Ian Pearson reports a fine, cold, frosty morning, with evidence of Thursday's snow still laid around at Grosmont (it has been in the mid 30sC in Sydney all week), with a small working party today consisting of Bill Dobson, Richard De Sadeleer, Nigel Hall, and Ian himself, all clocking on about 9am. Bill could only stop for a couple of hours so, with the stove still alight from Thursday, it didn't need much to get roaring away again, keeping the chill and condensation off the tender tank. Nigel got stuck in on the tender tank, and, by the end of the day, the whole tank had its first coat of gloss paint. Bill, Richard and Ian removed the right hand con rod with the aid of the hydraulic trolley, a strop and timber packing. As it was removed, the big end brasses were taken out of the rod and stored on the running plate and the rod lowered to the floor on some packing. Now it was time for the first cuppa and a well earned biscuit!
After the break, it was time to attack the dreaded right hand crosshead cotter! With two of us in the pit, one on the hammer the other holding the bar, and one outside holding the bar onto the cotter, after several attempts and no movement of the cotter, defeat was about to be admitted, when to the rescue came William Parrish and Martin Ashburner. After explaining to them what was required, Will said he would have a go on the hammer. There was a little repositioning of the access of the bar, and Martin put a wooden wedge in between the bottom of the cotter and the bar to keep it firm. Then, with Richard holding the bar, Will began to hit it with considerable force and it started to move. Another couple of hits and it came out: alleluia! Many thanks to William and Martin for their time and effort to help out.
Now it was time to split the crosshead. Richard and Ian set up the splitting gear, and with Richard on the ratchet this was soon split and the back cover removed, cleaned by Richard, and taken down to Owain who has the other side cover at the MPD for skimming. These should be done by Monday, ready for us to refit next Wednesday. All the splitting equipment was returned to the lockers at the side of No 5 road at the MPD. Paul Hutchinson called in for a few minutes to see how we were getting on. Then lunch around the stove.
After lunch, Ian and Richard cleaned all the old gasket material from the casting. It was very stubborn and took the rest of the day, but may still need a little more cleaning next Wednesday.
No more work on the J27. It was stood on No 2 road waiting to go into No 5 road for washing out which will be next week, possibly Monday.