Monday, 22 April 2013

Sun in the Cotswolds

Another Saturday, another loco to clean.  This week it was Foremarke Hall's turn to be out.  We've taken on another shipment of the Russian coal, which is more prone to create black smoke than the Welsh coal that we've been using lately.
Shiny copper capped chimney and black smoke
Once again, the path to the wood store is blocked
Trainee fireman Martin Ryan gives a hand with the cleaning
Driver Tony Stockwell takes a break from oiling up Foremarke Hall for a cup of tea
Firing Instructor Cliff Faulkner bought us all sausage & bacon rolls for breakfast, so as a reward for his kindness, I've let him off having to have his picture on the blog this week.  Should any other members of the steam loco dept wish avoid the embarrassment of appearing on this blog, you know what to do :-)
Foremarke Hall sets off under (and apparently floating on top of) her own steam
Next weekend is the 'Wartime in the Cotswolds' weekend. We've been encouraged to attend wearing suitable wartime attire.  This presents something of a problem as a fair number of our members who are more advanced in years don't possess any clothes as modern as that.  Derek's plan is to attend wearing his old footplate gear from when he was a BR fireman at Gloucester.  Derek still maintains his athletic build from those far off days of BR steam but sadly his footplate gear has shrunk in the wash over the intervening years.  He has had to resort to tying a red boot lace around his waist to hold the trousers up.
Neil and Mark admire Derek's old footplate attire
In the end Derek decided that modesty would be best preserved by sporting a prep coat on top.
Derek and his modesty preserving prep coat
 George has particular problems with the wartime weekend as he has long hair, which wasn't in fashion during the blitz.  He didn't appear to be too concerned about that though.
George, keeping calm and carrying on
You can't fail to have noticed that the weather for the last year or so has been dreadful. Not so on Saturday, the sun shone all day. This was therefore a perfect opportunity to catch up with all the outdoor painting jobs that had been put on hold.
Tim painted the yard gates with special security paint to deter unauthorised visitors
Dan de-rusted the metal posts that retain the concrete sleepers being used as walls for the new ash dock....
....and then he painted them
The mess coach refurb gang got into full swing finishing off the grey primer, and even getting on the first coat of the chocolate primer.  The colour of the chocolate primer is so convincing that several people had to be restrained from eating it.
Chris gets cracking with the chocolate flavoured coloured paint
If Derek stays there much longer, he'll get painted
Clive smoothing out the filler
Ian applying more filler
Tina resisting the temptation of eating the chocolate paint (just)
Nick wielding a paint brush
Part way through the painting of the mess coach, Foremarke Hall pulled out of Toddington station.  The effects of the Russian coal are only too obvious. The mess coach painting gang were aghast at this and even from where I was stood beyond the signal box I could hear words of discontent.
"Bother we'll get soot smuts on our wet paint"
The mess coach by the end of the day
It seems that Tina has become so proud of her mess coach refurbishment project that she has even put her name on it.
Tina's coach
I took a break from painting the mess coach after lunch as 2807 needed a warming fire in her in readiness for Sunday.  Now ordinarily this wouldn't have been a problem, but she was currently red-carded with a note saying "Condensing coils T cock" whatever that might mean.  Subsequent enquiries established that indeed works had taken place, but that now she was ready to have a warming fire put in her.  Ian Carpenter, the 'boiler responsible person' would however only sign off the work done in the morning when 2807 was in steam. So far so good.  Next to get 2807 shunted out of the shed and onto the pit (thanks Mark) and then start off the warming fire process. She failed the pre-check procedure by only having a quarter of a glass of water in the boiler.  I had visions of having to get her shunted out alongside the mess coach and running out fire hoses to the new RO water supply like we'd done last week with Foremarke Hall which would have upset the mess coach painting gang.  Fortunately the relevant attachments were believed to be in one of the tool cabinets on Foremarke Hall which was off down the line somewhere, so the owning group members present agreed to filling her up with non-RO water using a regular hosepipe connected up to the water gauge.
Filling the boiler through the water gauge
As has already been mentioned, the Russian coal is much smokier than the Welsh...  and before anybody asks, yes I had removed the chimney cap.
Conflagration with contamination
The peace was shattered by the Peak parked on road 7 being started up (it's surprisingly loud when you're only a few yards away from it).  Eventually it made a few movements up and down the yard under it's own power.  I think that may have been the first time that it has done that.  Certainly there seemed to be a few happy souls wandering around taking photos for posterity.
Peak on the move
 The GWSR has quite an active 'young person's group' and one of them wandered up onto the footplate of 2807 as I was in the process of getting the warming fire going. Ashley as it turns out is 14 and keen to join the steam loco dept when he reaches 16. As he seemed so keen I let him put on a few shovels of coal onto the fire.  When I left 2807 for the day, I found that he'd written his name in the dirt on one of the cylinder covers.
 When he reaches 16, we'll have to show him how to clean dirt off rather than write in it.

1 comment:

  1. Phone numbers of shunter drivers required so we can ring them at 6am to come get us our wood from the wood store!!! that or things start getting cut up!