Monday 27th June 2022

There was more steady progress on projects again this last week.

Ade working on Caliban's valve spindlesAde has been wrestling with Caliban’s valve spindles.

John Davis removing old leatherette from the interior of GER No. 5The overhaul of Great Eastern Railway Royal Saloon GER No. 5 moves on, with John Davis seen here removing the old leatherette to allow more detailed inspection of the interior and then planned replacement by moquette.

John Dixon painting the new gas bottle cageJohn Dixon is nearing completion of the new gas bottle cage, the concrete base for which was laid as planned last Wednesday.

Keith has been back to Bury to assist with the replacement of broken springs on Great Western Railway 0-6-2T locomotive No. 5643. The damaged springs have been sent away for repair and will hopefully soon be back at the East Lancashire Railway.

Finally, we hear that Sam had a good day firing Grant Richie No. 272 on Saturday when he was being assessed as a potential fireman.

No blog next week due to a holiday – yes another holiday!!

Monday 20th June 2022

There was a small gathering at Beetham Crematorium last Friday to say goodbye to Andy MacGregor, with a drink at the Wheatsheaf, Beetham afterwards. A full obituary for Andy, who died on the 18th May at the untimely age of 63, will be included in the next issue of The Iron Horse.

Gas lamp housings and tops all fitted to GER No. 5We are nearing the end of work on the roof of Great Eastern Railway Royal Saloon No. 5. John Dixon is finishing off a few jobs before it will be time to apply several coats of white paint onto the roof. The tops have now been fitted to the gas lamp housings.

The end of the chaise longue that has been removed for reupholsteringPhil and Anne Burton appeared last Wednesday and we are pleased to be able to report that Anne has been making good progress after damaging her arm in a fall away from the railway. The end of the chaise longue has been removed for further investigation prior to being reupholstered.

The transformed woodwork in the corridor of GER 5The woodwork inside the corridor of the coach has been transformed with the removal of old varnish which has been painstakingly carried out by the very patient and dedicated team. Measurements were taken last week with a view to ordering some replacement veneer where it is needed.

Ade has continued his work on Caliban where options for procuring a new piston are being considered. Matt Crabtree working on Wootton Hall's tenderMatt Crabtree was back at work on Wootton Hall’s tender on Saturday where he has been practising his welding skills.

The smoothed-off filler on the left hnd side of Wootton hall's tender tank.The lower part of the left hand tender side has now received a layer of filler to even out all the old paintwork. Good use has been made of the new dustless sanding machine in preparing the surface for a first coat of paint.

John Dixon working on the new gas bottle cageAnother project taking shape has been the creation  of the new gas bottle cage, with John Dixon seen here working on it. Concrete for the base has been ordered for 4 pm this Wednesday afternoon. Bring your wellies if you would like to lend a hand.

Dave Starkie with Alan Middleton and Keith BrewerThis week’s “seats of the week” photo sees Dave Starkie making a welcome return to speak to Alan Middleton and Keith Brewer.

Sam Middleton on Grant Richie No. 272Finally, Sam Middleton is taking his practical firing test this next Saturday. He was spotted having some pre-exam practice on Grant Richie No. 272 last Saturday. Good luck, Sam!

Monday 6th June 2022

Just a short update after the half term holiday break.

We now have details of Andy MacGregor’s funeral. This will take place at Beetham Hall Crematorium, LA7 7BQ, at 12.30 pm on Friday, 17th June. Please pass the message on to those who may not read this blog.

Rain strips, gas lamp housings and torpedo vents refitted on to the roof of GER No. 5Work has continued on Great Eastern Railway Royal Saloon No. 5 where the gas lamp housings and torpedo vents now have been re-fitted to the roof. Again, there has been more progress in refurbishing the interior woodwork.

Further progress has also been made by Matt Crabtree in welding in replacement steelwork into Wootton Hall‘s tender tank. Matthew Owen grinding old steelwork in readiness for inserting a new steel plate.Young Matthew Owen, having achieved a welding certificate, also appeared a week last Wednesday to lend a hand and is seen here grinding rust from the old steelwork in readiness to weld in new plate. Needless to say, Matthew found that welding rusty metal is more of a challenge than the pristine steel found in the college workshop!

FR 20 at Preston Riverside on Sunday, 5th JuneFinally, the Jubilee Weekend saw Furness Railway No. 20 in service at Preston on both the 4th and 5th June, complete with headboard and flags.