|Dinmore Manor's spark arrester fitted|
|Neatly stashed alongside the replacement springs that had been there for a while.|
|It really didn't want to budge|
|Ralph got busy getting a shine on the brass work|
|Alex made the running plate clean enough to eat your dinner off|
|And Martin buffed up the safety valve bonnet until he could see his face in it...|
|Emily cleaning a connecting rod|
|Dinmore Manor, ready to go to Paignton, all she needs now is her bucket & spade|
This was the first weekend after the gala, and we had two of our visiting locos out on the red timetable. Train 1, the Cotswold Express, was hauled by Thompson B1, 1264, and train 2, was hauled by Collett King, 6023, King Edward II. Yours truly was rostered as the relief fireman for 1264, meaning that I took over after the first round trip.
|6023 & 1264 on the pits before starting work for the day|
|Jane & Barney.|
|Round topped firebox|
Upon gaining entry to the cab, the next thing that strikes you is the famed LNER letterbox for firing through.
|Letter box in the closed position...|
|...and latched open, ready for firing.|
I had at least once before fired through one of these things, and with the right kind of shovel it is easier than it looks, it took just a few shovels full to get the hang of it again. The grate is long and narrrow and slopes from a knuckle about a third of the way in, rather like the Swindon number 1 boiler carried by Foremarke Hall. I had fetched along my own Bulldog shovel forged in a midland pattern, which was ideal for the task. I'm not sure how other GWSR firemen who chose to use the GWR pattern shovels that had been put on the loco will have fared.
Other departures from GWR practice are of course the presence of 2 water gauges and the blower valve being tucked somewhere inaccessible behind the regulator. Care had to be taken when using it as several rather hot items were placed nearby as a trap for the unwary.
|Paul, hand on the handle and ready to set off.|
|Illuminated water gauge|
|In Gotherington loop|
|The staff, securely held and nicely on view|
|Cylinder drain cock lever|
Needless to say, I had a marvellous day on 1264, I'd certainly welcome her back again.
The day turned out to be slightly longer than planned. 6023 at this point hadn't had spark guards fitted in her ash pan, the 1st of June was hot and dry and there were a number of small fires reported along the line. When we arrived back at Toddington for what had been expected to be the last time, we were informed by Mark, the Duty Operations Officer, that 6023 had started a fire in the Broadway section, and once it arrived, we were to head off into section and put the fires out.
|Before all that, Mark was curious about the letter box and gave it a try|
|Mark beating out a fire...|
|...then Aaron applied some water.|
|They'll have to repaint it in fire engine red now.|
Last Wednesday, with only 2807 left on shed (419 and 1264 having been sent back to their respective home railways), the Wednesday gang got on with erecting the platforms and ladders for the new lamps in the yard.
|Ladder erecting team in action (photo courtesy of Peter Gutteridge)|
|One lamp with platform at the top, awaiting its ladder (photo courtesy of Peter Gutteridge)|
|Des has been re-wheeled and has trundled up and down the yard again (photo courtesy of Peter Gutteridge)|
|The ballast spreading machine has appeared once more. (photo courtesy of Peter Gutteridge)|
One of the Churchward Saints (2925, Saint Martin) was converted by Collett to be the first Hall (4900, Saint Martin). Later, Hawksworth modified the Hall's to create the Modified Hall class. It was appropriate therefore that Didcot lined up Lady of Legend outside their shed with 5900, Hinderton Hall and 6998, Burton Agnes Hall (Modified Hall) to display the lineage from start to finish.
|L-R, 2999, 5900, 6998|
|Lady of Legend in steam|
|The Lady, being turned|
|A recent gala visitor for us, 1450 was in action too|
|Foremarke Hall on the demonstration line|
|7903 joins 5900 & 6998, 2999 passes by on the demonstration line|
|2999 on the demonstration line|
|2999 and 7903 double headed|
|The sun eventially came out at the end of the day, L-R, 7903, 2999, 5900 & 6998|
|L-R, 2999, 5900, 6998 & 7903, (photo courtesy of John Cruxon)|
|Foremarke Hall being turned (photo courtesy of John Cruxon)|
|7903 in front of the coal stage, wish we had one of those at Toddington (photo courtesy of John Cruxon)|
And finally, Chris Eden-Green has released another you-tube video in his "Locomotives in Profile" series. If you are not familiar with his work, he combines footage of various locomotive classes and gives his personal opinion on how effective they were at what they were designed to do along with historical information. It's all rather more informative than anything that the mainstream tv companies come up with when dealing with heritage railways, yet he still manages to make it interesting. The reason that I am mentioning it is that this time he has profiled the Thompson B1 class and used some footage shot at Toddington the day before the "Northern Soul" gala started.
|Chris Eden-Green capturing some footage of 1264...|
|...and speaking to camera|