Sorry for the delay in circulating this report, but the gremlins got in to Ian's email system and his notes got lost somewhere in the ether. However, he reports that work started on Monday this week with a small working party of just Bill and Ian at 11am on a very frosty morning.The Q6 safety valves were reassembled, and the old gaskets from the bases on top of the boiler removed so the studs and bases could be cleaned. The safety valves were then refitted, as was the steam heat valve in the cab. The pit pump kept playing up during the day and finally stopped working later that afternoon. There has been quite an amount of ash spillage into the pit due to fire box work. This material keeps getting lodged in the pump, so the pump was switched off for repairs on Tuesday.
On Tuesday another small working party, with Bill, Jon Bradley and Ian, and a 9am start on another very cold morning with freezing fog. Stove lit and a cuppa straight away. First job was to connect the right hand con rod to the cross head, fit the little end pin and secure. Then round to the left hand side to fit the con rod big end bearing and all its securing fittings. This required moving the Q6 with pinch bars. Some of this work was achieved with help from Will Parrish and Martin Ashburner from the Essex Loco Society, and also Barney Casey, shed foreman. Bill had to leave early due a pre-arranged engagement. Lunch was had around the stove, then it was back to finish off fitting the little end. This meant some more movement of the loco with a pinch bar and, eventually, the rod was set right in the crosshead and the little end pin fitted and secured. The last hour or so was spent sorting the pit water pump out, taking off the outlet pipe and finding lumps of ash blocking it - Ian McCall where were you! These were removed and the pipe refitted and, thankfully, it worked as there was quite a build up of water in the pit to get rid off. That was it for Tuesday, and the stove was banked up hoping it would be still alight next morning.
Wednesday was a slightly milder day with Jon Bradley, Bill, Ian McCall, Steve Hyman, Roy Marshall, Nigel Hall, Gordon Wells and Ian. The stove was re-energised and a cuppa made, then down to work on the right hand cylinder cover which was put on last week but not seated properly. It was removed, turned and fitted correctly. Roy had found out from his photographic collection of Q6's with cylinder covers not having cosmetic covers, that the casting crosses had to be at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock. Jon started cleaning the hand hole and mud hole doors on the boiler. Ian fitted the Klinger packings and the rest of the gauge frame components, including glasses and rubbers. Shaun Bowler's torque wrench was borrowed to tighten up the cylinder nuts. After the right hand side was secured, it was realised that the left cylinder cover needed moving into the same position as the right one, so it was decided to reposition the cover. First though, lunch was had round the stove.
After lunch, Jon had to leave as he had an appointment during the afternoon. Ian McCall completed cleaning the hand hole and mud hole doors. He also fitted the mechanical lubricator drive to the big end crank pin and the little end oil boxes. Nigel had to give up painting the frames due to condensation.He tried to clear it with meths but it remained wet, so then helped Steve and Roy to rotate the left hand cylinder cover in position with the aid of the lifting table, and it was fitted onto the studs. Steve tightened all the nuts up with torque wrench. Gordon Wells came in later to repair a faulty wall socket just outside the workshop .
After afternoon tea, a couple of jobs were done on the J27. Both valve covers were fitted but the oil pipes are still to connect. The right hand side water hose was connected to the water valve flange and bracket fitted to the frames. Also a start was made on cleaning the hand hole door on the top right hand side of the boiler, but time ran out so all hand hole and mud hole doors are still to do on the J27.
On the Railway, ballast is being brought in by road via Esk Valley Cottages, tipped opposite Deviation Shed and also in the ash compound, then loaded using the JCB onto a train of hopper wagons hauled by an 08 shunter and taken to the newly relaid track site at Esk Valley, tipped and brought back for more.