Well, what a change in the weather! 20 degrees at Grosmont today so we needed to watch for sunburn rather than worrying about having to wrap up to keep warm. Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Jon Bradley, and Ian Pearson at the start of the day, I arrived around lunch time following a dental appointment, and Nigel Hall came in about 2pm. Chris Wakefield also joined the team for a couple of hours after his cleaning turn. So the usual cups of tea, and still no mice.
It was decided that Bill would fit all the remaining washout plugs, while everyone else would remove the tender and locomotive drawbar hooks for NDT inspection. This was going to be a lengthy job as both drawbar hooks were covered in grease and about 3 coats of paint. A collective effort was organised, with Jon and Steve removing the hooks, and Ian cleaning all the dirt off before removing the paint with a wire brush attachment on the angle grinder. Chris Wakefield carried on with the angle grinder, removing rust and paint while lunch was held alfresco in the picnic area just outside Deviation Shed.
After lunch we had a visit from Maurice Burns and his partner Mary who is a visitor guide at Tees Cottage Pumping Station in Darlington. When I arrived at Deviation Shed I brought a birthday cake to mark 50 years since the Q6 was purchased by the Group on 1 April 1968.
Everyone had a piece of cake to celebrate the event. Afterwards I took Maurice and Mary down to the MPD to have a look round the J27. Nigel was busy removing sheared taper pins from the tender water valve handles belonging to the J27. These had to be drilled out and will be refitted next week. At the end of the day, Ian having successfully NDT'd the draw hooks, they were refitted back on the engine and tender, while Bill completed fitting all washout plugs in the cab, foundation ring and smokebox.
Quite a few visitors round the Shed today although it was very noisy at times with William Parrish beading over copper rivets on the S15 boiler situated on No 8 road. Bill and Ian are going to Ian Storey's workshop at Hepscott on Friday to pick up the superheater elements for the Q6.
Hopefully they will be dropping off the old J27 smokebox wrapper at the Marske scrapyard on the way.
The next working party will be on Saturday 21st, when the big end bearing will be ready for fitting - by the end of today it needed only about half an hour or so's machining work.