Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Roll Out the Barrel

I am pleased to see that we have had some response to the appeal for more cleaning rags, I was pleasantly surprised to find one in the oil store still in its original wrapping
We don't normally get rags still in their original wrapping
 I was even more surprised when I got to the oil store and discovered that it had come from a box full of shirts. 
A box full
Thank you to the kind soul who donated them, they will of course be put to good use, however we need much more, our stocks are extremely depleted at the moment.  If you were considering replacing your curtains, or getting rid of your old winter clothes and replacing them with summer ones, then this would be a good time to do it.   The rag collecting point is the green bin attached to the fence at the yard entrance.  All donations gratefully received.

Moving swiftly along, it seems that we have some students of literature amongst our number.  Some years ago, one of the conveniences in the yard was out of action and marked as "Do Not Use Pan insecure".  The message remained long after it had been fixed and returned to service.  Rather belatedly, it has had an addendum:
Pan insecure
 It is a considerable while since I last read Peter Pan, but I recollect just the one crocodile which had swallowed a clock and was after Captain Hook, not Peter Pan. Never mind, it amused me anyway.  You get a better standard of graffiti at the GWSR.

Last Wednesday morning, yours truly was up bright and early to dispose both 35006 and Dinmore Manor, followed by lighting up and running 35006 for the day.  As I write this, the weather is gloriously sunny... it wasn't at all like that on Wednesday.  
35006 being coaled up in the pouring rain
 The fireman for Dinmore Manor was Ed, he arrived complaining of a combination of the dreaded man flu and norovirus. He was clearly trying to elicit sympathy... you won't be at all surprised to hear that he didn't get any. In the end, a spare fireman (John) was found and Ed went off back home to recuperate.  I steered well clear of Ed all the same, just in case he really was contagious.  
Ed, just before being relieved of Dinmore Manor
Clive in the office.
The cleaner (Steve)
 Our arrival back on shed at the end of the day was delayed whilst one of the new yard lamps was erected.
Lamp erection team at work.
 We had been running with a rake of 7 on Wednesday, as one of the coaches had been found to have a faulty spring.  It had been removed from the rake to have the spring changed.
The errant coach (Photo courtesy of Peter Gutteridge)
The broken leaf spring (Photo courtesy of Peter Gutteridge)
Changing the spring (Photo courtesy of Peter Gutteridge)
The broken spring now removed (Photo courtesy of Peter Gutteridge)
 The coach was inserted back into the rake at the same time that the diesel took over for the last round trip of the day.
A new yard lamp erected (Photo courtesy of Peter Gutteridge)
 Being a glutton for punishment, I was back again on Saturday, this time with Steve as my driver and Adam as the rostered cleaner.  I had 35006 once again.  I was down as the prep crew, which meant that I was also responsible for lighting up 4270 as well.  In fact, Adam is well advanced in fireman training and once I had done the initial safety checks he was very capable of sorting out 4270 by himself.
Adam (L) and Peter cleaning the pit once 35006 had moved forward
 The operations notices had mentioned that there would be a 10 MPH temporary speed restriction (TSR) at Didbrook for the P Way team to undertake track maintenance.  They were still getting themselves set up when we arrived.
TSR not quite yet in place.
 Adam fired us down to Cheltenham and kept everything nicely under control.
Adam on the shovel
Running round at Broadway
 At Cheltenham, I was asked by a chap about the principles of how steam locomotives work, after a bit of a chat, he announced that he didn't really want to know for himself, but for his wife who had dragged him along.  Later on at Broadway, we had a hen party on the train, with the bride to be and her entourage wanting photos taking with the locomotive.  It seems that steam locomotives are becoming more & more popular with the fair sex.
Hen night photos by 35006
The bride to be
 I assume that the chap in the above photo is the husband to be, though they are not usually invited on hen nights, so who knows.

The nice thing about getting a prep turn on a red timetable day is that after you have done your round trip, there is still plenty of time in the day to do something useful in the shed.

I noted that much has been done on the Peckett, John (works number 1976), with much of the cab having been painted in primer.
Peckett cab components
 A recent blog post regarding the building of a new cab for 2874 showed a photo of the new brass castings for the spectacle windows.  This prompted a question from one reader regarding where these were to go.   The answer is that as built, the 28XX locos had a pair of spectacle windows at the top front part of the cab, either side of the whistle.  They were use to neither man nor beast, unless you happened to be around 7'2" tall.  

4270 still has them fitted, as this photo that I rummaged up on flickr shows.  Being of little use, the spectacle windows were generally replaced during GWR/BR service with a steel insert.  This happened to 2807 and 2874.   In the original cab sheet of 2874, you can see where the steel insert to replace one of the spectacle windows went.
Where a spectacle window originally was.
 The plan of course is to revert 2874 to as near as built condition as possible, so the spectacle windows will be reinstated and that is what the new castings are for.
The new castings ready for machining.
The frame that the cab will be built on for 2874 is now finished and painted black, the first bits of angle iron of the cab are in primer and have been bolted on.
Angela & Cliff, having just got the frame and cab angle iron finished
 Going back to that original bit of cab sheeting, there was a bracket bolted on to it that needed salvaging for the new cab.  I ended up removing it (angle grinder therapy required).
The wanted bracket
 By the end of the day, it had been wire brushed and was in primer and hanging up in a container to dry:
It's got a good few more years of life left in it yet
Various other bits of angle bracket that couldn't be salvaged from the original, having rusted beyond salvation, were having replacements fabricated in the machine shop
New angle brackets being trimmed to size.
 Meanwhile, 2807 was nearing the end of its washout cycle, Gil was busy tapping washout plug threads and boxing it up again.
2807, soon be back in traffic again
The new lamp by the parachute tank in the yard.
 An unusual item of interest, apparently one of the variety of wagons used for storage in the yard was getting a clear out, and amongst the items that were being weighed in for scrap were the cut off ends of some old coupling rods.

Mortal remains of a coupling rod
 Some debate ensued as to what steam loco they could have come from... in the end, a big clue was D9510 stamped on one of them.  D9510 was a class 14 diesel hydraulic, which was cut up on site at BSC Corby in August 1982.  How the cut off ends of its coupling rods ended up in a wagon at Toddington will probably remain a mystery.
The view from the footplate can be rather nice at times
 And finally, Mike was at Tyseley on other business on Monday, when he noticed this being put on a van to go to Riley's.  It is the replacement front boiler barrel section for 3850.  More news on 3850 is that machining has commenced on its new cylinder block.  It's all slowly pulling together.
Front boiler barrel section loaded and ready to go (photo courtesy of Mike Solloway)


  1. Thanks for your answer on the circular spectacle plates. I had totally forgotten about the existence of them. I do now remember seeing them in some photos.
    On topics poetical, I remember that the depot odd job man put up a sign in the gents at Stoubridge Junction traincrew depot stating "Please use the brush", in one of the cubicles, to which an addendum was added "No, it hurts".
    Regards, Paul.

  2. I see that the water tower has dream to spare. Some errant fireman lighting the brazier a bit early ????

  3. Would guess the bits from D9510 would date back to the three Class 14s that used to be on site in the 1980s?

  4. Ah such a high class line in the Cotswolds. Clean white shirts as rags, finest Persian carpets for the fitters to lay down on, hand maidens to give them tea and biscuits, whatever next......
    Sorry just woke up with a start! must be dreaming of my next visit!!!
    Paul & Marion