Monday 21st December 2020

FR 20 with engine and tender reunitedIt has been all change again in the FRT shed this week with a big shunt around the site on Thursday which has enabled FR20’s engine to be reunited with its tender over the pit and for Fluff (and its associated workforce) to be moved into the warmth of the main shed. They have also been joined again by Caliban‘s boiler.

Ed Tatham working to fasten crinolines in the confined space under FR 20's boilerMost of the crinolines were fitted to FR 20’s boiler on Wednesday and one of the front  cladding sheets also fitted to ensure that everything will align with number plate and hand rail fitments. Ed Tatham is seen here fastening one of the crinolines in the confined space under the boiler.

Fred sanding another cladding sheetWe also feature another photo of Fred sanding down a cladding sheet, just to confirm to daughter Helen (who reads our blog) that he hasn’t gone AWOL and that we are still keeping him busy!

Paul Newton working on a cab seat from FluffWork has continued on Fluff with Paul Newton attending to a cab seat.

John Davis carefully painting one of fluff's fittingsJohn Davis has been painting some of the fittings.

The last RSR lighting column about to be removedOutside the shed, the remaining tall lighting column was removed by the Ribble Steam Railway on Wednesday as it was no longer required.

We are pleased to be able to record that there is a welcome appetite by our volunteers to work over the Christmas period and so the following working party dates have been arranged:

Wednesday, 23rd December
Monday, 28th December
Wednesday, 30th December
Friday, 1st January

Finally, the Trustees wish to thank all members for their support during what has been a very difficult 2020 and to wish everyone an enjoyable festive period. We also remember those very frustrated members who, because of the pandemic, have been unable to participate in the Trust’s activities since March and look forward to seeing them again, hopefully in the not too distant future.

Monday 14th December 2020

John Davis and Neil Smith fit the insulation to FR 20's boilerA shorter blog this week but one which records some more visible progress on FR 20. Neil Smith was able to join us on Friday and was soon put to work fitting the fibreglass insulation to FR 20’s boiler. Neil (right) is seen here with John Davis.

Paul newton and John Davis fitting the insulation to FR 20's boilerPaul Newton (left) also gave a hand whilst Tim was kept busy with the sweeping brush down below collecting the bits of fibreglass that inevitably fell to the ground during the progress.

FR 20 with its boiler insulation fittedThe almost finished job is seen here – the former insulation for the top of the dome has gone awol so that needs making up this week with new.  We are hoping that Neil might get a few more days of annual leave to help us get on with the rest of the jobs! The next task will be to fit the crinolines.

Tim getting there with the smokebox preparationsWhen he wasn’t on sweeping up duties, Tim carried on sanding the filler on the smokebox, which still has a bit to do, but is getting there.

Meanwhile Keith was cutting and tapping more metal for Wootton Hall’s tender.

Gavin Renshaw working on the first of the RSR's timeline muralsOutside, local artist Gavin Renshaw, who was featured in the blog earlier this year when he recorded the work being undertaken on Caliban, has been commissioned to paint some timeline murals on the outside of the RSR’s museum. He is seen here at work on the first mural which features Stephenson’s Rocket. The end result should be impressive!

Monday 7th December 2020

John Dixon prepares FR 20's crinolines in readiness for fittingWork has continued to further the ten year overhaul of Furness Railway No. 20. With the boiler now back in the frames, John Dixon has been fettling up the crinolines and making one or two useful modifications to them. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we start putting on the boiler insulation.

Fred rubbing down the first of FR 20's cladding sheetslFred returned to the fray on Friday after the end of the lockdown. He is seen here rubbing down the first of the boiler cladding sheets.

Cladding sheet primed and ready for fittingThis was then primed to cover bare metal. Only another seven sheets to go!

FR 20 receiving attention to the paintwork at the front endTim has been sprucing up the smokebox ready for painting.

Alan Middleton removing blanks from the boilerMeanwhile Alan has been removing blanks from the boiler which were put in place for the hydraulic and out-of-frames steam tests.

Ade painting Caliban's axlesAde has spent some time painting Caliban‘s axles.

John Davis preparing more platework for FluffJohn Davis has been preparing more steelwork for Fluff.

Paul Newton with newly painted components for FluffPaul Newton has been painting some more components for Fluff.

Keith has been busy doing further work on Wootton Hall‘s tender frames in readiness for the time when it can be placed on its wheels.

Finally, there has been disappointing news from both the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Steam Railway and the East Lancashire Railway which have Cumbria and 5643 on hire to them respectively to haul Santa Specials. Unfortunately, both railways have been asked to modify their methods of operations as a result of Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions so were unable to operate this last weekend.