Yesterday (Thursday), which was a cool but lovely clear morning with blue skies, Bill and Ian met shed fitter Adrian Dennis at New Bridge yard, Pickering about 09.30 to assist connecting the J27 loco and tender together. The tender had been unloaded first thing on Wednesday, then the wagon went back to the Wensleydale for the engine which was delivered and unloaded late on Wednesday evening (it made a grand sight bowling along the A64 towards Malton as I was driving home to York). With Adrian driving the shunter, the engine and tender were coupled together with pins put in and then moved onto the pit. There, the main draw bar nut was tightened and cotter pin fitted and split pinned. Ian thinks it's time we had a mechanical means of tightening and slackening these draw bar nuts though, as the ageing arms and shoulders are aching with that big spanner! Fortunately, Steve Elliot (Mushroom) and a person from the P Way shed were on hand to help take the strain. Water hoses, vacuum pipe, steam heat hoses and brake linkage were connected, and the safety links and main drawbar pins split pinned. The locomotive was then moved to the west side of the P Way yard, hand brake on and chocks under the driving wheels (see photo). Water was put in the boiler which is now showing half full, and it was also possible to get a small amount in the tender. The J27 will be stopping at New Bridge for a couple of days as it is congested at Grosmont due to the new point being fitted at Deviation Shed, but is due to go on to wash out at Grosmont from 9 September.
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