In my absence in mid Wales, Ian reports a cooler grey day at Grosmont today with Jon Bradley, Derek Shorten, Steve Hyman, Nigel Bill, Nigel Hall and Ian himself.
After the usual cuppa and chit chat, Ian, Jon, Nigel B, and Steve went to assist MPD fitter Andrew Jeffery and two other shed staff to weigh the locomotive and also dismantle the weighing gear later on. The tender had been weighed yesterday (Tuesday). Derek washed up all the dirty pots and then set about sweeping out the workshop and Deviation Shed walkways. Nigel H arrived with his van laden with scrap and rubbish from Hopetown and this material was put in the skips at the MPD with permission from the Railway. Following completion of the fitting and expanding of the elements over the previous few days, Mark O'Brien and his men hydraulic tested the header and the elements to 100 psi. All was OK with no leaks. Steve took the gauge glass protectors off for cleaning and found that one of the back plates was in poor condition, as the black and white markings were virtually non existent. This was swapped for another one which was found upstairs in Deviation Shed, and the one in poor condition has been sent back to Hopetown for re-painting via Nigel H. The cleaned and repaired gauge protectors were refitted back on the engine, now looking very smart. The vacuum ejector is in the process of being re-built by Keith Pardey, although there are still a few components to install. Tomorrow, Thursday, will see the start of the valve setting by Sean Bowler and Andrew Jeffery of the MPD staff.
The broken pilot valve from the regulator has been replaced and machined up, along with the faces on the regulator. This will be fitted shortly. We measured up the recess on the smokebox for a new graphite door seal which Mark will order. The main steam pipes will be fitted tomorrow, following the sealing rings that sit inside being ground in by Mark O'Brien this afternoon. So what's left to fit are the chimney, smoke box door, spark arrester and concrete arch. We may have it in steam by the end of next week -fimgrers crossed!
Lunch today was in Deviation shed with quite a few visitors. Roy Marshall and Les Harper assisted the MPD fitters at New Bridge, Pickering to couple up the J27 which is ready to travel back to Grosmont tomorrow.