What a Wednesday – 27th May
I will start by giving my apologies for no pictures. In short we simply did not have time.
Now with the excellent gala over you might be thinking the work is done? This Wednesday proved to be far from the case and I will go as far as saying it has been one of the busiest Wednesday’s I have experienced since I joined the team in 2009.
So what was happening? Firstly can I set the background. Wednesday’s is the days when a growing group of us get together to clear the unfinished work from the previous weekend and start getting everything ready for the next weekend. Sorry to shatter the myth but there is no magic fairy that clean’s the grates etc.
1. Clean all grates, fireboxes and ashpan’s.
2. Restock the wood store.
3. Regularly clean the pits
4. Carryout running repairs, even changing springs on occasion’s!
5. Progressing the various restoration projects
6. And so the list goes in, especially when you include a further few hours shunting the yard to get everything in its right place.
Yesterday seemed to explode with activity right from the start at 08.00hrs.
The driver for the day’s service wanted the tender brakes adjusted on 7820 before he left shed. After an initial reluctance by the adjusters to free off the 7903 brake adjusting spanner came into play and that by its sheer weight soon had things moving. One of our newer volunteers gave me a hand and found it very educational.
Fortunately a small team had gone in on Tuesday and had made a serious start on some of the smokeboxes etc and also got Raveningham Hall ready for departure. We then carried on their good work attending to the two tank engines plus the spam can’s (34007 & 34092) as they had been too hot the previous day. Now the 04 shunter did find it a bit of a challenge to move the two spam can’s together but with a bit of TLC she succeeded. We needed them on the pits so as we could clean out the ashpan’s thoroughly.
Now throw in P Way department that wanted the area in front to roads 6 & 7 cleared so as they could start track laying on road 7 as well as removing the ground on and alongside road 7 outside so as the track can be lifted sometime soon as it is currently far too low. Yet more shunting!!
Meanwhile the “King of the Wood Store” our Roger along with his band of merry men was busy tidying up the store and then started the process of restocking it. Yet another myth shattered there is no magic woodman, well not unless you want to call Roger and his team magic. In my opinion it is one of those jobs that can make the start of a fireman’s day easy or hard. We have more easy starts than hard starts thanks to these lads.
Just after our lunch we had a pit stop with the service train, the tender brakes needed another half a turn on the adjusters to get them up tighter. So out came the 7903 brake adjusting spanner and the job was done. They also needed a bit more coal as we deliberately are running the tender low as 7820 is off on its travels next week.
Meanwhile John H has removed the faulty injector steam pipe to attend to the blowing joint. He has also removed a water delivery pipe ready for Ian C to fit the pep pipe adaptor too. He then set about making all the new joints ready for refitting next week.
There was also the usual riveting noise coming from the DP shed as Ian C and his Wednesday team set about more riveting on Dinmore’s tender frames.
Neil Cooper and Tim Bazeley were working with the P way team to help with everything, followed on by more packing of road 8.
Now you might be under the preconception that the Wednesday gang are all retired? Whilst the majority are there are a few of the younger members of the department that regularly come as their work pattern or annual holiday’s gives them a free Wednesday. If you have an occasional or regular free Wednesday then please feel free to come along. The Wednesday team are a really cracking group of people who will always welcome new comers!
So when you next turn up to crew an engine, and she is all prepared ready for you to do a day’s work then the Wednesday lads have done their bit!!!!!
Almost forgot, showed around a group of visitor’s from the North Norfolk railway as well as talk to a few visitors in the viewing area so throw in a bit of PR as well!
It seems that the Wednesday gang and the Saturday gang are now engaged in some sort of competition judging by that and by this message that I found scrawled on the notice board on Saturday morning:
|The gauntlet is thrown down.|
Checking the smoke box revealed that those kind people in the Wednesday gang had indeed been as good as their word and emptied it of ash. Thanks guys. If you were every curious about seeing the blast pipe arrangement inside the smoke box, then here it is.
|Cross between a Mekon and Darth Vader.|
|Andy cleaning Wells|
|Aaron (l) & Phil with the tea.|
|Basking in the sunshine|
|I think his name was Richard, sorry if I got it wrong|
|Steam, only from the places it is supposed to emerge|
|Looks the same as Wadebridge's|
|Ajax fire hole door actuating mechanism|
|The operating treadle|
Another, rather more obvious difference was that there was a damper on Wells, just the one, but that was one more than Wadebridge. I was very thankful to see it.
|Not an original fitting, but very handy.|
|Handle out = off on Wells, but on when it comes to Wadebridge|
Wells came complete with an operators manual which contained plenty of advice and instructions on the preparation, operation and disposal of Wells. Most of it was straight forward common sense, but I was amused to note that I was forbidden to take it onto the turntable at Keighley as it was too long. I was fairly confident that I wasn't going to do that.
The spam cans had been a big draw during the gala and continued to be so on Saturday. We had Chris and Graham join us on the footplate.
|(l-r) Chris, Graham & Neil, my driver for this trip|
|Ian (l) & Graham|
|Still hard at it on CRC platform 2|
Andy volunteers in both the SLD and Carriage & Wagon. He's obviously blessed with way too much free time. He recently emailed me a photo himself aged 8 on the footplate of Wells in 1966 whilst she was still incarcerated in Barry Island scrap yard.
|Andy (r) at Winchcombe|
|Andy on Wells in 1966|
Moving ahead nearly 50 years, here we have Wells again, with our relief crew, Ben (l) and Andy in the cab, Neil in front of the loco.
|Nearly half a century later|
|Young people's group and water.... a dangerous combination!|
|Just another blue tank engine wearing a bag over it's head.|
|Phil uses his head!|
|Dinmore Manor in a pool of her own water|
Other than draining the tender and boiler, much other work had needed doing on Dinmore Manor before she could depart.
|One of the tender springs was changed|
|New brake blocks fitted|
|Damping down the ash|
|Perfect, no ash at all in the pit.|
|Ralph (l) and Jamie, needle gunning the tender wheels.|
|Jamie in the 04, shunting 35006|
The end reuslt was a rather pleasing line up of three of Mr Bulleid's finest:
|(l-r), Wadebridge, Wells & 35006|
Anyway, the three Bulleid line up was a popular start to the photo charter
|Even some of the crew got in on the act.|
|Wells leads Wadebridge just past Stanway viaduct|
|Coming off the viaduct|
|Ben enjoying the evening|
|Speeding to the west|
|Wells isn't known as 'The volcano' for nothing|
|Exiting Greet tunnel|