Great strides have been made on the overhaul of Sir Lamiel. Repairs to the front of the tender tank are complete, and with the springs returned and bogies repainted, only a little work on the coal space is left to complete this part of the project. The frames themselves are also mechanically complete, with final cleaning and repainting being spearheaded by Association volunteers.
The firebox is now complete, with the foundation ring riveted back in place, and approximately 500 new copper stays manufactured and fitted. With the boiler problems experienced on 45305 and other engines in the GCR fleet, work on the N15’s boiler fell slightly behind, however Sir Lamiel was prepared ready for RailFest 2004 by refitting the boiler.
With the firebox such a close fit in the frames, all the new copper stay heads on both sides of the firebox had to be knocked down before the boiler could be lifted into the frames. Even then the new smoke box and new foundation ring rivet heads made for a long day of fettling to get the boiler in secured in place. After that the mad rush began, with the new smoke box to secure, chimney to fit, boiler cladding with new cladding bands and framework to drill and fit. Then the cab roof and boiler fittings were replaced, while the boiler cladding was repainted. After many long days by many of our members, the locomotive left Loughborough for York 5 days before the exhibition.
A huge amount of interest was shown in 30777 at York, and in fact it was a unique exhibit, since without tubes, ash pan or washout plugs, it was possible to show visitors the boiler work we had done, what was left to do, and how things worked far better than we could if it had been complete and in steam!
After returning from York, the boiler has once more been stripped and the opportunity taken to lift it out of the frames at the same time 78019’s boiler was fitted. Now the remainder of the boiler work can be completed, safe in the knowledge that next time round the boiler and smoke box should fit perfectly in the frames.