Monday 25th November 2019

Roger removes a stubborn brake hanger pinPhil Bell has now taken on the task of removing the left-hand brake gear from FR 20’s tender and Roger is seen here lending a hand to remove one of the stubborn brake hanger pins.

This will enable some more of the tender chassis as well as the brake gear to be cleaned and repainted. Fred cleans up one of FR 20's tender brake rodsFred immediately went into action to clean off one of the brake rods.

John Dixon cuts a hole in the floor of FR 20's bootJohn Dixon has now turned his attention to repairing and modifying the rear draw hook on the tender. Whilst the tender does have an access hole to the pin that holds the brake gear to the draw spring, it wasn’t sufficiently large to enable a stubborn split pin to be removed in such a confined space. The draw hook pin exposedSo John has now created a large access hole in the bottom of the rear tender locker and as a result the draw hook has now been removed.

Meanwhile Alan managed to locate most of the blanking plates for FR 20’s boiler ready for fitting prior to the hydraulic test.

John Davis paints some of Fluff's control leversJohn Davis has been painting some more of Fluff‘s components.

Adrian was busy shunting coaches last Wednesday ready for the Santa Specials which start this weekend so was unable to progress with Caliban‘s overhaul. Keith and Fred have been back to Embsay once again to attend to 5643 after its washout and the loco was test steamed yesterday.  Thanks to the Embsay Loco Department Facebook page for this atmospheric image:5643's steam test at Embsay

Cumbria was in charge of the first of the Santa Specials there yesterday, and Embsay posted this video leaving Bolton Abbey.

Keith with the left hand cover for the lubrication valves on Wootton Hall's smokeboxBack at Preston Keith has been fabricating new covers for the lubrication valves which are situated on the side of Wootton Hall‘s smokebox. Having successfully made the left-hand one (above) he then spent Sunday progressing the bigger one for the right hand side.Test fitting the right hand valve cover

Also on Sunday Neil brought his daughter Caitlin for her first volunteering visit, and what better way to start her career than under FR 20’s tender cleaning off the muck while the brake gear is out of the way?!Caitlin working on FR 20 This baptism didn’t seem to put her off: she says she wants to come back and do more!

Live Steam at the Dick FestFinally, after their practice last Monday, Live Steam were in action for three gigs at the Ulverston Dickensian Festival over the weekend and are seen in action as they perform the Festival Finale yesterday evening. They have already been invited back to perform at all three venues next year!


Monday 18th November 2019

Phil Bell and John Davis drilling holes in Fluff's running boardFluff‘s makeover continues to progress at a steady pace. Phil Bell and John Davis have been drilling the new plate for the running board.

John Davis painting Fluff's running boardJohn then went on to give the plate a couple of coats of paint.

Fluff's newly painted wheelsMeanwhile David Rimmer has been painting the wheels.

One of the many tweaks that are being applied to FR 20 during its overhaul has been the addition of more dummy rivet heads by John Dixon. Horror of horrors, it had been noted by the rivet counter amongst us that one side of the tender possessed a few more rivets than the other!!! We can now all breathe easy now that this error has been rectified, even though it took 20 years to spot the error! John Dixon cleans up the new rivet heads on Fr 20's tenderJohn is seen tidying up the rivet heads after welding them into place.

Ed cleaning his nutsTim has been on top of the tender to apply a coat of red oxide and Ed Tatham has been cleaning up the nuts that secure the tender tank on to the frames.

Phil and Roger re-fitting FR 20's tender brake gearPhil and Roger spent Friday starting the process of re-fitting the right hand tender brake gear after it had been cleaned and painted. The left hand brake gear had been deliberately left in place in order to act as a guide for the re-fitting process. Turned out to be a wise move!

Fred cleaning up Wootton Hall's tender fillerFred spent last Friday cleaning up Wootton Hall‘s tender filler top after a new section of ring had been welded into place.

Wootton Hall's firehole door mechanism fittedThe recently acquired firehole door mechanism for Wootton Hall has now been cleaned, painted and fitted.

Keith painting Wootton Hall's tender topKeith is seen here putting a spot more paint on Wootton Hall‘s tender top.

