In spite of a forecast of heavy snow and strong winds, it was a cold but fine, sunny day at Grosmont yesterday, although there were reports of snow on the high moor at Blakey Ridge. Those present, and enjoying the sun, were Bill Dobson, Nigel Bill, Nigel Hall, Jon Bradley, Bryan Orange with JV Luke Perry, Ian Pearson and myself. We were also paid a visit by Arthur Jenkins, John Midcalf and Saskia Van Schip who had come down for a trip on the train to Pickering. Then John Hunt called in briefly, to make it twelve NELPG members at Deviation Shed yesterday morning. Not quite a record attendance but very close to it. After Ian had lit the stove, Jon, who could not stop long, washed up the pots and joined us for a cup of tea (made in a new large teapot that I had brought) and a good long chinwag putting the world to rights.
As far as work was concerned, Peter Whitaker has now finished the sign writing on the T2, and Nigel Hall concentrated on painting the cab sides with gloss and another coat of primer on the smokebox door. I was in the pit all day painting the brake rods with black gloss while Bill worked on grinding in and repairing the carrot valves from the cylinder cocks. Three were done yesterday, so only another four to do. Bryan and Luke repaired an extension cable and a lamp cable, and also repaired one of the large square handlamps, replacing the fluorescent tube and clear plastic cover - well, it was clear originally. Luke also did some repairs on the velocipede and put it back together. Ian and Nigel Bill worked on the right hand side hand rail of the J27 which had, yet again, broken away from its socket on the cab front - another five minute job that tied them up all day. After an hour or so trying to remove three stubborn bolts they eventually removed the flange with the hand rail socket attached.
It was then time for lunch around the stove in Deviation Shed. After lunch, Ian and Nigel B tried to find something to fit into the socket and into the hand rail. They did eventually find a steel stud which fitted into the hand rail, but was loose in the socket so had to be rejected. Down at the MPD machine shop, Owain said he would make a stepped peg which would fit both the socket and hand rail. Having made a peg (see photos), it was fitted in about ten minutes with new nuts bolts and washers. Job done at last! At the end of the day at Deviation Shed, the T2 tender sides were covered with four dust sheets by Luke and Nigel H to deter photographers. How we will manage the great unveiling on 1 May remains to be worked out - but contact Dave Pennock if you want to see how we do, and travel on the train as well.
Quite a lot of visitors today with some high value notes being spotted going into the donation box (and subsequently removed by Bryan to go to the Treasurer). City of Wells, 80136 and Repton were working services, with the B1 being sent to Pickering for turning. The J27 was standing on the pit on No 5 Road at the Running Shed being weighed - engine was done yesterday, tender due today. Hopefully it should be in operation over the weekend.