Monday 15th April 2019

John Dixon fits the drivers side water valve on CumbriaThe Trust’s ‘Austerity’ 0-6-0ST Cumbria was once again the centre of attention this last week as final preparations were made for a test steaming. The loco had a second washout on Wednesday and the mudhole doors and washout plugs were refitted. Alan finished fitting the regulator quadrant and┬áJohn Dixon is seen here fitting the driver’s side water valve.

Phil Bell touches up the paint on Cumbria's nameplatePhil Scales and Phil Bell continued the task of sprucing up the appearance of the loco with the latter touching up the black paint on the nameplates.

On Friday Ed pulled Cumbria out of the shed, cleaned the firebox and emptied the ashpan. The boiler was also filled but it was decided to delay the test steaming until today when there would be more people to assist and more time for testing.

Cumbria back in steam with members Keith, Ade and Dave StarkieAde appeared bright and early this morning and had Cumbria lit up by 8.15. Steam was raised just after 1.oo and the pressure brought up slowly. Tim and Matt Jervis were looking at the drain cocks closely with fingers crossed as steam built up, to detect whether the regulator or ‘J’ pipe were passing steam, but all was well. The afternoon was spent chasing up steam leaks on cab fittings and then moving the loco to test the regulator and brakes. Tim tightens the steam brake pipe to Cumbria's manifoldTim is seen here tightening up the brake steam pipe to the manifold whilst Alan looks on.

On the whole the exercise was deemed to be a success although there is a list of things to follow up on Wednesday when the engine has cooled down.

Wootton Hall's new gauge frame castingsA notable arrival this week has a package with the castings for Wootton Hall’s gauge frame.

Part of the historic collection?Finally, when Tim went to the NRM at Shildon on Saturday for a training day, he came across an upstand advert inviting volunteers to work with the NRM’s historic collection featuring none other than Alan – is he now officially part of the NRM’s historic collection, we wonder?!