Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Soggy Matches

An interesting pair of curios to start off with, following on from the photos of the line in the 1950's and 1960's a few weeks ago, I am pleased to be able to present a couple of photos of receipts for goods shipped to Toddington in 1951 and 1952.  I imagine that these are pretty rare survivors and are extremely interesting artifacts from the railway's history.
Invoice of "Forwarded Goods Traffic"

Nearly £92 would have been a considerable sum of money in 1951,
Appendix to Goods General Account
Note that both are on GWR headed forms even though dated in 1951 and 1952 (the railways having been nationalised in 1948).

Both the above photos are courtesy of Donna Ludlow.

Foremarke Hall set off for Tyseley to be reunited with her boiler on Wednesday.  I have photos from two different sources:

Peter had been helping out with the new barrow crossing at Toddington when he noticed Foremarke Hall go past on a low loader:
Steam cleaning the new barrow crossing
First Foremarke Hall set off one way round on the low loader...
...then after a while she is turned around and off she goes again

Apparently the first time round, the driver of the low-loader measured how high Foremarke Hall was once loaded and discovered that she would be too tall for some of the bridges that she had to pass under and so he turned her round the other way so that the cab would be at the lowest point of the trailer and consequently have just enough clearance.  I dread to think what would have happened if he hadn't done that and he had clouted Station Road Bridge at Broadway with Foremarke Hall.  I think it fair to say that words would have been said.

The above three photos courtesy of Peter Gutteridge.

John provide several photos too:
Foremarke Hall in the car park
On the low-loader the first time...
...and once again the other way around.
 John also provided me with some photos showing the progress with Foremarke Hall's boiler at Tyseley:
Much of the backhead firebox outer wrapper removed
New one having been shaped
Ready to be fitted
After fitting
 There is a new ashpan under construction for Foremarke Hall.  The following was sent to me by John:

"New ashpan under construction

It is the traditional flat bottom pan but with improvements by John Hancock

1. The ashpan is narrower at the top just like the hopper pan. This makes fitting and detaching easier as the nuts are outside the ashpan

2. Made of heavier material, 8mm sides 12mm bottom.

3. It has four damper doors in get air into the pan. However they will still be operated by two levers front & back. So the two fronts will open together and likewise the back. (At least that is the plan).

4. There will be hopper doors in the bottom so as the ash can be dumped out. The plan is to use the current rocker arm already fitted to the engine.

5. Once construction is finished it will come to Toddy for us to fit a ashpan sprinkler for which the team is busy procuring some bits.

6. When Tysley are ready it will go there for fitment"

New ashpan
New ashpan
New ashpan

The previous 10 photos all courtesy of John Cruxon.

Leaping forward to Saturday, that was our first operating day of the season and 5542, the Planet's Favourite Prairie had the honour of hauling the trains.
So good to see one of our locos in steam on our line again
10:00 and off she went, bang on time
In the David Page shed, roads 6 & 7 have been emptied of stock and a start made on removing the track
Never seen it so empty
Exposing the sleepers
Ade knocking out the keys
The 4F which is usually tucked away out of sight in the David Page shed is now happily sat on road 2 and is easily visible from the Malvern side of trains leaving Toddington towards Cheltenham Race Course.

First time outdoors for some time for the 4F
 The bricks for 2807's new brick arch were moved to where they would be needed on Saturday and according to Ben's Facebook page, they were successfully installed today and a warming fire put in, ready for the race trains
Gilbert wheeling the bricks towards 2807.

2807 & 7820 bask in the sun, warming fire in 7820
Tim makes 7820 gleam
"Quick, look busy, Ray's here with his camera"
I spent the day needle gunning parts of Dinmore Manor's real tender:
Half way through one side
Ready for painting
The other side being primed
 Later, 5542 returned with her crew after a successful day's work.
Arrived at Cheltenham Race Course
The view from the footplate at Toddington

Dan made a bit of a faux pas during the course of the day. He managed to knock his box of matches into the bucket of water on the footplate. I say "his box of matches", in fact, they were his mum's. Dan removed the matches from the bucket and placed them on the warming tray to dry out, but the combustible stuff on the heads of the matches just fell off, the water having unstuck them. Hopefully Dan's mum doesn't read this blog and won't find out what became of her matches. I wonder if Sunday lunch was delayed or even cancelled because she couldn't light the oven.
The soggy matches

The above three photos courtesy of Dan Wigg.
Ian (l) and Dan with 5542 on the ash pit
Paul (l) and Mike emptying the pit.

And finally, more news on the 2874 front. The trust that is aiming to restore 2874 to working order has had its membership augmented by Sir William McAlpine who has joined as the group's patron. Sir William is a past owner of Flying Scotsman and currently chairs the Romney, Hythe & Dymchurch Railway, the Dart Valley Railway and the Railway Heritage Trust.

"Sir William McAlpine" by DAEaton - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sir_William_McAlpine.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Sir_William_McAlpine.jpg


  1. Any idea why 7820 was topping and tailing 5542 on the last service or did it occur throughout the day????? Was it for steam heating??



    1. Hi Andrew,

      7820 was out for a spot of running in after her belated winter maintenance. 5542 is perfectly capable of providing steam heating by herself if need be.

  2. is 76077 going in the works soon

    1. If by "works" you mean the David Page shed, then I suspect not. It is largely out of bounds for the few months whilst the pit/hard standing for jacks and remainder of concrete floor are installed by contractors.

  3. is 76077 overhaul going to be done by the 35006 team

    1. That is my understanding. At the moment the 35006 team have their hands full with 35006 of course, so nothing is likely to happen to 76077 this side of 35006 being in service and fully fettled.