North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Wendesday 9th May 2018

Well....not everything went as forecast yesterday. First, it was a lovely sunny and warm day so no need to fire up Bill's new stove after all. Then it turned out that Ian had had a fall over the weekend and damaged his shoulder so he was unable to be present - and had even had to cancel a driving turn the previous day! As a consequence, and because of my late arrival following car problems over the weekend, there were no cups of tea to start the day - except for Bill, who was there really early and managed to sneak one in. A disastrous start for what was a big team, particularly from Hartlepool, consisting of Bill Dobson, Roy Marshall, Dave Whitfield, Dave Donegan, Nigel Bill, Jon Bradley, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall and, eventually, myself. We also had visits from Bob Grey and Derek Norris who had been for a ride out to Pickering, and Terry Newman who was on Repton for the day.

Work concentrated on the header, which Mark O'Brien had managed to remove the previous week - never in a long time had so much effort been concentrated on that large lump of metal in such a relatively short time. Jon Bradley and Roy Marshall took various parts away to be glassblasted down at the MPD, while Nigel Bill and Dave Whitfield cleaned up the header itself. The holes where the elements fit in the header were NDT'd by myself and showed no evidence of any problems. Then it was a case of all hands to prepare blanking plates and seals to prepare the header for a hydraulic which Bill had hoped to carry out by the end of the day. What an optimist! Rubber sealant sheet had to be obtained from the MPD store, cut to shape, along with holes for the many studs, the studs themselves had to have the thread cutter run down them while those that came out with the nuts received attention from Steve Hyman in the workshop, and nuts, bolts and washers of varying shapes and sizes had to be found from the workshop to secure the blanking plates to the header. A long and frustrating job, but by the end of the day, and fortified by cups of tea, the header was all boxed up, apart from the 6 plugs needed to test the saturated side of the header. Bill is going to try to get it taken down to the boiler shop today, clamped on the swaging block and filled with water for the hydraulic test. However, we all know what happens to the best laid plans ......

In between times we did manage to get lunch, with some dining in the sun at the picnic tables up by the wheeldrop, while others stayed back in the shade on the bench in Deviation Shed.

Because of a commercial filming project, services appeared to be running to the Green rather than Red timetable, with 80136 top and tailed with the Class 26 on the Gresley teaks for the filming people, and the normal service trains, which were generally very busy, in the hands of 76079 and Repton, while the B1 came in for wash out.

Working party on Saturday as usual, for which milk will be required and the water bottles need filling before any cups of tea can be poured. In respect of the milk though, can I please ask that opened bottles of milk are not left sideways in the fridge - they leak and the curdled consequences have to be removed from the bottom of a very smelly fridge, along with anything else that was stored there and been affected. Please always leave the milk bottles standing upright, and buy single pints as they fit in that way. Many thanks.