North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Wednesday 8th February

One of those days yesterday. Bitterly cold with a hailstorm mid morning, and no electricity until 2pm. Although the previous day's lack of power had been thought to have been resolved by that evening, it had failed again by the morning. Thanks to the sterling efforts of Chris Wright and Gordon Wells during Wednesday morning however, power was restored in the afternoon and the workshop heater and cups of tea were then available and much appreciated. The fault was eventually traced to water getting in the main fuse box and blowing out the fuses via the hole in the cladding above the box. This has now been temporarily filled with plastic and gaffer tape (although Piglet reckoned that he would be walking past in a year's time and reminding himself that the repair was really only temporary even though it was still there!). Lower rated replacement fuses were installed on a temporary basis and we were assured that they really would be replaced with the full rated 63 amp ones in the next couple of days! In the meantime, it was agreed that the compressor should not be used in case we blew the temporary ones again.

Another dead mouse by the workshop door at the south end: trap reset with Mars Bar.

As for the work, only Ian Pearson and myself were present, but in spite of all the limitations and distractions, I managed to clean up five door holes on the right hand side of the boiler and three on the left, although because the boiler had not yet been washed out, the bottom one on each side was surrounded by damp sludge so may need more attention once a wash out has been done. Each completed one has been marked with a yellow dot. Ian cleaned the middle row of elements where they went in to the header, measured the datum line, pop marked them, put the ID marks on them and also on the inside of the smoke box door, so that they are ready for Trevor to burn them through ready for removal.

Barney replaced the pepper pot from Repton fitted to the Q6 brake valve with the original one from the Q6 which has been fully reconditioned, so requires no further attention. He also removed the top air clack to use as a pattern to make a new one for Repton. The brake valve itself remains on the workshop bench.

The steam pipe measurements were made and sent to Trevor for making temporary covers.

Steve Andrews provided a fusible plug spanner and plug socket so we don't have to borrow them from the MPD in future. They have been marked up as belonging to Deviation Shed and hung on the shadow board in the workshop.

Paul Middleton confirmed that they now had a plan for removing Repton's new tubes from the space which we need on No 6 road. All being well, they should be out of the way in the next week or so.

In the late afternoon there was a visitation by local management, including Martyn Cannings, of the track outside No 6 road. We suspect that this may be the first signs of the long awaited installation of the missing point to reinstate rail access to that part of the shed. We will see!

I am not able to attend Deviation Shed next Wednesday as I am taking J27 cab fittings and other parts required for the hydraulic and steam tests down to Crewe with Dave Pennock to review progress on the boiler. Hopefully others will be able to join Ian so he does not feel too lonely - you will be most welcome.