Adrian has been making some more progress with Caliban and Keith and Fred have again been over to Embsay to complete the washout of 5643.

Live Steam in a practice sessionWith the Ulverston Dickensian Festival coming up next weekend, Live Steam have been practicing in earnest this afternoon around a plate of mince pies. They will be performing at the Old Friends pub on Saturday evening and then at Abbeyfield House after lunch on Sunday. Finally they will bring down the curtain on the festival on the outdoor Theatre Street stage late on Sunday afternoon. Let’s hope that the weather stays fine.

Tomorrow will see the Trustees meet at Over Kellett where there will no doubt be another pile of food to tackle before they are allowed to go home. However, there might well be the odd left over pieces of cake for Ade on Wednesday!


Monday 11th November 2019

Wootton Hall's tender wheels in the shedThe wheels for Wootton Hall‘s tender have arrived in the shed ready for the new bearings to be scraped in. We are now in the process of procuring some lubricating pads although it seems that there is quite a lead time for these items.

Keith drilling one of Wootton Hall's tender footplate floor supportsMore items have appeared from the forge at Kirkham this week. Keith has been drilling holes in the newly-arrived steel supports for the tender footplate floor.

Footplate floor supports in positionThey have now been fitted into position although some adjustment to their shape is necessary before final fitting.

Howard attending to one of Fluff's axleboxesWork continues on painting the inside of Fluff‘s frames and Howard has been attending to the axleboxes.

Alan sizes up the replacement manifold for CalibanA second-hand replacement manifold for Caliban was the centre of Alan’s attention last Wednesday. It seems that it has been some considerable time since the various components have been dismantled… Give me a long enough leverThe old adage says “give me a long enough lever and I will move the earth”…. I'll get it moved!!… and so Alan attempted to put this into practice with a series of pipes added to the handle of his stilsons! Adrian, famed for his dismantling abilities, joined to finish off the job.

Roger cleaning one of FR 20's tender spectacle plate glassesFred finished cleaning out the top well at the back of FR 20’s tender and Roger completed the rather extended task of removing the protective gaffer tape from FR 20’s spectacle glasses – we won’t be doing that again in a hurry!

John Dixon painting the inside of FR 20's tender framesThe tender tank is almost ready for painting and Phil Bell is also nearly ready to re-fit the first half of the brake rigging after cleaning and painting. John Dixon has again been underneath the tender and is seen giving the inside of the frames some paint.

Finally, as forecast last week, Keith and Fred have been across to Embsay to give 5643 a wash-out prior to the operation of the Santa Specials there.


Monday 4th November 2019

John Dixon puts black gloss on the bottom of the tender footplate floorThe front of FR 20’s tender has come back together now after a strip down for cleaning of the drag box and buffing gear. John Dixon is seen applying a coat of gloss black paint to the underside of the footplate floor last Wednesday before it was lifted back into position on Friday.

Phil Bell paints the inside of FR 20's tender stepsPhil Bell has been back underneath the tender to give the inside of the steps a coat of black paint.

Phil Bell with a selection of FR 20's brake rigging for paintingWe let Phil out from the pit on Friday and he is seen here with a selection of the brake gear for painting.

Even FR 20's brake blocks get a coat of paint, from John DavisEven the brake blocks are getting a coat of paint, from John Davis.

Roger about to remove protective tape from one of the spectacle plate glasses on FR 20's tenderWith the footplate floor back in place, Roger has been removing protective black tape from the spectacle glass windows.

The tender upper almost complete with John Dixon attaching one of the top footplate hand railsJohn has re-installed the hand rail stanchions and is seen fitting one of the top hand rails.

Fred applying a cup wire brush to the well on the back of FR 20's tenderFred spent all of Friday on top of the tender cleaning up the rear well with his trusty cup wire bush.

John Davis applies black gloss paint to the inside of Fluff's framesThere was more progress on Fluff with undercoat on one of the wheelsets and some gloss black paint from John Davis on the inside of the frames.

Finally, Keith is hoping to go across to Embsay next Saturday and Sunday to undertake a washout on 5643. Please let Keith know if you can assist.