Well, with a Happy New Year to all our readers, we started again yesterday on a cold slightly oveccast morning, with Ian Pearson, Bill Dobson, Ian McCall, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Derek Shorten, and Nigel Hall. I called in briefly to drop off some electricity conduit for Gordon Wells and collect the signal arms which are to go to auction later this year. Bill and I also had a meeting with Piglet and Barney to discuss operational requirements for the Q6 at the start of the operating season, bearing in mind that Nigel Hall is starting preparation work on the Q6 for its re-paint into temporary NER livery for its centenary launch, planned for 1 May. The NYMR requires it for February half term, when it will run in plain black, but thereafter, Nigel and Peter Whitaker will be finishing off and doing the lining and lettering. It has been agreed therefore that the Q6 will not be available for use by the NYMR until its press and media launch on 1 May.
Back at Deviation Shed, the pot bellied stove was lit and cups of tea brewed as we discussed our plan of action for the day. Nigel B and Ian M set about removing the front cylinder covers so Bill can measure up and order two new copper rings. Ian P and Steve removed the front section of fire grate to allow Mark O' Brien to fit one section of rocking grate to make life easier for the crews on disposal. The grate components are on order and are due to arrive today, 10 January. All the washout plugs and doors from the Q6 have been removed by the NYMR boilersmith, James Newton. Derek cleaned all the washout plugs and has made a start on the mudhole doors.
Ideparted around 11.15 to go and get packed for my 6 monthly trip to Australia today (currently waiting for my delayed flight, although TPE managed to run on time!). Nigel Hall arrived around 12 noon and lunch was had around the stove - very cosy . After lunch, Ian P and Steve started to remove split pins and cotters in order to split the tender from the locomotive. This needed considerable effort from us all in order to loosen the big drawbar nut, with Ian P and Steve on the big spanner and large hammer, while the others were on the rope between Nos7 & 6 road, pulling with all their might. It was very tight but eventually it came loose. The pins were removed and stored in the cab: the locking plate and cotter have been put in the tender locker. The brake connection from loco to tender was also removed. This is now on the floor between Nos 8 & 7 roads. Nigel Hall set up some new lights he had purchased around the tender sides and got started on cleaning the tender frames. James Newton has made a start removing the washout plugs and doors from the J27/P3. Both locomotives are still to wash out this but this may be done today.