North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Wednesday 2nd May 2018

A wet miserable morning at Grosmont yesterday but the sky cleared after lunch and the sun came out. With Bill Dobson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Roy Marshall, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson, Dave Donegan and myself for what turned out to be a very frustrating day. No mice to report again, and the usual cups of tea all round, were among the highlights.

The aim of the day was to get the valves set on the Q6, for which we needed a diesel and a shunter. None were immediately available however, and, as Bill was eager to get the stove lit in the morning with the weather being so poor, work was started on completing the stove installation. So, with Bill cutting a hole in Deviation Shed roof and assistance from others, the chimney flue was mounted on top of the stove, secured by the new wall brackets, and a fire was lit for the first time. The area round the stove was nearly as warm as that at Hopetown! Ian saw white smoke coming from the shed roof - signs of Bill being elected to a new higher role? Ian was prepping the diesel No. 12139, now re-named Redcar as it was originally, ready to shunt the breakdown crane and coach out of the way, with MPD authority for Nigel Bill to act as shunter. That would then allow the diesel to be available to move the Q6 as required to enable Bill to set the valve timing but by the time Nigel Bill and Ian had removed the breakdown crane to the wheel drop road, fastened them down and returned to No 7 road in Deviation Shed to pull the Q6 outside, the plan had changed. John Furness wanted the J27 moved into Deviation Shed from the running shed so that he could complete its painting, which meant a complicated shunt to remove Lucie (0- 4- 0 VBT) and put the J27 in its place, with the Q6 on top. Sounds simple but......

As it was lunch time, we retired to the bench in Deviation Shed, and were joined by Paul Hutchinson who had brought back the Q6 brick arch formers from Carnforth and joined us for a chat and a cuppa. Steve stacked the arch formers neatly to the left of the double doors into the workshop. After lunch, while waiting for the diesel shunter, Bill, Nigel Bill, Ian and myself took the opportunity to fit the right hand side valve back into the valve steam chest so Bill could line it up, measure and scribe and pop mark it. Chris Cubitt then took over driving the shunter for us, and the Q6 was coupled to the wagon carrying the frames of Lucie . At the same time, another diesel removed a coach from the back road behind Deviation Shed which had to be moved to the running shed where it's refurbished bogies were ready to be fitted, and also make space to get Lucie into the wheeldrop. The J27 also had to be extracted from the back of the running shed behind 80136 and 76079 and brought up to the coaling plant to wait for the arrival of the Q6 ready to go back into Deviation Shed in the right order. At least I think that was planned. By the time this was achieved it was time to move Lucie and the Q6 out side. Lucie was, in the end, put on No 8 road in front of Hartland and then the Q6 was taken to couple onto the J27. However, as the Q6 was being pushed towards the J27, the leading wheels of the Q6 tender derailed at approx 3.30pm. Shed Foreman Barney Casey, Nick Simpson and a team of shed fitters were soon on the scene with the breakdown coach alongside and the lifting jacks out. By 4.45pm the tender was back on the road. Ian assisted in a little more shunting around the shed driving the class 25 and the 08 shunter, and the J27 and Q6 were finally put into Deviation Shed and the doors shut. What an afternoon!

There were some other jobs done by the team today - Nigel Hall filled and rubbed down the BR dome cover and gave it a coat of grey undercoat, and Roy, Steve and Dave brought a lot of items belonging to the J27 from the MPD, some of which are stored upstairs in the workshop and some near the bench at the back of No 8 road . Where individually identifiable they have been tagged and their location recorded on an inventory sheet, a copy of which has been given to Paul Middleton - I currently have the original which will be returned to the upstairs desk in the workshop next week. A check needs to be made of this material once the J27 is back in traffic to see what is surplus to requirements and can be scrapped.

The next working party will be on Saturday 5th May, when it is the NYMR 'Behind the Scenes' weekend. The JVs will be attending with a sales and refreshments stand on the Saturday, ready to show visitors round. Hopefully the left hand side valve can be fitted to the Q6, which will then allow the brake gear and other bits to go back on. For Tuesday, the current plan is to move the Q6 down to the MPD so that the header can be removed, and the long awaited copper ferrule might arrive to enable retubing to start - we will see!