We’re back from holiday after one half of the team being away (nice weather, thank you!) and a little late with the blog owing to the mass of things to do on return from a week of bliss!
The attendance at the AGM held on the 16th July showed a heartening increase on that of the previous year, so thanks to everyone who made the effort to attend. No changes to the Trustees to report and, after all reports had been read and duly received, the main item on the agenda was to try and clear Alison’ supper mountain, which we are glad to be able to report kept Ade very happy. Thanks, Alison. The only dampener on the evening was the discovery that someone had tried to enter the FRT mess hut without a key, which had resulted in a broken lock and a bent door frame. Unfortunately, that meant that none of the assembled throng were able to make entry either and, with due thanks to the RSR, everyone retired to the RSR’s Tea Room for the meeting, refreshments and food.
Members had to resort to a children’s playground table for lunch at the following day’s working party, but we are pleased to be able to report that the man from Preston Locks managed to rectify matters at very reasonable cost in the afternoon and that members will be able to pick up a replacement key for the mess room on their next visit.
Back in the workshop, the overhaul of FR 20 took another step forward with the machining of the tender bearings by Alan Vipond, which had been previously white metalled by Jimmy Dutton. Alan has been busy scraping them in with only one left to do now.
Otherwise it has been business as usual with FR 20’s frames undercoated by John, Phil Bell and Roger whilst Fred has been cleaning up FR 20’s boiler for painting.
Keith has been making new baffles for Wootton Hall’s tender tank and work has again progressed on Fluff.
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.