Ian reports a mild, dull day at Grosmont (43C where we were in Newcastle NSW!), with James Pearcy, Neal Woods, Jon Bradley and Ian himself. Also present was Bryan Orange plus 10 Junior Volunteers, with Arthur Jenkins and Andy Lowes training some of the JV's in workshop skills down in the MPD workshop. And not forgetting Mrs Joan Lowes helping out in Deviation Shed with shovelling ash into the barrow recovered from the pit after it had been dropped from the Q6 ash pan, and various other tasks. She also kept everyone going with pots of tea.
Most of the mechanical work was on the J27 with James and Neal fitting the refurbished water valves with a little assistance from Ian. The JV's were split up, as some were doing workshop training and some were with us in Deviation. We had six young lads: one assisted Neal bringing the water valves from Neal's car and also a heavy piece of cast iron in a barrow, another cleared ash from the pit and disposed of it on the ash tip outside Deviation Shed. Then they cleaned all the motion inside the frames on both engines, three on each locomotive. They did a brilliant job as the red paint can be seen again. Arthur and Andy were training the other four down at the workshop. Jon did some cleaning in the Q6 cab and also started to make a list of all oiling points on the locomotive, so an aide-memoire can be made to help drivers when preparing the Q6 for traffic. Then he lagged some copper pipes on the J27 which were potential hazards if touched, causing burns to the driver or fireman.
After James and Neal had fitted the water valves on to the tender delivery pipes, the main job was to get the valve handles secured so they would not lift off, as they had done in the past causing problems of operation for the train crews. The idea was to remove the handle and shaft by removing the four nuts that hold a flange on the top of the tender tank, but not all the nuts would come off and some had to be held from within the tender tank. So poor old James had to go inside and hold the bolt with a spanner while Ian undid the nuts - what a messy job! Working on the L/H first, when the flange was loose it was thought the handle and rod would pull up and out, but no, it would only pull out about a couple of feet or so and then jam. It was back to the drawing board. The flange was screwed back in place, the operating rod put onto the valve square, two holes drilled into the rod square, tapped, and bolts put in to secure it. It is now quite firm but there is still a some work to do on the left hand side which will be completed on Wednesday, and hopefully get a start made on the R/H side.
Bill came in about 3pm to see everyone. Ian mentioned that a bush on the Q6 tender brake linkage was damaged and needed a new one making, so the bush and pin were removed and the hole in the link measured. The pin and bush are in a vice in the workshop. Bill will see about getting a new one made on Monday.
A good day was had by all the Junior Volunteers. Lunch was had in Deviation Shed, but the JV's had theirs down at the MPD. Jon has taken the J27 floor and coal divider home for repair.