Monday 26th February 2024

We are very sorry to have to start this week’s blog with the very sad news that Fred Jones, a long-time member of the Trust and regular volunteer at Preston, passed away peacefully in Lancaster Royal infirmary last night. As readers of this blog will be aware, Fred suffered a medical problem recently and we were all hoping that we would see him back again at Preston in the not-too-distant future. However, Fred was taken into Lancaster Royal Infirmary last week for tests after continuing to feel unwell.

Fred Jones about to start with a new wire brushFred loved railways and thoroughly enjoyed working both at Haverthwaite and at Preston, taking on board the many less glamourous jobs, particularly  of cleaning and painting components. He is pictured above after having worn out yet another cup wire brush. He will be very much missed by us all. Our thoughts are with daughter, Helen, son Andrew and family.

Ian Massey making the sparks flyWork on the overhaul of 5643 has continued this last week with Ian Massey paying us another visit on Wednesday when he completed his work on the tubeplate of 5643’s boiler. Ian is seen making sparks fly as he grinds off excess weld.

Keith and Jimmy with 5643's front right axleboxJimmy Dutton has re-metalled 5643’s front right axlebox and is seen here with Keith ready for the axlebox to be machined.

Dave Reynolds inspects wear on 5643's radial horn guidesElsewhere on 5643, Dave Reynolds has been inspecting the radial horn guides for wear.

The new baffle for GER No. 5's water boilerJohn Dixon has produced a baffle for the hot water boiler in the kitchen of Great Eastern Railway royal saloon No. 5 to prevent scalding hot water overtopping the urn. The coach is due to be in service for Mother’s Day so a number of winter jobs are now being completed for the occasion.

Tim finding some more imperfections on Wootton Hall's tenderFollowing last week’s photo of the first coat of green undercoat on the left-hand tender side of Great Western Railway ‘Hall’ class 4-6-0 No. 4979 Wootton Hall, Tim has been inspecting the surface closely to identify and fill any imperfections.

John Davies cleans the copper cap to Fluff's chimneyJohn Davies has been cleaning the copper cap for Fluff’s chimney.

Finally, there was concern this last week when we were unable to contact former Treasurer and Trustee David Rimmer. However, David has now been in touch to say that he has been in hospital. We wish David a speedy recovery.