Monday 29th January 2024

Apologies for the lack of a blog over the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately, a member of the blog team has been knocked by an extended Christmas lurgy that seems to be doing the rounds. However, we are pleased to be able to report that others have escaped illness and that work has continued apace at Preston over the past few weeks.

Phil Bell working on 5643's fireboxAs ever, most of the resources have been devoted to the continuing overhaul of Great Western Railway 0-6-2T No. 5643. Phil Bell and John Davis have been grinding down the exterior heads of the stays that need to be renewed on the boiler and Keith has been in the firebox to attack the stays from that direction. The result is that Ron Crowe has now drilled out and removed the first stay with many still to come!

Ed Tatham working inside 5643's framesOther members have been busy continuing the work of cleaning and painting the frames, including Ed…

Jon Dixon painting one of 5643's wheels… while Jon Dixon has been wielding the paintbrush on the wheels.

Another step forward with the overhaul of 5643 has been the white metalling of the front right hand brass by Keith and Jimmy Dutton, which has now been located in the axlebox ready for machining

Chair being re-upholstered for GER No. 5Anne and Phil Burton have continued their work on the chairs from Great Eastern Railway royal saloon No. 5, a photo here showing one of the chairs reupholstered in horse chestnut leaf moquette as an example of how they would look with this pattern.

Whilst most of the recent attention has been concentrated on 5643, we are pleased to be able to report that the purchase of a second coupling rod for Great Western Railway ‘Hall’ class 4-6-0 locomotive No. 4979 Wootton Hall has been concluded and also that a brand new chimney arrived last Monday, having been supplied by the Severn Valley Railway.

Newly arrived Peckett 0-4-0ST No. 2103 of 1950Finally, elsewhere at the Ribble Steam Railway site, Peckett 0-4-0ST No. 2013 of 1950 has arrived, having been purchased by Furness Railway Trust member Jimmy Dutton, who also owns Hawthorn Leslie 0-6-0ST Linda.

Monday 8th January 2024

A belated Happy New Year to all our readers!

We are pleased to be able to report that progress has continued on projects over the Christmas and New Year period, even though some of our volunteers have been struck down by the Christmas lurgy.

5643's frames being cleaned and repaintedThe cleaning and repainting of the main frames of 5643 has continued, assisted by the frames being jacked up to release the radial truck wheels which are now ready for despatch for reprofiling of the tyres.

The new drawers for GER No. 5 being stained and varnishedPhil Bell has been producing replacement drawers for Great Eastern Railway royal saloon No. 5, the wood for which has been stained and received its first coat of varnish.

John Davis refitting Fluff's brake blocksPhil and John Davis have also been re-assembling Fluff’s brake hangers and brake blocks.

Members should now have received their copy of the latest edition of The Iron Horse, although some are in the mess room for collection by regular working members. The facility for online payment for subscriptions has made a good start and the receipt of a number donations towards the Trust’s projects is very heartening. Thanks to you all.

Live Steam in action on New Year's EveFinally, our folk group, Live Steam, made its annual New Year’s Eve appearance at the Engine Inn, Cark-in-Cartmel with George coming up from Derby to assist Alan, Tim and Pete. Despite Pete and Tim being under the weather, the evening seemed to go down well with the audience and a useful addition to funds was earned.