It was warm and breezy with a grey sky and a few scattered showers early on at Grosmont on Wednesday, with Bill Dobson, Jon Bradley, Nigel Bill, Roy Marshall, Ian Pearson, Derek Shorten and myself. Cups of tea all round first, then Derek who it was good to see again, set about giving our cups and trays a good cleaning, after telling us off for not keeping them up to his usual standard! We even bought Domestos and scouring pads by way of penance, so all our cups and spoons are ultra clean once more.
After consultation and inspection of the big end bearings with the shed staff, it was decided to shim the front part of the left hand big end to allow a flush fit of the taper pin so the cotter pin would fit securely. A 20 thou shim was made and fitted, the taper pin was inserted, and, when knocked in, the slot for the locking cotter was in the correct position so that was fitted and split pinned. The right hand side didn't require any extra shims so, again, the taper pin was inserted and the locking cotter fitted and split pinned. Both big end nuts were fitted and taper pinned. The mechanical lubricator drive rod was also fitted and secured. The left hand bottom slide bar was secured and pinned at the front end, but the rear still require tightening and pinning. The right hand side bottom slide bar also requires checking out for tightness and pinning.
Lunch was held in Deviation Shed as it looked as if it was going to rain - but it didn't! A check was done on measuring the tender height against the loco and was found to be higher on the right hand side. In the boiler, all the flue tubes have been found to need some machining to provide sufficient for expanding at the firebox end. That machining has now been completed, but the delay while this was done means that the hydraulic planned for 26 June has had to be postponed. Efforts are now being made to reschedule that for a week later and we have been told that completion and return to operation by the start of the Gold peak season timetable on 23 July is still perfectly achievable. In the meantime, six flues have been installed, and expansion of the small tubes at the firebox end has been successfully completed.
After unexpectedly being in service on Wednesday, the J27 arrived on shed about 15.45 and was disposed by Ian and Jon with help from Mark O' Brien when the rocking grate jammed, due to the presence of what looked like limestone rocks present in the current coal deliveries. Eventually the rocks had to be knocked out with a large bar with a chisel end and the grate levelled and secured. As the rest of the planned cleaning team had already had to leave, Bill, Derek, Nigel,and Jon set about cleaning the wheels and below the running plate to give a start for the next day's special (which turned out to be an extra special day in glorious weather with the J27 acquitting itself well, thanks in no small measure to the skill of Terry Newman and Jon Bradley on the footplate).
There will be no working party this Saturday. The next one will be on Wednesday 27 June, when we plan a workshop tidy up plus completion of a few little jobs on Q6.