Monday 20th March 2017

This week we start by reporting the passing of our 110 volt Makita hand drill, which was purchased as long ago at 2001. Sixteen years of hard use can’t be bad and, after some discussion about the characteristics required of its successor,  it has been replaced by a new, slightly more powerful, Makita drill which arrived on Friday. We look forward to another sixteen years of productive use…..

Ready for paintingThe seemingly never ending work on the RMB continued again this week. John has just about finished his endeavours at the east end of the coach and it is seen here ready for the final coats of paint – the view rather belies the amount of work that John has put in to bring the metalwork back up to standard. John is aiming to get around to the west end next week in order to re-instate the passenger operated brake mechanism, otherwise known as the communication cord. This will enable the panelling on the south side toilet to be completed after the communication cord has been permanently re-attached to the frame of the coach. Mike contemplatingMike Rigg has been busy completing the re-installation of fittings in the north side toilet and can be seen here contemplating his next move. Paul cleans the toilet doorPaul is seen cleaning the door ready for fitting.

The new shelving on the 1st Class NLR coach bodyWith a need to start emptying the RMB, which has acted as a store in recent years, David has been erecting the shelving, kindly donated by Michael Cook, in the first class North London Railway coach body. It is seen here in partially constructed condition. David has now finished the job and some of the equipment has already been moved over. However, at Adrian’s suggestion, David took it upon himself to clean the windows of our new store so that we can see our way around only to find that most of the muck removed was Adrian’s dust! Just need now to replace the exterior door which fell off on Saturday..

Adrian continues to create that cloud of dust above Caliban as he cleans up the frames with both needle gun and cup wire brush. Alan at work with a paint brushAlan is seen here with paint brush in hand putting red oxide on what will be the underside of the new piece of Caliban‘s running board after having received tips of the trade on painting from none other than Adrian! Some grey undercoat was subsequently applied on Friday by the C&W team.

Work has also continued on Wootton Hall where some of the firebox back head cladding has been attached in order to mount some of the fittings temporarily on a test basis. Keith removing the front platework on Wootton HallThe front platework on Wootton Hall removedKeith has also removed some of the engine’s platework adjacent to the front bufferbeam so that it can be cleaned up and painted. Fred at work cleaning up the plateworkFred took on the challenge of wire brushing the plate on Friday and can be seen at work here.

This next weekend sees the opening event in the RSR’s operating calendar with the Diesel Gala on the 25th and 26th. A Colas locomotive is due to attend on the Saturday.

Over the Pennines, Alan will be looking after FR 20 during four days of steaming, starting on Thursday for two days of driver assessments (Tim also attending Friday) and then two days in traffic.