Monday 26th August 2019

A quick Bank Holiday update before settling down on the sofa for the last time with Demelza this evening – last edition of Poldark for those that don’t watch it.

Fred painting FR 20's fireboxAndy Booth has completed the expansion of the tubes in the FR 20’s boiler and has been beading them over in the firebox. He will return to complete the job early in September. Meanwhile, Fred has started the job of giving the boiler a coat of paint.

FR 20’s brake rigging has received a couple of coats of paint and it is planned to reassemble the tender axleboxes shortly ready for the tender to be placed back on its wheels. Roger on his knees againRoger has again been on his knees painting the boiler cladding or, as we are assured by John Dixon the correct term is, clothing.

Machined bearing for CalibanAlan Vipond has been machining Caliban‘s newly white metalled bearings ready for them to be scraped in.

New spring hanger pin for CalibanAde, who spent most of last Wednesday shunting carriages, has fitted one of the spring hangers with one of the newly manufactured pins.

JD making new pipe bending vice benchJohn Dixon has been making a new bench for a pipe bending vice.

Phil Bell and one of Fluff's cab sidesAnd Phil Bell has continued his work on Fluff‘s cab platework.

Finally, over at Embsay a hydraulic test has been successfully completed on Cumbria¬†to test the ‘J’ pipe and fireman’s side injector delivery pipe. A boiler washout was being carried out this last weekend in preparation for the loco’s boiler survey.


Monday 19th August 2019

Britannia speeds through LancasterWe arrived at Preston on Wednesday to hear the distant sound of a steam chime whistle and later found out that it was none other than 70000 Britannia on a northbound run through Preston to Carlisle. Just for the record, here is a photo of the loco heading back south through Lancaster at speed with The Lakelander just after 5 pm.

John Dixon paints FR 20's motionTim and John Dixon virtually completed the painting of FR 20’s frames, motion and wheels on Wednesday. John is seen here painting some of the motion.

Gleaming motion on FR 20The fresh gloss paint on the frames and motion now gives it a smart appearance.

FR 20 wheels painted and lined outFinally a painted and lined out wheel.

Roger painting the inside of FR 20's claddingRoger came in on Friday and started the task of cleaning and painting the internal surface of the boiler cladding sheets.

John Dixon fitting new wood to FR 20's front buffer beamJohn has been preparing some new wood to be inserted on top of the front buffer beam where previous area of oak had perished.

Fred taking a breatherFred has continued to work on cleaning up the smokebox and we have a rare photo here of him having a ten minute breather.

Andy Booth is expected to have started today the task of expending the tubes and beading over the ends in the smokebox.

John Davis drilling holes in Fluff's new frame stretcherWork continues apace on Fluff with John Davis drilling holes in the newly inserted steel stretcher plate between the frames.

Phil Bell drilling holes in one of Fluff's new cab sidesPhil Bell has continued the task of drilling holes in one of the new cab sides.

Ade hoisting one of Caliban's axleboxes into positionAde has been testing the fit of the first of his newly fabricated axlebox covers for Caliban. Ade makes mods to the axlebox coverFirst of all he hoisted a test axlebox into position before heading off to the bench with a file to start the process of modification!

Bill Norcross preparing to drill holes in a brass flange for Wootton HallWe are glad to be able to report that Bill Norcross is back from sick leave and he is seen here setting up to drill some holes in a brass flange for Wootton Hall.

Paul Newton continues his work on the L&NWR Preston bench seatPaul Newton came in on Friday to continue his work on the L&NWR seat from Preston station.

Finally, we have news from Charles Adams at Embsay that the machining of Cumbria‘s main and pilot valves is almost complete along with the lapping in of the ‘J’ pipe face.


Monday 12th August 2019

Anyone got a pillow?Work on FR 20 has this last week focused on completing the painting of the engine frames and wheels. Lining out the wheels can be an awkward job and Ade caught Tim trying to make himself comfortable on the floor before finishing off the right rear wheel – you can never find a pillow when you need one!! Meanwhile Alan has finished scraping in the white metalled tender bearings.

