what has doubled to eleven such weekday services that were introduced as part of the timetable change.
Finally, all members should have received an invitation to the Annual General Meeting on the 16th July. Let us know if you haven’t. Also, The Iron Horse has been proof read and is now back with the printer. Hopefully, they will be sent out in the next week.