Chilly Days, Windy Weather
It’s November, the nights are getting longer, the days are getting colder and the weather’s positively foul.... So it was good that 30777 Sir Lamiel, with her open cab had an outing at the weekend. Somehow the law of fate seems to ensure that Lamiel is in traffic on cold, wet, windy days while the Brit with her enclosed cab sees a lot of activity in the sweltering heat of the summer. Not that we are complaining; far from it. The hardy souls of 5305LA’s support crew and the Loco Department at Loughborough are more than happy to have a turn on the Nation’s Favourite Knight whatever the weather (and thank our lucky stars that it’s not a whole lot worse like some parts of the country!)
Lamiel is still awaiting the new super-heater elements: the kit-of-parts has been collated and the bits are being fettled prior to Malcolm-the-Welder putting them together into elements. At the moment, she has a few elements blanked off, which means that her performance is steady, but on a preserved line this isn’t a problem. We are looking forward to replacing the elements and having her back on top form. Sir Lamiel is a lovely engine, both to work and to look at, and the visitors to the railway seem to get a lot of pleasure out of seeing her at work; she certainly looks good in photographs – possibly it’s because she was built to be attractive to the travelling public to encourage them to use the fast expresses on the Southern Region. This engine has little “grace notes” in her design: the pointed finial on top of the whistle, the gracefully tapered cab hand rails, the pleasing shape of the name plate... If you don’t know what I mean, why not visit Loughborough and see for yourself just what a good looking engine she is – and while you are there enjoy the more rugged looks of 70013 “Oliver Cromwell” and the pleasing shape of the Five (and the other engines at Loughborough - note to self, when you are in a hole, stop digging!)
While Lamiel was out gallivanting up and down the line in the wind and rain, 70013 Oliver Cromwell was not required, so she spend the weekend tucked up safe and warm in the shed at Loughborough next to the Five’s frames which are still up in the air, with the front bogie drawn out for cleaning and painting. The boiler is still at Tyseley, in the final stages of the overhaul, and the work on the motion and axleboxes continues.