Monday, 27 January 2014

Meetings - The Practical Alternative to Work

What can I tell you about the steam loco dept's annual general meeting on Saturday?  Well I can certainly say, without the slightest fear of contradiction, that the seats were supremely uncomfortable.  There was absolutely no danger of anybody nodding off to sleep.  Representatives from Guantanamo Bay were on hand to evaluate the use of the seats as a viable alternative to water boarding.  They seemed suitably impressed with the results.  

Mark Young is now officially our new chairman, though in reality he has already been doing the job for a few months as Ian had stepped down early.  The highlight of the meeting for me is the section on the status of all the locomotives on site, I made some notes:

7903, Foremarke Hall:  The strip down for overhaul continues.  The blower ring never did separate from the chimney and eventually the chimney was removed with the blower ring still attached.  Dismantling is progressing well.  Later on in the afternoon, Dan and I spent a while extricating the studs to which the safety valves had been attached.  They'd been there for ten years and had no intention of giving in without a fight.
Where the safety valves should be
Dan coercing one of the studs to come out
Job done
 Unfortunately one of the studs sheared off and will need to be drilled out later.

Neil and Tim (in the smokebox) were working on pressing out the smoke box retaining bolts.  They weren't keen to move either.
Neil on the outside, Tim just visible on the inside
2807:    The ash pan modifications and new safety valve springs had been done, a new regulator valve is still to be fitted.  She remains at Tyseley having her horn guides worked on and is expected to be back in May, in time for the gala.  Something that I wasn't aware of is the WWI commenced on 28/07/1914, so exactly 100 years later they are intending to hold a 2807 supporters day event.

During the afternoon, Bruce, Gilbert and Paul were to be found working on the brakes on 2807's tender (which remains at Toddington):
L-R, Bruce, Gilbert and Paul
8274:    Few problems encountered during the year, a new grate of the same materials as is fitted to 2807 and 7903 is to be fitted.

44027:   A very long written report was presented by Paul, which can be summarised as she is progressing well, the bottom end largely done and she is hoped to be in steam next year.  A recent update as to their progress can be found on their blog.

4270:     Passed in frame steam test, "She'll be done when she's done".
I took a few photos in the cab, she now has a floor, most of a backhead and some of her controls installed since last I looked:
4270's cab floor
Most of the backhead and some controls
The cab layout of 4270 is very similar to that of 5542, except that it's rather roomier.

 35006, Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co:   No report received however it transpired that several members of her team were jacking up the tender water tank a bit to allow the underside to be painted:
"Not to be moved"... well not not be moved horizontally anyway.
Once again, a recent update can be found on the main GWSR website.

7820, Dinmore Manor:  Things are progressing very well.  She'll appear at Toddington in unlined BR black with a borrowed black tender sometime in March if all goes to plan.  She'll go into lined BR green later in the year.

2874:   (Not to be confused with 2807 or 8274).  She has arrived and restoration will commence once Dinmore Manor is finished.  The weather had been pretty foul all day, but as there was a nice break in the clouds just before sunset, I couldn't resist grabbing a couple of photos of our newest arrival:
I won't let the sun go down on me
Reflecting on days gone by.
Mark mentioned that all of our locomotive owning groups would be extremely welcoming of new volunteers to assist in the restoration/maintenance of our steam fleet.  Should you be interested in volunteering at the GWSR in any department, then the details of how to go about it and what to expect can be found on our website.

Aside from the working locos etc, Andy gave a few notes on the upcoming gala in May (24th - 26th).  The theme will be 'Back to Black' and it is intended that the majority of the locos running will be in black livery.  The first guest loco has now been confirmed as being Black Five, 45379 from our friends at the Mid-Hants Railway:
45379 leads 34007, Wadebridge on the Mid Hants Railway
And finally, we had an award ceremony of sorts. The "Percy Pig, hog-of-the-year" for the engineman who has completed the greatest number of turns in the 2013 season. The award was presented by Steve to John who had managed more turns than anybody else (sorry, I've forgotten how many it was now). Mark Young kindly provided me with this photo.

Steve presents John with his certificate


  1. Thanks for the summary on all the locos, most informative. regarding 44027 in steam, is that an out of frames boiler in steam, in frames in steam or ready to pull a train steam(He says hopefully)?


    1. I took it to be the latter myself. As ever, she'll be ready when she's ready.

  2. Thanks, in that case it's sooner than I thought! I look forward to seeing her in steam at some point next year then, along with at least 2, probably 3 other new locos for the railway this year returning to steam who by then will have hopefully settled in.