Some of Fluff's new metalwork in storeThere has been continuing good progress with Fluff as various components are freed off and prepared for re-fitting. Paul Balshaw has primed some more areas between the frames whilst Phil Bell has been preparing new cab sheets (seen here in store) as well as re-working an existing door sheet that can be re-used.Phil Bell conserving one of Fluff's existing doors

Ade has again been working on Caliban‘s axleboxes and preparing some new steel cover plates for them. Caliban's white metalled bearingsJimmy Dutton has completed the white metalling of the bearings which await machining once Alan has returned from sunning himself in the south of England.

Keith has continued his work on Wootton Hall‘s tender tank and preparing new platework. With a fair amount of welding work now building up, the Trust has purchased some new kit to comply with recent directives regarding weld fume. Stig's brother?Keith is seen here modelling the new welding mask complete with air blower.

Nellie being assembledAlan, John and Tim spent the latter part of Wednesday assembling the new mobile fume extractor. Delivery was certainly very prompt but, unlike a car which you expect to be able to drive away from a salesroom without having to fit the wheels, the same cannot be said for the supposedly mobile fume extractor which turned up with quite a number of subsidiary cardboard boxes containing wheels, tube, extending mechanism, nuts bolts and sealing rings plus (just to confuse) a few bits and pieces that you didn’t actually need. Added to that were various meaty booklets in a wide range of languages with complex diagrams explaining how your A level rated Meccano set should be constructed. Of particular note, there was an alarming warning sign illustrated with a set of teeth that indicated that you had to be careful when releasing the tensioned extending mechanism from tie wraps to prevent yourself receiving a blow in the mouth! Nellie ready for action - hold on to your wigs!We are pleased to be able to report that the extractor was successfully assembled without damage to either the equipment or the volunteers and that Nellie (with the extendable trunk) was tested without managing to inhale any loose wigs…

Over at Embsay, Cumbria is out of traffic for its 14 month boiler survey and also some attention to its regulator and left hand injector amongst other things. Charles Adams has become a member of the FRT and has kindly taken on the role as guardian of the loco whilst it is at Embsay. Charles has drawn up a maintenance list which is being ticked off as individual tasks are completed.

Monday 5th August 2019

Alan with the last bearing for FR 20's tenderThe overhaul of FR 20 continues to make steady progress with Alan working on the last of the newly white metalled bearings for the tender.

John Dixon painting FR 20's reverserJohn Dixon and Tim have been busy putting gloss Indian Red paint on the frames, and undertaking further cleaning and painting of the wheels now that the engine has been moved a few yards further forward.

We have the technology and the hammerWork has also continued on Fluff where components are now being re-fitted. Phil Bell is seen here giving the loco a well aimed hammering under the watchful gaze of Alan, Howard and Paul Balshaw.

Fluff's engine being lowered on to it's plinthhA jig has been made up to mount Fluff‘s engine which is seen here being lowered into place with assistance from Jim Hanmer and Alan Preston.

Howard blowing out his candlesIt was Howard’s birthday on Wednesday and he is seen blowing out the candles on his cake, made by Alison.

Ade trifling with a dessertAde enjoyed sampling one of the dozen trifles that Howard brought along to celebrate the occasion.

Alison's new roundabout being fittedAlison thought that it was her birthday as well when she saw the new roundabout being installed in the children’s playground.

Karen Penny with Wootton HallFred turned up on Friday with a lady whom he and Bob had met during their¬† usual visit to the Take 5 cafe en route to the RSR. Karen Penny is walking around the coast of Britain and Ireland to raise money for Alzeimer’s Research UK and was delighted to be shown around the FRT shed. You can follow Karen’s journey on her Facebook site.

Fred cleaning off FR 20's boilerFred then continued the task of cleaning FR 20’s boiler ready for painting.

Bob pondering over Wootton Hall's reverser handleBob spent more time working on the new reverser handle for Wootton Hall.