Monday 6th November 2023

Sim and Jon Dixon with the fire pump.As predicted in last week’s blog, the wash out of 5643’s boiler took place last Wednesday. We were able to welcome Sim Dixon for his first working party who, along with twin brother Jon, coaxed the fire pump into life after some tender care. Both Sim and Jon were members of the Lakeside Railway Society fire brigade in the early days at Haverthwaite and they also owned two wartime fire tenders, one of which they still have.

The ensemble of FRT rolling stock with Alen Johnson holding the hoseAde had pulled the various rolling stock out of the FRT shed to enable to the wash out to take place, FR 20’s tender supplying the water as usual. Given the distance involved, there had to be an established signalling system between Sam, who was wielding the hose pipe, and Sim and Jon who were controlling the fire pump. Alen Johnson was on hand to hold the hose in place for Sam.

Andy Booth in 5643's somebox cutting out the first flue tubeAndy Booth came to Preston on Friday with the aim of removing the six flue tubes from 5643’s boiler. These were expected to be stubborn, being screwed into the firebox tubeplate. Andy can be seen at work in the smokebox…

Sam at work in 5643's firebox… whilst Sam gave assistance from the firebox.

The first flue on its way outAndy gets the first of the flues on its way out.

John Dixon and Keith Brewer lend a hand to haul out the flue tubeThe flue is then pulled out of the boiler by John Dixon and Keith.

The flue tube sees daylightA final view as the flue makes its way into daylight, to be followed eventually by the other five flues. A good job done.

John Davis re-painting the cab warning plate from 5643Finally, John Davis has been cleaning 5643’s cab and has repainted the cast plate which warns crews of the perils of looking or walking alongside the cab.