I was the rostered fireman on Wednesday and when I found 2807 on one of the pits, the fire from the steam test the day before was still burning on the back of the grate. The instructions for firemen say that you should always rake it all out regardless, don't try lighting up on it. I took the view that you shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth, and after a rudimentary clean of the dead ash, left it where it was and carried on from there. Needless to say, the back half of the grate stayed blacked out for the whole of the first trip and stubbornly refused to catch the fresh coal placed on top. I raked it through at the end of the first trip, lesson learnt!
|The remains of the fire on the grate|
|Won't get far on that!|
|Roll up, roll up, roll up, get your yard tours here|
|Jolly good it was too, thanks Luke.|
|Mark on the big red handle|
|Luke wielding the shovel.|
|Not only evacuees, but unexploded bombs too|
Back on the footplate, the ejector handle was blowing by a bit, presumably the packing inside was no longer sealing as well as it should.
|Indoor water feature|
|Road 6 inside the shed...|
|...and outside, while in the background, 2807 simmers at the end of the day|
2807 was back out again on Thursday for the gold footplate experience course. Once again, yours truly was down as the fireman.
The lighting up experience on Thursday morning left something to be desired, the heavens opened just as I emerged from the wood store with a choice selection of what had only moments before been nice dry wood. Needless to say the coal was wet, 2807's storm sheet was down and it was windy enough to keep blowing out the matches as I tried to light the first rag. The only thing that I had in my favour was that at least the lighting up rags were not wet too. It had even been windy enough to blow over half of the wheelbarrows by the ash dock.
|Yes, I tidied them up again.|
|John (driver) oiling up 2807's motion|
|Who's were they?|
|2807 all steamed up and ready to go|
For the silver footplate experience, the fireman had to do a talk on the duties of a fireman on board the loco at the start of the day. On this occasion, the fireman was spared that as he was needed to man the footplate whilst the participants tried out moving the loco light engine along siding 1. Tim (retired fireman) was on hand to do the fireman's duties talk on another loco, sparing me from having to do it... thanks Tim.
|Learning how to make it go|
|Phil grapples with the complexities of stopping in the right place|
|Wrestling with the elephant trunks|
|Cheltenham Race Course signal box|
|This chap was more used to 7 1/4" narrow gauge|
|Lunch time for the assembled throng|
|2807 parked up at the end of the day on Thursday|
On Saturday, it was time to prepare 2807 for her journey on to the Llangollen Railway, where she will spend the remainder of the year. A team of people swarmed all over her to get her looking her best, as well as raking out the remains of the ash that I had left on the grate, and emptying it out of the ash pan.
|2807 sat on the pit where I had left her on Thursday|
|Bruce(l) & Graham with the much modified vacuum cleaner|
The task of getting Dinmore Manor's old tender serviceable again was underway. The welding underneath had been successfully completed without the need for several brackets to be removed, which saved me a job. Next job was to get some top coat on the wheel sets:
|Eleanor doing her Rolling Stones impression (Paint it Black)|
|Jeremy got in on the act too|
|First coat of black finished|
|Kate (l) and Jack cleaning the vac reservoir|
|Kate was a little reluctant to relinquish the power tools for a paint brush|
|Sundry smaller items received a coat of primer too|
|Borrowed Wakefield lubricator on the left|
|Bob examines the oil feed non-return valve|
|Steve blows an airline through the passageways of the borrowed lubricator|
|Tubes being cut|
|The first of several barrow loads of scale|
|Towards the end of the day.|
|A collection of cut out tubes|
A notice has appeared on the notice board in the mess coach:
|Do you really need that extra shovel full?|