FR 20’s tender chassis was duly reunited with its wheels last Wednesday although the blustery wind did its damndest to try and make life difficult for us.
However, patience paid off and, after a successful struggle in damp conditions to re-fit the brake gear, the tender was shunted around to the FRT shed late afternoon after Ade had shunted around some more coaches for the RSR.
The good news is that the tender appeared to roll well after the work to convert its bearings from brass to white metal. We hope that this is a good omen for the future. Other news on FR 20 is that Andy Booth has made more progress in beading over the tubes in the boiler and hopes to complete the task this week.
With FR 20’s tender wheels now tucked under its frames, Ade wasted no time in bringing Caliban‘s wheels into the FRT shed for the newly white-metalled bearings to be scraped in.
It is now intended to rearrange the line up on road three of the FRT shed this coming Wednesday so most of Friday was spent in tidying up the shed in readiness for the shunt. Whilst you don’t get quite the same satisfaction from doing this kind of housework, it should make life much better for us as we move towards this winter’s work programme. We show here a last look at the FRT shed before items are moved around, with FR 20’s boiler (left), Fluff‘s frames (foreground), Caliban (distant left), FR 20’s engine frames and Wootton Hall‘s tender frames (distant right).
There is disappointing news this week in that Jim Hanmer and Alan Preston are having to abandon their current attempts to resurrect Fluff‘s engine, mainly because of the difficulty in tracing replacement components. The engine is being reassembled in its current state and we will have to consider whether it is worth further pursuing the repair of the existing engine or perhaps finding a suitable replacement. In the meantime work has continued in rebuilding the platework and assembling other components, with Phil Bell giving the newly fabricated cab sides a coat of red oxide.
Finally, on the sales side, Alison informs us that she now has a brand new badge depicting Caliban for sale. Please contact either Alison or Alan if you would like to purchase one, with a special members’ rate available.