"For the last four or five years the last Wednesday before Christmas has become an activity of eating Christmas cake. This all started when my wife’s Christmas cake for home was put in the wrong baking tin and therefore came out too thin. Instead of throwing it away it was iced and delivered to the Steam Dept. on the last Wednesday before Christmas. The tradition was started and has continued ever since although all subsequent cakes are cooked especially for the department. This year Chris’s wife joined in and made us some scones and a Victoria sponge cake."
|The Christmas cake...|
|...The sponge cake...|
|...The disappearing act|
Speaking of Saturday, loco prep was well advanced when I arrived, I noticed that Dinmore Manor was adorned with a new to the department "Not To Be Moved" board which featured an integral red flashing light.
|A carefully timed photo to catch it when it was on.|
|Surely this violates elf & safety regulations!|
|Dan wields a new long handled shovel|
|Steve hoses down around the pits|
|Dan on the shovel once more|
|One day this will deliver water again.|
|35006 heads off with the empty coaches to Cheltenham Race Course|
|Gilbert ferreting around in one of 2807's cylinders|
|Martin painting brackets from 3850's tender|
|Kenneth wire brushing various bolts|
|David (L) & Mark reaming out a bolt hole on 3850's pony truck...|
|...which turned into something of a spectator sport.|
|Sam rotates a bearing on an axle already coated with engineering blue...|
|...and then scrapes down the high spots.|
3850's frames have now been levelled to within 10 thousandths of an inch, and the plan is to correct even that. Looking at it from the front, bearing in mind that the frames are to all intents and purposes level, the buffer beam is definitely listing to port, evidence of a prang by a previous not so careful owner.
|With a new cylinder block & frame extensions, it will soon be back as Collett intended.|
|The recently removed sand box has been given a coat of primer|
|Fireman's side valve bore, devoid of anything bar rust.|
|Valve link dangling, piston rod cut through.|
|The valve link still connected to the valve spindle cross head towards the top of the picture|
|The front valve cover had already been removed.|
|Bruce indicating the order of disassembly.|
|Martin taking pictures of me taking photos for this blog, that he will use in the DMLL working party email|
|Just the job for the hydraulic ram|
|Valve link (top left) disconnected from the valve spindle cross head|
|Valve spindle inside its cross head.|
|Mark applies a touch of heat...|
|...which did the trick in no time.|
|To access the one at the bottom, you also have to remove the one at the top... of course|
|Keith undoing one of the nuts.|
|Securing bolts being removed|
|Valve spindle cross head and slide bar removed.|
|The valve head emerges into the light of day|
|Mark (L) & Keith pull the valve out the last bit of the way|
|Mark applying a bit of heat to one of the recalcitrant nuts|
That isn't all for 2874, I had hoped to be able to announce the following for 2874's one hundredth birthday a few weeks ago, but I've had to wait for the official wording from what is now one of 2874's sponsors, the Heritage Lottery Fund. In their own words:
Heritage Engineering Skills Training
The 2874 Trust wins National Lottery supportToday, the 2874 Trust has received a National Lottery grant of £57,400 for an exciting heritage project, Skill and Expertise building through practical work projects on historic steam locomotives, at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway.
Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on ensuring the vital heritage mechanical engineering skills needed to maintain and operate steam locomotives can be both developed and passed on to a new generation of volunteers. Work projects will start early in 2019 and will be based around the restoration of a 1918 built steam locomotive.
Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the project will enable local people of all ages to become involved in heritage engineering either hands-on learning new skills or developing existing expertise to ensure there is a skilled workforce available to keep alive Britain’s steam heritage. Work projects will range from an introduction to restoration, for example, saving badly worn and rusted metalwork, to the highly technical manufacture of components from base castings, working to the drawings from more than a hundred years ago.
The 2874 Trust is an organisation set up to operate historic railway locomotives and provide training in the practicalities of their operation. The aim is to promote public appreciation and understanding of the historic, cultural and scientific aspects of this machinery. The Trust has purchased an ex GWR Heavy Freight locomotive no 2874, built in 1918 and aims to restore and hire it to Heritage Railways for the enjoyment and education of the general public.
Steam Heritage is one of Britain’s iconic industries and working steam engines are a key component of the very successful and important tourism sector. It is crucial to the continued operation of Heritage visitor attractions that suitable working locomotives are available. The sector needs skilled volunteers capable of maintaining these locomotives and this project will help ensure a new generation gains the required experience.
Commenting on the award, David Foster, Chairman of the 2874 Trust said: “We are thrilled to have received this support thanks to National Lottery players and are confident the project gives us opportunities to extend heritage skills and introduce them to a new generation helping to ensure a long-term future for Heritage locomotives and perhaps along the way we can encourage some to make a career in engineering.”
So there you have it, not quite in time for 2874's one hundredth birthday, but an extremely welcome Christmas present instead.
Wishing all our readers a merry Christmas & a happy New Year from the GWSR Steam Loco Dept.