A belated Happy New Year to all our readers!
Yes, the blog has taken quite a long break since its last publication on the 17th December. But that does not mean that the Trust’s volunteers have been idle over the Festive period – in fact nothing could be further from the truth as you will see…
Work has continued apace on the overhaul of FR 20, with Alan seen here prising off the front right hand cylinder cover. Both covers were removed with assistance from Ade and, at first sight, it looks as if new pistons rings will be required. Tim has since located the spare set that was ordered over twenty years ago.
Cleaning and painting of the engine’s wheels has also continued with a primer/undercoat of red oxide being visible here.
John Dixon has been cleaning up the toolbox that is usually located on the running board to the right of the smoke box.
The decision was taken to lift the tender to get the axle journals skimmed and polished as these had given some problems in times past. Ade is seen here moving the tender to the unloading road after a massive shunt on the 2nd January. Well done Ade!
Work has also continued on cleaning up Fluff‘s frames and bodywork over the Christmas period and John Davis is seen here at work with Mike Rigg.
Keith has, as ever, been working on Wootton Hall and the left hand ‘Collett style’ cab side is seen here mounted temporarily.
After eight days of playing Christmas songs on the RSR’s Santa Specials before Christmas you would have thought that Alan and Tim would have wanted a rest, but they are seen here with George and Pete performing a successful Live Steam gig at the Engine Inn at Cark-in-Cartmel on New Year’s Eve.
Friday, 4th January brought the good news that FR 20’s boiler and the three Hall tender wheelsets had passed Jim Kennedy’s NDT examination. Jim is seen here at work on the boiler.
And so to yesterday, Monday, 7th January. A crane was at the gate at 09.00 signalling a long day of work at Preston for the team. The first job was to lift FR 20’s tender to release the wheelsets for machining in February. The tender body has, in the meantime, been situated on blocks in the RSR’s car park.
The axleboxes were transferred over to the FRT shed so that the components can be cleaned up. This was an opportunity to use the previously untested parts washer that had been generously donated to the FRT some while ago. After studious reading of the instructions (that’s unusual!) Keith Brewer watches on as John Dixon cleans the axlebox covers.
Late afternoon the newly purchased Collett tender tank arrived from Tyseley.
After some time manoeuvring of the low loader and crane into position, the tank was successfully lifted on to pallets alongside the FRT shed. The photo below shows a winter’s evening scene at Preston as preparations are made for the lift.
Looking forward, there will be another riveting session on Wootton Hall‘s tender frames in the FRT shed on Thursday. Keith and Fred will be travelling over to Embsay on Saturday to undertake some cleaning of 5643 and would welcome offers of assistance.