|5542 and Dinmore Manor being prepared for Santa duties|
|The pony truck axle boxes|
|2807 with her pony truck pulled forward|
|The new underkeeps, awaiting fitting.|
|Sam at the rear and Martin extricating 3850's sanding mechanism|
|Dan at work|
|The Snowman, more TTI than abominable|
|Santa's little helpers.|
|Elf 'an Safety, AKA Chris & Frances|
|If the cap fits...|
|...even though it has|
|Dan, making himself at home on the fireman's side of the cab|
|...though that has happened too.|
|The big end, ready for trial installation...|
|...well, ok, nearly, Steve did a little last minute fettling|
|Jeff used the FLT to deliver it into the pit|
The con rod was to be fitted the hard way, a deceptive statement, as there is no easy way to fit it. It was first manhandled into what was judged to be the correct spot in the pit, and 35006 was shunted over it, being brought to a halt when the crank shaft was in what was believed to be the best position to facilitate fitting the con rod. 35006 was then moved out of the way again, the con rod shifted again to what really would then be the easiest spot from which to manoeuvre it into position, then 35006 shunted back over it once more. After that, a series of lifts using several sets of block and tackle commenced, starting from a position nearly, but not quite under the ash pan and shifting the con rod, up at a fairly steep angle, through the counterweights on the crank shaft and over a couple of frame stretchers to finally join up with the cross head of the centre piston.
|Steve using a block and tackle|
|Dan peering down from a spot near the cross head|
|Slowly progressing through the counter weights|
|Tantalisingly close at the little end|
|Not that I'm any expert, but nothing like gynaecology.|
|Finally, gudgeon pin inserted and secured in place|
|Andy setting up a block and tackle, yet again|
|John giving the big end securing pin some therapy with a sledge hammer|
|Dan's turn with the block and tackle|
|The crank at the top, big end at the bottom.|
|Much closer, post shunt.|
|(l-r) Andy, Dan & Steve manoeuvring the big end bearing into place|
|John continues with the sledge hammer therapy|
|Job's a good 'un!|
|One fitted centre con rod|
I received the following in an email from Steve of 35006's owning group.
"Could you please put on the blog a "BIG THANK YOU" to all the steam department, including yourself, who helped get the centre connecting rod in place today underneath P & O."
I hesitate to mention the names of those involved, as I didn't write them down at the time, but they all know who they are.
And finally, at around the time that the work on 35006 was approaching a conclusion, 5542 returned for disposal. She had to remain on the ash pit overnight, as 35006 was still on the pit on road 9 and unable to be moved. All had gone well with the Santa Specials, many children had been to see the jovial philanthropist in the red suit and get presents (strange how they all turned out to be on the 'nice' list), and the adults had been filled to bursting with tea and mince pies. Only one small issue had arisen, one of the lamps had been struck by a low flying reindeer's hoof (it was more than just Rudolph's nose that was red) and had fallen to earth with a bit of a bump. The inside glass had broken and the top was no longer as well attached to the body as it should be. The theory that Rudolph had mistaken it for a lady reindeer because of the antlers was never quite discounted.
|The lamp, after Rudolph's amorous advances.|
|Jamie, attempting an antler transplant|
|Well, it had to happen didn't it!|