Monday 17th December 2018

Last week’s blog contained a teaser that there was further news to be broadcast to you all. We can now reveal that the FRT has purchased a second-hand Collett 4,000 gallon tender tank that was advertised for sale nationally. Keith went to look at it at Tyseley and deemed it suitable for further use and ideal for fitting to Wootton Hall‘s chassis which has been the subject of extensive repairs over the past few years. The tank is not expected to arrive at Preston until the New Year.

Keith opens another early Christmas presentKeith is seen here opening another early birthday present on Wednesday when a set of newly cast axlebox underkeeps and brasses appeared in a delivery from the Severn Valley Railway. One of the new axlebox underkeeps for Wootton Hall's tenderThe axlebox underkeeps are indeed fine castings with no signs of corrective fettling, as can be seen here.

Adrian loads Wootton Hall's tender springsOn the departure side, Adrian is seen here placing on to the delivery lorry a set of six springs from Wootton Hall‘s tender which are to be overhauled after over fifty years out of use. Two spare springs are to be manufactured at the same time.

Keith fitting Wootton Hall's RH cab sideAnd talking of Wootton Hall, Keith is seen here temporarily fitting the right hand cab side in order to take measurements for boiler cladding and other fittings.

Wootton Hall's R/H cab side in position complete with numberplateAnother view here with the cab side number plate fitted completely alters the appearance of the loco and shows signs of things to come!

FR 20's boiler now re-positionedThe main job on Wednesday was to jack up FR 20’s boiler to allow easier access from under the firebox. The front of the boiler is now positioned on steel stands.

Elsewhere in the shed some smaller but nevertheless important jobs were tackled on Friday, including degreasing FR 20’s boiler cladding and rejuvenating steel trestles which had gone rusty after being used outside.

The FRT Christmas dinner was held at The Ribble Pilot pub on Saturday when 19 members and guests sat down to meal.

Looking forward to this next week, an NDT examination of FR 20’s boiler and Wootton Hall‘s tender wheelsets has been booked for this next Friday. The Iron Horse is now back with the printer after proof reading and, all being well, should be despatched to members before Christmas. The magazines will also contain membership renewal forms and it is hoped that you will all take the opportunity to return them quickly as we move towards yet another year with plenty of work on the horizon.

Finally, we hope shortly to be able to publish the details of some planned working parties over the Christmas period.