|Dinmore Manor and the Dukedog's tender|
A little bit of last minute fettling was going on underneath Dinmore Manor when I arrived:
|Mark adjusting the valve timing|
|Hosing down the ash pan through the front damper|
|Ben tried damping the ash through the door at the back of the ash pan as well.|
Once the ash pan was emptied, Dinmore Manor was off and running up and down the main running line for a few hundred yards or so then back again to make sure that nothing was running too hot:
|Dinmore Manor's first go at steaming on our main running line|
|Mark checking that the injector isn't running wet?|
|The second of several runs past.|
|Dinmore Manor on the new track at Hailes|
|Next stop Winchcombe|
|Pulling into Winchcombe's platform 1|
|L - R Mike, Ben, Mark & John with Dinmore Manor at Winchcombe|
|Mike & Mark with their pride & joy|
|Platform clearance checking on Platform 2.|
This brings us on to Saturday, my first official fireman training turn of the year. The rostered loco was the 8F, which was nice as it has been a fair while since I'd last fired her.
It was nice to have a cleaner rostered as well, Ed was doing the honours on this occasion:
|Ed making the 8F shine.|
The rest of the crew was Ade (my instructor) and once again Paul. Paul thinks that Ben (who does the crew rostering) doesn't like him as he always seems to get lumbered with me on my fireman training turns.
Ade will be starting practical driver training in the near future, so Paul decided that he would give him a head start and let him help out in the oiling up process.
|Paul filling an oil pot|
|Ade applying the grease gun to the thingamajig|
One of the things a trainee fireman does need to do is to check the fault report card for his loco before lighting the fire. The 8F's mentioned three things that hadn't been attended to. The one that was of particular relevance to me was that she was blowing off light at 215 PSI rather than the 225 that she should. That effectively gave me a reduced range of boiler pressure to try and maintain her in.
The water gauge lamp had lost its spindle too, a simple workaround was to hang the lamp from the shut off lever:
|An elegant solution|
|Just about ready to run round to the ash pit|
|Ed helping out with emptying the ash pan.|
The team of bricklayers working on Cheltenham's platform 2 were hard at work. Their normal operations involve running trolleys loaded with bricks or mortar up and down the run around loop, which is a potential hazard. To mitigate that, on running days they time their tea breaks according the timetable to make sure that they are out of the way each time we arrived. I imagine that we must have been a very welcome sight then: Checking their blog, I find that one of them was taking a photo of us.
|Cheltenham platform 2 under construction|
|Running round at Laverton|
|Filling the tender, note the leaking pipe.|
|Ade helpfully pulling coal forward in the tender.|
|Apparently there is such a thing as a free lunch|
There was a fair old downpour at Cheltenham as we set off on the second trip from there. The fireman is supposed to watch the train out of the platform and alert the driver if doors are opened or the guard waves a red flag etc. Standing in the doorway of the cab, I discovered that rain water that has collected on the gutter on the cab roof chooses exactly that point to drain down. It's rather uncomfortable having cold rain water pour down the back of your neck.
|The last drops from the roof waiting to drip.|
|Rainbow at Bishops Cleeve|
|Lineside clearance gang at work|
As mentioned recently, I've bought a new shovel from Mark Shere-Massey, he was in flight to his new life in Canada at around the time that I took this photo of it in the tender.
|New (to me) firing shovel|
Filling up the tender again at Toddington proved to be rather interesting. Somebody who shall remain nameless (purely to protect the guilty) found the 'other off' when asked to shut off the water supply. Consequently I ended up with my own swimming pool on top of the tender. Note that by this stage I'm stood on top of the hatch.
|Keeping my boots dry|
My spy in the 4270 team (I have informants everywhere now) had led me to believe that much work had taken place on the backhead since last I had taken a look. The last thing I did before leaving on Saturday was wander into the David Page shed and point my camera into the cab.
And finally, anybody who has succumbed to getting a Facebook account can't fail to have noticed the recent phenomena of ladies of all ages posting self portrait photos of themselves without makeup for cancer awareness. Even one of the ladies of the steam loco dept has had a go at this. I'm not referring to Tina or Tonia now, so which lady is it? I am of course referring to none other than Foremarke Hall:
|Foremarke Hall, sans makeup.|