Not a lot of progress to report on this hot sweltering day, with Ian Pearson, Derek Shorten and myself in attendance - along with a mouse in the trap, the first in a long time. After the usual cuppa with our Essex loco friends, William Parrish and Martin Ashburner, I rubbed down and gave the regulator handle a coat of red paint. It will need a light rub down and probably another couple of coats. Interestingly, the regulator handle is stamped up as being from (6)3398, built at Darlington in the same batch as 63395 in December 1918, and withdrawn in October 1965.
Derek washed up all the dirty cups, made us more tea, and also started to sort out the metal lockers and tidy the work bench. Ian in the meantime borrowed the MPD's metal thickness tester for the main steam pipes. Just as he was about to change the batteries for some he had brought from home, William Parrish said we could borrow his tester, which was in better condition than the Railway's. So Ian measured both left and right steam pipes and marked the thicknesses on the pipes and also logged them down for Bill to scrutinize.
As it was so hot, lunch was had in Deviation Shed being a little cooler, with quite a lot of visitors and money going in the box. Interestingly, following the improved signage organised by Bryan Orange, a common question was 'Why Deviation Shed?'. Whilst there are now photos of the old Deviation Signal Box on the wall, it has been suggested to Bryan that a map of the area showing the Signal box and old track layout, with the Shed superimposed, would be a useful addition to the site interpretation. We also had a number of visits from individuals who were carrying out an electrical installation check of the MPD site (including Deviation Shed) on behalf of the NYMR. One immediate consequence of this was that the light fitting above the tea point in the workshop fell apart and the tube broke. Bryan has now arranged for it to be replaced on Monday, so we will not be tea making in the dark.
On the locomotive itself, only 12 of the flue tubes have been fitted into the fire box tube plate to date. Because of apparent variations in the tubeplate thickness, it is proving difficult to get some of them fitted with sufficient tube exposed for expansion at the firebox end. Some further machining may prove necessary. The current heatwave is also not helping what is a very strenuous job in screwing in the tubes, not assisted either by finding that, after all the effort, they have to be taken out again. However, they are pressing on. No new date has been fixed for the hydraulic, but the boiler inspector has said he has flexibility in his diary and can come over at relatively short notice. The target date of return to service by 23 July remains! The repaired vacuum gauge has been returned and is ready for fitting, and Paul Hutchinson has returned the Q6 whistle after refurbishment. Both are in the workshop. Ian was just about to start work tightening up the injector overflow pipe when he was commandeered to drive the 08 Shunter and rescue the B1 and its 7 coach train from Green End and bring it back to Grosmont. It had slipped to a stand due to oil contamination on the rail from the Class 37 which had been towed earlier by the Class 26 to Pickering for repairs (the J27, with Terry Newman on the footplate as inspector, managed to get through with its 5 coaches in spite of the oil on the track). While Ian slaved away on the shunter, as the stock also had to be moved around at Grosmont, Derek and I decided there was little more we could do in the absence of the RO, so had an early finish.