|Ivatt 2MT, 2-6-0, 46521...|
|... built at Swindon in 1953...|
|...our second guest loco for the "Swindon Built" gala.|
Just as a reminder, our first guest loco is BR Standard 9f, 2-10-0, 92214:
|92214, the youngest Swindon built steam loco capable of being steamed|
The big newsworthy items at the moment, are of course the progress with 35006 and 7903. It was absolutely hammering down with rain when I popped in to have a look around after the gala committee meeting on Saturday, so I'm afraid that as 7903 was indoors and 35006 was outdoors, almost all the photos are of 7903, as I'd have got soaked venturing out to look at 35006.
To start with, I understand that in the smoke box of 7903, Foremarke Hall, the blower ring, ejector ring & steam lance cock are now all installed in addition to the items listed last week (superheater/blast pipe/regulator valve). The petticoat is anticipated to be fitted shortly.
|The smoke box is progressing well.|
|The first of the boiler insulation is in place|
|Foremarke Hall has been coupled up to her tender again|
|The cab is starting to take shape once again|
A small team of people were also at work on Dinmore Manor's tender, which had its sump fitted on Saturday.
|Dinmore Manor's tender|
|35006, as viewed from within the nice dry David Page shed|
An amusing start to the day was to discover this squirrelled away in the mess coach
|"To my Heart Throb, x"|
|A tempting Victoria sponge|
Sunday morning was my first firing turn of the new season, I wasn't even sure if I would remember what to do. My steed for the day was 5542, the "Planet's favourite Prairie" (PFP). On a sad note, the PFP's contract with the GWSR will finish this week, with her last steaming with us taking place on Wednesday March 30th. Should you wish to catch her in steam on our line for one last time for the forseeable future, then you'd best be quick. I should hasten to add, that there is nothing unusual in this, with Foremarke Hall and 35006 being about to re-enter traffic, there is not enough work for the PFP with us any more and she will be moving on to pastures new shortly. I have a larger blog article on the PFP and her history, prepared to bring to you next week.
|Dinmore Manor and the PFP being readied for duty on Sunday|
|Ian, having just Tweeted (whatever that means)|
Come 10:00, Dinmore Manor was off with the first first train.
|Dinmore Manor sets off|
|The PFP, nicely cleaned up and ready for the day's work|
|My claim to being just 21 is looking a little bit suspect|
|Crossing Dinmore Manor at Winchcombe|
|Steve (driver) looks on in amusement as I struggle to stay dry|
|I'm sure there is a "Blue Motion" joke in here somewhere, but VW have better lawyers than me.|
|Eleanor, post pep pipe problems, when she had got it under control.|
|Dad with his birthday cake|
There have to be some perks to getting up ridiculously early and getting extremely grubby operating steam locos. One of those perks is be being able to arrange for relatives to have a trip out on the footplate every now and again. The first dad knew of it was when I took him along to the station master's office to get a footplate pass signed for him, and then took him off to the PFP.
|Dad... in my office.|
In spite of the forecast, it had so far been a very pleasant day, and remained so until after we had got back and disposed the PFP.
|Dad was his usual cheeky self during the run round|
|Dinmore Manor behind bars at Winchcombe|
And finally, on Wednesday, Chris Smith passed out as a fireman on the GWSR, some 51 years after doing the same for BR. I'm afraid that if there are any photos of either passing out event, then they have yet to find their way to me. Regardless, many congratulations Chris.