The rain had just stopped as Steve Hyman, Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Derek Shorten, Ian Pearson and, last of all as usual, myself arrived at Grosmont on a rather mild morning with some spells of sunshine later on. Steve had obtained a newish kettle with its own base that plugs into the supply socket rather than via the kettle. So new kettle on, stove lit, and cups of tea all round for the first few early birds. Steve had also brought the J27's spare 5" pressure gauge from Hopetown and it was given to Barney to calibrate.
It was one of those days when we could not get on with some planned work on the Q6 as it was out of the Shed on No 2 Road being boxed up so the boiler could be filled ready for a steam test today and insurance test tomorrow. Bill had to go off after an hour on business. So, after I had fitted the two missing padlocks to the display panels in the Shed, Derek and I set about cleaning the wheels and frames and tender axle box covers on the J27, which was standing on No 3 Road as stand by service locomotive, but out of steam. Steve and Ian stated cleaning the Q6 locomotive wheels and frames. Nigel drilled out the bolt on the J27 hand rail at the R/H side of the smoke box that I had sheared off last week, re- tapped it, knocked the hand rail slightly into the socket at the cab end, and fitted a new bolt. Barney had calibrated the Q6's vacuum gauge and it was refitted by Ian. Lunch was had in Deviation Shed round the stove. In conversation, we mused as to whether, in view of the current TV interest in sheds filled with unique items for restoration, we should put forward Deviation Shed - but then decided the five of us were not sufficiently unique!
After lunch, Ian removed, with the angle grinder, the piece of stud holding the step bracket under the running plate of the Q6 which was protruding down and breaking off the cork on the intermediate side rod oil pot as the rod came on to top quarter. About 1/4"was cut off. When the loco was moved later on, the rod was watched as it came to top quarter, and the cork passed well clear. The Q6 was moved over onto No 5 Road, boiler and tender filled with water, then moved back onto No 2 Road where a warming fire was lit. Bill plans to be present for the insurance steam test tomorrow.
Quite a lot going on in the shed area, with Repton in steam and some running in after winter maintenance. The steam crane was in steam having its lifting gear examined by the insurance inspector. Standard tank 80136 and the DMU working the winter timetable trains and the Railway was quite busy, with a full Grosmont Station car park and a number ofvisitors round Deviation Shed. The Class 26 took some empty stock to Pickering and was scheduled to bring back Pete Best's S160 which is to be put in Deviation Shed to complete its overhaul. In the meantime, the 9F frames had appeared on No 7 Road in the Shed following the moves of the Q6 and J27 outside.
No working party on Saturday: the next one will be on Wednesday 27 February.