Monday 29th April 2024

Ade with 5643's radial wheelsetThe radial wheelset of Great Western Railway 0-6-2T No. 5643 was
despatched to the East Lancashire Railway last Wednesday where the tyres
will be reprofiled on their lathe. Ade retrieved the wheels out of the Furness
Railway Trust’s shed at Preston through some neat manoeuvring with the fork
lift truck.

Neatly loaded on to the wagon next to Stewart Waugh's wheelsetsThe wheelset was then hoisted aboard the lorry which was handily equipped
with a hi-ab lift. The lorry also returned two springs to the ELR and picked up
two wheelsets belonging to FRT member Stewart Waugh which were also
going for re-profiling of the tyres.

Sam fits the new battery to GER No. 5Great Eastern Railway royal saloon No. 5 is due back in service on the RSR
this next Sunday for the serving of cream teas. It has previously been using a
battery borrowed from one of the Ribble Steam Railway’s carriage fleet but a
brand new battery has now been purchased for the vehicle which Sam fitted
last Wednesday.

Keith drilling holes in the new plate for Wootton Hall's tender tankSome further progress has been made by welding contractor Ian Massey on
replacing steelwork in the tender tank of Great Western Railway 4-6-0 No.
4979 Wootton Hall. Keith is seen here drilling a new piece of steel to be
welded in the floor of the coal space.

The coal space in Wootton Hall's tender tank with new steelwork ready to be welded inThe above photo illustrates that there are still some more areas to be tackled
on each side of the coal space.

Monday 22nd April 2024

Dave in action at Appleby on the 23rd March 2010We start this week’s blog with the very sad news that David Rimmer, former Membership Secretary and then (extremely) long time Treasurer of both the Lakeside Railway Society and the Furness Railway Trust, passed away at the age of 80 last Thursday, 18th April, after being diagnosed with cancer. David was a guard, booking office clerk and locomotive cleaner at Haverthwaite during the earlier days and became a stalwart of the Carriage and Wagon gang. He was also involved in the restorations of Great Western Railway 0-6-2T No. 5643 and Furness Railway No. 20 as well as being a keen supporter of the Wootton Hall project. David’s presence at Preston was reduced in more recent times as he took on caring for his brother John who had suffered a stroke. However, although retiring from being Treasurer and a Trustee at the end of March 2022, he continued to look after the Gift Aid claims for the Trust. His loss will, we are sure, be keenly felt by all those who have worked with David over the best part of 50 years.

David’s funeral will be held at 2. 45 pm on Wednesday, 1st May at Springwood Crematorium, Springwood Avenue, Allerton L25 7UN. His family hopes that as many as possible of David’s friends will be able to attend. Our sincere condolences go to brother John, sister Judith, brother in law Mike and the rest of David’s family.

Sam in charge of the hose during FR 20's boiler washoutLast Wednesday saw FR 20 being given a boiler washout in preparation for its forthcoming cold inspection by the boiler surveyor on the 3rd May. Sam was in charge with the hose.

John and Jon in action with the hose and water pumpJohn Dixon fed the hose to Sam whilst Jon Dixon operated the fire pump which he had coaxed into action after giving it a full service.

Keith clearing stay debris from 5643's fireboxRon Crowe has been drilling out more studs on the firebox backhead of 5643 whilst Keith has been removing more stays, seen here clearing stay debris from the foundation ring of the firebox.

Jon Dixon painting 5643's buffer beam u/c redOnce he had finished his work with the fire pump, Jon Dixon took on painting 5643’s buffer beam with undercoat red.

Monday 15th April 2024

John Dixon fixes lifting chains below 5643's chimneyLast Wednesday saw Great Western Railway 0-6-2T No. 5643’s boiler being dragged out of the FRT shed during a gap in the rain showers in order to remove the chimney, manifold and safety valves. John Dixon went inside the smokebox to fix the chains below the chimney.

The chimney comes offKeith went on top to guide Paul Wood, Ribble’s RRV operator, using the microphone and earphones clamped to his head to communicate.

The manifold and safety valves followed without problems, but an attempt to remove the smokebox door failed when the locating pin in the hinges refused to move despite strenuous efforts by John with the lump hammer and a degree of nervousness from Tim who was holding the drift in place with his fingers! Another attempt will be made at a later date using a fork lift truck.

The new cylinder liners for 5643The two new cylinder liners for 5643 arrived at Preston on Wednesday and now await fitting.

Alan Middleton inspects Caliban's valve events on Wednesday, 10th April 2024Peckett 0-4-0ST Caliban was also moved a small distance last Wednesday in order for Alan to check its valve moments before the cylinder covers are re-fitted.

Finally, Sam and John have been working to prepare Furness Railway locomotive No. 20 for its annual boiler examination whilst Jon Dixon has been servicing the fire pump in anticipation of washing out the boiler.

Monday 8th April 2024

We start this week’s blog with the sad news that long time member and former Press and Publicity Officer of the Lakeside Railway Society (forerunner of the FRT) Michael Cooke has passed away recently at the age of 85. Despite suffering from ill health, Michael had kept in touch in recent years, sponsoring the purchase of some storage shelves and supplying the mess room with tea bags for the benefit of volunteers. The funeral will be private and we send our condolences to Michael’s family.

Sim Dixon cleans 5643's eccentrics in preparation for re-paintingThe overhaul of Great Western Railway 0-6-2T No. 5643 is making steady progress with Sim Dixon alongside brother Jon (out of picture) cleaning the eccentrics prior to re-painting them.

Keith using gas to cut out old stays from 5643's fireboxKeith has been in the firebox using gas to cut out old stays.

Tim has applied yet another layer of undercoat green paint to the left hand tender tank side of GWR No. 4979 Wootton Hall whilst Sam Middleton and John Dixon dropped the water from Furness Railway No. 20’s boiler and cleaned the firebox, smokebox and ashpan in preparation for the boiler’s forthcoming 14 month examination by the boiler surveyor.

Monday 1st April 2024

It’s no joke! It’s the 1st April and we are already a quarter of the way through 2024!

Fred's collection of booksFirst of all, we would like to thank the family of the late Fred Jones who have generously donated Fred’s considerable collection of books to the FRT. The books have now been sorted into size and stored on the recently acquired shelves in the mess room whilst we take stock of what we have. A wonderful gift.

Ed working on 5643's cab roofThe overhaul of Great Western Railway 0-6-2T No. 5643 continues with Ed taking the opportunity of some fine weather (is that really blue sky?) to work on 5643’s cab which is outside the workshop.

John Dixon busy with 5643's motionJohn Dixon unexpectedly finds himself the subject of yet another photo whilst attending to 5643’s motion.

Keith removes another stayMeanwhile Keith has been applying some heat to remove one of the firebox stays.

Sam preparing joints for Caliban's valve covers. That is quite some protrusion from his neck!Sam has been preparing new joints for Peckett 0-4-0ST Caliban’s valve covers.

Tim applying a second coat of undercoat to the left hand of Wootton Hall's tender tank.Tim has been applying a second coat of green undercoat to the left-hand side of Great Western Railway 4-6-0 No. 4979 Wootton Hall’s tender tank having, after the first coat, decided that the tank side needed considerably more work to repair indentations.

Second coat of undercoat green drying in the shedThe result looks far more acceptable.