Friday 28th August 2020

A day or four late this week due to other distractions, so apologies for the delay.

Keith dismantling brake gear on 5643Work on 5643 has continued at Preston with Keith dismantling more brake gear under a much cleaner locomotive after all the recent work between the frames.

Phil Bell further dismantling the brake gearPhil has then been further dismantling items and cleaning them.

John Davis and Fred Jones socially distancing whilst cleaning 5643Fred and John Davis had another cleaning session on the right hand frames on Friday and are seen here dutifully observing the yellow distancing markers on the floor.

John Dixon repairing studs on FR 20Work has also continued on FR 20 where the removal of all the spring hangers for machining has allowed further cleaning and painting of the frames to take place. John Dixon is seen in a most inelegant pose repairing the blastpipe retaining studs – we suspect he won’t be thanking the photographer!

Time also to reflect on other work that has been going on in recent times.

One of FR 20's lamp bracket convertersJohn appeared after the Covid lockdown with some homework, a couple of lamp bracket converters for FR 20 for such things as DO NOT MOVE signs.

The firebox cladding starting to go onto Wootton Hall Keith has fitted the first piece of firebox cladding on Wootton Hall, carefully allowing for the attachment of the four cone ejector.

A rejuvenated gardenFinally, Ed appeared the previous Wednesday and did a splendid job in putting the nearby garden to rights after it had suffered some lockdown dereliction.

Working parties at Preston continue on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Monday 17th August 2020

Work has continued in the FRT shed at Preston where the excellent insulation has provided some respite against the very un-British heat that we have been experiencing in recent weeks.

John Dixon positions a new spring on FR 20The new springs for FR 20 are still in the course of being fitted, with John Dixon seen here positioning one on to the frames. Further examination of the spring hangers suggested that there has been a small long standing mis-alignment between the spring hangers and the centre pins which support the springs. All the spring hangers have now been removed to enable them to be machined and, hopefully, a perfect fit obtained.

Adrian has been refilling FR 20’s boiler ready for a hydraulic test and Alan has been following up any signs of a dribble.

John Davis feeds a water pipe into the cab of 56435643 was moved on to the pit outside the RSR running shed on the 7th August which enabled the ashpan to be given a thorough clean. John Davis is seen at the bottom of the cab steps feeding a hose pipe into the cab.

Keith with grubby armsKeith’s arms look suitably grubby after the ashpan cleaning.

Phil Bell ready to power wash the framesOnce this had been done, Phil went underneath to undertake some pressure washing between the frames.

Keith making a new cab step plate for 5643Last Wednesday Keith was in the process of replacing the heavily corroded driver’s side cab step plate.

New cab window frame on Wootton HallWootton Hall is now sporting a brand new right hand brass cab window frame which has recently been cast.

Monday 3rd August 2020

We are definitely getting back into the swing of things at Preston after the enforced lay off.

Springing into action (just as well we aren't paid to write this..)Ade fetched around the new engine springs for FR 20 from the RSR’s plant room where they had been in store since delivery during lockdown. Ade caught Tim ‘springing’ into action with a sack truck.

Ade manoeuvring the new springAfter which Ade lifted one of the new springs into position for a test fit.

As ever with new things, a small tweak was required to the new springs to obtain a snug fit within the spring hangers. Some ‘machining’ with an angle grinder subsequently took place. It is hoped to be able to progress the fitting of the new springs further this next week.

John Dixon with refurbed brake pipe for FR 20's tenderElsewhere on FR 20, John has been upgrading some of the tender brake pipework.

Phil Bell cleaning beneath 5643Work has also continued with the cleaning of 5643 and Phil is seen here working in the pit.

Keith surveying the underneath of 5643Keith is also seen here surveying 5643 for future work from the pit.

Fred appeared on Friday and decided to try out the safety wire system that was installed last year. Fred with safety wire harnessHe is seen here awaiting final adjustment to his harness….

Fred atop 5643 cleaning the chimney… and then atop 5643 cleaning its chimney.

Refurbished seating in the RSR TSOOver in the running shed some of the FRT’s team¬† have been installing refurbished seating on the RSR’s TSO no. 5036 and doing a very good job by the looks of it.

Finally, if members are wondering where the copy of the promised latest edition of The Iron Horse magazine is, there was a delay at the printers due to a reduced pandemic staffing level. The magazines have now been received and should be on their way!