Monday 13th May 2024

There was good representation from the Furness Railway Trust at former Treasurer David Rimmer’s funeral at Allerton a week last Wednesday. The family was very grateful for the opportunity to meet Davd’s friends afterwards at a local inn and to learn a little more of David’s many activities with the FRT.

Ed chips away at old rust and paint on one of one of 5643's tank filler apperturesThere has been more progress at Preston with the overhaul of Great Western Railway 0-6-2T No. 5643, with a variety of jobs being tackled. Painting and cleaning of the inside motion is just about complete and Ed can be seen here cleaning rust and paint from one of the water tank filler apertures.

5643's radial wheelset finished and ready to go back to PrestonRe-profiling of 5643’s radial wheelset on the East Lancashire Railway wheel lathe at Bury has been completed with the wheelset arriving back at Preston today.

The ELR poster for FR 20's visit in OctoberTalking of the ELR, the railway has just announced that Furness Railway No. 20 will be visiting for their Autumn Steam Gala on the 11th to 13th October. FR 20 is also scheduled to be travelling elsewhere this summer, but details are still to be announced by the host railway. Last Wednesday saw FR 20 out of the running shed at Preston for its ashpan to be re-installed and a warming fire to be lit after its cold examination by the boiler surveyor. It was then successfully steamed for the boiler surveyor on Friday so is now back in ticket.

On a totally unrelated subject, last Saturday saw the launch of Live Steam guitarist Pete Skellon’s book “Bahamas” at the Kents Bank Station Library. This is Pete’s fourth book (the others all having sold out) and has taken him nine years to write, telling the tale of how Jubilee class 4-6-0 No. 45596 Bahamas was saved from the scrapyard, as well as describing its working life with the  LMS/BR and then its time in preservation, including its stints on the main line. Our folk group, Live Steam, first met up with Pete when they were invited to play in a marquee at Dinting in 1988 on the occasion of the first steaming of Bahamas after overhaul and also marking the 21st Anniversary of the Bahamas Locomotive Society. It was a memorable evening and we have been glad to be able to re-acquaint ourselves with the BLS volunteers on a number of occasions since then, including at Blaenavon last year. Back to the book, it is, as you would expect from Pete (he was a technical writer at the Barrow Shipyard), a high quality product which not only relates the history of the locomotive, but tells the story of the people who have preserved and looked after this splendid machine. Priced at £35, it can be obtained through the BLS web site for £39 including postage. However, Tim will be able to obtain copies direct from Pete (saving the postage) for delivery to Preston and, if there is enough interest, a batch will be purchased on trade terms. Please contact Tim in the first instance.