This must be something of a record: Yesterday saw every vehicle in the Association’s care at Loughborough being worked upon.
I will try to list everything that was going on, but as I was busy doing stuff myself (see later) I can’t guarantee that I saw everyone who was working on 5305 projects – apologies in advance if I miss anyone out.
The support coach received more paint – Gerry spent the day getting up to gloss on the buffers and other “fiddly bits” at the southern end of the coach (nearest the shed doors). Meanwhile Kevin was busy at the front of the shed restoring a “dash-pot” on the other bogie ready for re-assembly.
The Class 33 was brought down to the shed and ‘de-winterised’, the batteries charged and the engine was started. There was a minor problem with pipework initially, but Allistair and Mark quickly repaired the pipe and re-started the engine to complete the checks and pronounce the 33 in working order.
D123 was also having a battery-charge and other attention yesterday ready for the 1960s gala at the GCR next weekend. Allistair and Mark were ably assisted by various other people including Neil Burden and Andy Carter to name the only two that I know for sure were working on 5305LA diesel projects.
Hugh cleaned & painted the area under the cab floor of the Five ready for Kevin to begin fitting the OTMR equipment. Plus, don’t forget that the boiler is away at Tyseley and has been being worked on during the week.
Meanwhile Tom was busy in the firexbox of 30777 doing running maintenance - caulking stays. Other than such day to day maintenance, Sir Lamiel is in working order and is expected to star in next weekend’s Gala.
70013 was receiving attention from at least four separate teams of people. Most obvious to anyone visiting the shed was Craig’s team who were caulking lap screws in the firebox. Craig was taking it in turns with John Siggins to operate the air hammer. While James Hazell was busy installing stay nuts. Craig informs me that the stay nutting and lap screws are very nearly finished and all of the tubes are in. There is something peculiarly ringing about the noise of air tools on 70013’s boiler – it may be because it’s currently on a wagon, or it may be the lack of lagging, or perhaps it’s a combination, whatever the reason, the whole shed was ringing and anyone working in the shed was wearing ear-defenders. It did make communication difficult because the noise wasn’t continuous nor regular so you’d start a sentence only to have the second part drowned out by a burst of staccato hammering followed by a moment of quiet into which the last word of the sentence fell.
Alex Pakes, Dave Wright and Rob Gibbons were part of a gang working on cleaning and painting small bits of pipework and cladding near the bridge. While Andy Fillingham, Richard Todd, Robin, Neil Todd and others were busy preparing superheater return bends at the work benches near the rear of the shed (as far away from the boiler noise as possible?). The other gang working on Cromwell was Alan Pakes and me who were cleaning and painting firebox cladding sheets.
I do hope that I haven’t missed out anyone who was working on one of our projects yesterday, but I can only hold up as an excuse that I was buried in the depths of the shed wearing full PPE and using a grinder.
Obviously this report is only a snap-shot of the work that goes on on our vehicles – other people (lots of them) put in lots of time and effort into getting our charges up and running and keeping them that way, and each of them deserves our gratitude and thanks.