A bright, cool morning at Grosmont with a crew of only four yesterday - clearly quality over quantity! Bill Dobson and Gordon Wells were eventually joined by Ian Pearson and myself. After our usual cuppa and discussion about local and national football, cheating at cricket, failures on the NYMR at the weekend, and generally putting the world to rights, it was time to start work.
Gordon spent what was left of the morning installing a new separate switch in the cage to operate the pit pump. This is situated above the circuit breaker box and the old switch in there has been disconnected and the 'pit pump' label removed. Please use this new switch to operate the pump in future. Bill and Ian removed the left hand valve follower which was trapped by the valve rod. The follower required removing as the inner section of it was loose and needs securing with a grommet. To do this, they had to remove the front pin of the L/H back gear eccentric rod from the expansion link with the use of a strop and pull lift. The follower is now on the workshop bench for Nigel Hall to repair next Wednesday, after he made such a good job of the right hand one. The eccentric rod was reassembled back into the expansion link, but with the two fixing taper pins only loosely inserted for the time being, as it may have to be taken down to refit the follower. In the meantime I sauntered off to the MPD to see how the work on the J27 was progressing.
Lunch was had in Deviation Shed, with a bit of a change to the weather as there were some very heavy hail and rain showers, alternating with bright sunshine. There were quite a few visitors taking shelter and giving the opportunity for a chat about our work and some money to go in the box. One did ask though where the front pony truck for the Q6 was as he had not seen an 0-8-0 before - clearly a GWR person! After lunch, Ian and Bill coupled up the tender to the locomotive and put in the main drawbar pin plus safety link pins, with me underneath dealing with the split pinning, although Ian put the cotter and split pin into the main drawbar pin. All tender and locomotive main and safety link pins have new split pins fitted and opened up. Bill tightened up the rear nut on the drawbar sufficiently to allow the loco to be moved, but it will require further tightening later to allow the locking plate and cotter to be fitted. These items are upstairs on the shelf with label 1406 attached. I also opened out the two remaining brake hanger split pins on the inside of the frames, and tightened up the driving wheel spring hanger nuts so they were flush with the bolts, as per all the others which had been done by Alan Hardie the previous week. A bit of housekeeping was also done during the afternoon, with all the old oily rags cleared up by Ian from around the walk ways and loco frames and taken down to MPD for lighting up, while I replaced the broken bulb in one of the small inspection lamps. The L/H big end bearing was still down at the MPD being re-metalled and machined.
On the railway, the boiler for S15 No 825 was brought down from New Bridge on a lowmac wagon hauled by the class 26 diesel Tom Clift. It is now standing behind Deviation Shed, but is due to be moved inside to stand above the Q6 on No 7 road. Further work is apparently still required on it, and the Essex Locomotive Society volunteers made numerous trips from Scarborough during the day, bringing their equipment and bits and pieces to the railway, including a very large new compressor which is now standing on Deviation Shed floor behind the long red bench by the cage. Trains were running reasonably full and to time, with 80136, 76079 and Repton in charge. Noticeable though that on the teak set it was the Thompson compartment coach which was much fuller than any of the open coaches. The B1 was in the running shed receiving attention to the rear driving wheel set, but was being weighed (again) by the end of the day.
There will be no working party on Saturday because of other commitments, but Bill said he would pop down and open up Deviation Shed for any visitors. If therefore anyone is at a loose end on Saturday and wants to spend a few hours chatting to visitors and pointing out to them the location of the donation box, they will be most welcome. You would also be able to watch the trains go by!
The next working Party will therefore be on Wednesday 4th April, when we hope the L/H big end bearing will have been returned for fitting.