The weather forecaster got it right this time - it poured down all day. The grey sky was only alleviated by the yellow glow from all the 'No Waiting' cones now lining the road through Grosmont, from one end to the other: you have been warned!
The usual Wednesday team was supplemented by the welcome return to active duty at Grosmont of Nigel Hall, who returned the Q6 brick arch formers from Carnforth and got started on the prep work for repainting of the front and rear buffer beams. He had been missed. Mike Oliver replaced the pipe on the blow down assembly and refitted it, and the axle box intermediate pipe work was completed by Ian Pearson. It just waits for Peter Ellis to do the reconnections.
Jon Bradley, Ian and myself reconnected the valves to the rods, put in the cotters and fitted new split pins, and Jon and Ian then fitted the valve covers, so that job is now complete. The locomotive was moved to give access to the horn stay bolts that need replacing. The MPD has said they will do that job for us. I fitted the new wood covers to the cab sand boxes to prevent any more sand being put inside and seizing up the mechanism again. The mechanism itself is now operational, and although the rear sanders will not work (because of having no sand), the cab mechanism also works the intermediate sanders on both sides which are fully operational and are considered more than adequate to meet any likely needs for the locomotive. In any case, the front sanders also work.
The mouthpiece from the firehole door was removed to give better access for the boiler inspector, and has been placed on the left hand side of the front of the tender by the tool box. Derek Shorten also cleaned up the whole area round the locomotive to ensure that all the sand and other dirt was removed to avoid the risk of sand contamination to the various moving parts that have still to be refitted, as well as doing some more cleaning between the frames in areas that had been inaccessible until we moved the locomotive.
The piston rings have now arrived and are on the bench in the workshop near the kettle, and Andy Lowes is going to check on progress with the regulator handle this week at M Machine.
The cold exam has now been confirmed for Monday 14 March (to avoid the mayhem associated with the Scotsman visit - it is not operating on Monday or Friday next week) and Ian Pearson and Andy are both hoping to be present.
On the way out, I collected Nick Downing's 1969 built model of the Q6 from the Crossing Club in Grosmont (I just managed to get it in my car - it is very large!). It will be on view at various events during the year. Thanks to Peter Proud and George Morton for facilitating that.
Still looking for the J27 one though, with one or two possible leads being followed up, but any more clues would be much appreciated.
There will be a working party this Saturday which Andy will lead, with work to be done on the crossheads and the pistons. Bryan Orange and a full complement of the JVs will also be attending, and doubtless everyone will be watching Scotsman go by during the tea breaks. Just hope everyone gets there OK and there are not too many transport difficulties. Don't forget to make sure the donation box bell keeps ringing - assuming there are any visitors of course!