Monday 9th September 2019

FR 20's tender frames about to be lowered on to its wheelsFR 20’s tender chassis was duly reunited with its wheels last Wednesday although the blustery wind did its damndest to try and make life difficult for us.

FR 20's tender being shunted around to the FRT shedHowever, patience paid off and, after a successful struggle in damp conditions to re-fit the brake gear, the tender was shunted around to the FRT shed late afternoon after Ade had shunted around some more coaches for the RSR.

The good news is that the tender appeared to roll well after the work to convert its bearings from brass to white metal. We hope that this is a good omen for the future. Other news on FR 20 is that Andy Booth has made more progress in beading over the tubes in the boiler and hopes to complete the task this week.

With FR 20’s tender wheels now tucked under its frames, Ade wasted no time in bringing Caliban‘s wheels into the FRT shed for the newly white-metalled bearings to be scraped in.

It is now intended to rearrange the line up on road three of the FRT shed this coming Wednesday so most of Friday was spent in tidying up the shed in readiness for the shunt. Whilst you don’t get quite the same satisfaction from doing this kind of housework, it should make life much better for us as we move towards this winter’s work programme. FRT shed before shuntingWe show¬†here a last look at the FRT shed before items are moved around, with FR 20’s boiler (left), Fluff‘s frames (foreground), Caliban (distant left), FR 20’s engine frames and Wootton Hall‘s tender frames (distant right).

There is disappointing news this week in that Jim Hanmer and Alan Preston are having to abandon their current attempts to resurrect Fluff‘s engine, mainly because of the difficulty in tracing replacement components. The engine is being reassembled in its current state and we will have to consider whether it is worth further pursuing the repair of the existing engine or perhaps finding a suitable replacement. Phil Bell painting one of Fluff's cabs sidesIn the meantime work has continued in rebuilding the platework and assembling other components, with Phil Bell giving the newly fabricated cab sides a coat of red oxide.

New badge of CalibanFinally, on the sales side, Alison informs us that she now has a brand new badge depicting Caliban for sale. Please contact either Alison or Alan if you would like to purchase one, with a special members’ rate available.

Monday 2nd September 2019

As we head into the Autumn period there are signs of things starting to come together with some of our projects.

Axleboxes mounted on FR 20's tender wheelsWednesday saw FR 20’s tender axleboxes being re-assembled and mounted on the journals. This is in readiness for the arrival of a crane this next Wednesday morning when it is planned to place the tender back on its wheels.

This exercise will not only enable the cleaning down and re-painting of the tender and attention to the brake gear to take place in the coming weeks, but will also allow room in the shed for Caliban‘s wheels to be accommodated so that the bearings can be scraped in. Once this is achieved we can look towards lowering Caliban back on to its wheels as well. After that it will be the turn of Wootton Hall‘s tender wheels to come in for its axlebox bearings to be worked upon.

Keith silver solderingWe include a photo this week of Keith silver soldering a flange on to a piece of Wootton Hall‘s injector pipework.

Over at Embsay there has been significant progress with Cumbria. A new regulator gland has been cast and machined following the discovery of a fracture in the old regulator gland. This has now been fitted and packed along with a replacement regulator quadrant.New and old regulator glands for Cumbria

The regulator has been reassembled in the dome after much work to remove side play and to ensure that surfaces are compatible. The hole in the link rod has been opened up to receive a new pin and the main and pilot valves modified to suit. The boiler surveyor will be undertaking the cold inspection of the boiler on Thursday and, subject to a satisfactory report, the boiler will be reassembled for a steam test. Fingers crossed! We are indebted to Charles Adams and Andrew Hirst for their work on Cumbria in recent weeks.