What to do on a cold misty day? One suggestion is to send someone else out to do a driving turn on a 105 year old locomotive while you stay warm & cosy* in the shed painting bits of the five’s frames. (*n.b. the warm & cosy bit is relative as most people who visit the shed at Loughborough are struck by how cold, damp and dreary it is inside even in summer, but compared to an open plan cab, low tendered engine going tender first into freezing drizzle, it suddenly seems appealing). So, having neatly avoided the fresh air turn you need to actually do something to make the day worthwhile.
Hugh and Dave Masters chose to clean down and paint the area under the cab floor of the Five’s cab ready for Kevin to install various electronic gizmos for the OTMR. Sorry for the imprecise terminology there, but I don’t know what the bits and pieces involved in OTMR are, and apart from cable and conduit I doubt that I could even name parts without a list, and then I might need a pronunciation guide. Electronics are a closed book to me, but to Kevin they are bread and butter (and perhaps Jam – he seems to enjoy all the fiddly wiring, weird technical bits and obscure calculations that are involved – and he does a first rate job – thanks Kevin!)
So that’s one of the possibilities for a cold damp day, but are there other options available to the 5305 LA volunteer at Loughborough? Perhaps you feel that the shed is a bit too cold, maybe you were never rostered for the cold footplate turn, so you don’t have the comparison to make the shed seem cosy, what else is there? Well, the support coach is an indoor job, it is a relatively small area, so it warms up quickly with little heating – just bodies and hard work make it almost cosy* within a short stretch of time. (*another relative term here). Several of the team carried on the work over the weekend and the job is starting to look good. The compartment nearest the toilet now has all the seats and luggage racks in position, with the big mirror above one set and space for pictures above the other set.
The other three compartments all have the luggage racks fitted where needed, and much of the panelling is in position and varnished with at least one coat.
These three compartments will each have one set of seats with a set of bunks opposite. The electrics for the coach are progressing well, the 240v sockets in the compartments are now installed and working, which makes using power tools much easier as there is no need to trail extension leads into the compartments – you can just plug in to the socket.
The compartment lights now work as well, and Mark plans that in the fullness of course the lights in the toilet compartment will be individually controlled so that they can be used in the night when the rest of the coach lights have been turned off.
A supply of varnished panels ready to be fitted.
In short, work on the coach is accelerating, I know this is the case because Alan has produced a list of outstanding tasks – which is something which you can only do once the job is small enough to be broken down into bite-sized chunks – at the start of a job like this the list would read: “Overhaul 17064”, or maybe if you really wanted to split it down: “overhaul Bogies; refurbish interior fittings; redo exterior paintwork”.
One person who hasn’t been finding a cosy indoor job is Gary who has been busy sanding down the exterior of the coach ready for painting. Thank you, Gary.
Finally don’t forget Sir Lamiel’s forthcoming trips on the main line: To Salisbury on the 9th (next Tuesday) and to Sherborne on the 18th. These trips would make an excellent pre-Christmas treat for yourself – you could justify it as being an essential Christmas shopping trip (there are bound to be some interesting shops in Sherborne or Salisbury). Or what about an early Christmas present for a loved one?