Monday 16th July 2018

The shot blasters returned to Preston last Wednesday to clean off some original angle steel for Wootton Hall and also to make a good start on two cabs, the first of which belongs to Caliban. Adrian paints Caliban's cabAdrian can be seen here starting the process of applying red oxide to the cleaned up cab.Aunt SallyMeanwhile Alan seemed pleased with the results of the shotblasting.

Roger painting Caliban's cabFred and Roger finished the job on Friday, but not before the cab had unfortunately been sprayed with the first rain in weeks! Fred working on Caliban's cabThe shotblasters should be returning this Wednesday to tackle the cab roof and also another cab that does not belong to the FRT.

The Great Eastern Railway Royal Saloon now has two coats of varnish on it as well as the initial coat of gold size. One of the next jobs to be undertaken will be the replacement of the canvas roof, which has been leaking for some time. Only then will it make sense for the upholstery to be tackled. In the meantime, John Dixon has been repairing more of the droplights.

With FR 20 now out of ticket, both Pauls and John Davis were engaged last Wednesday with the task of emptying the tender of coal, ready for the painting process to be commenced. It is planned to undertake an initial wash out of the boiler this next Wednesday.

Keith has been making more progress with Wootton Hall‘s tender frames, drilling holes to enable the front hornguides to be attached. The planned riveting exercise last Thursday didn’t materialise owing to Matt Gervis being under the weather.

Over at Embsay, Andy Booth has completed the re-tube of 5643 and also the fitting of eight more patch screws. It was planned yesterday to start the process of conducting a hydraulic test on the boiler after which the front end (superheaters and header etc) will need to be re-assembled. Re-tubing 5643 with the boiler still in the frames has been an extremely tricky task, the completion of which has apparently surprised the owners of other 56XX locos  who reckoned that it couldn’t be done with the boiler still in the frames.

Cumbria‘s regulator has been giving problems of late and, when removed, has shown signs of scoring. Fortunately, the FRT has a spare which was destined for FR 25 and this has been taken across to Embsay to see if it will effect an early return to traffic. New innards for the fireman’s side injector have also been purchased and sent across to Embsay.

Next week sees the start of the main school holidays so there will be a break in the publication of the blog whilst the team get some R&R. We will return in two weeks, unless something major needs reporting to you, in which case it’ll be sooner!