A mild but overcast day with a slight breeze at Grosmont yesterday, with Ian McCall, Roy Marshall, Derek Shorten, Ian Pearson and myself. Bill Dobson was there early on but could only stay for a short while. Derek cleaned out the old ash from the stove and got it lit again.
Because the work on the rocking grate had not been sufficiently progressed, the planned steam test of the Q6 did not take place on Tuesday. It is now planned for Friday 22 February. As a result, the Q6 will not be in use over the half term running, and Nigel and Peter Whitaker (who called in briefly to view painting progress), will have a clear run through to 1 May in which to complete the temporary livery change. Paul Wickham, one of the Railway's boiler smiths, was fully employed on the Q6, welding in brackets and fitting the side bearers for the rocking grate.
All our effort therefore was put into working on the J27, against a list of jobs identified by Barney. Following a cup of tea, Ian M and Ian P set about removing the J27 valve covers. After removing them, the faces on the casting and covers were cleaned, Steamseal compound spread round the cover face, and prepared for refitting after lunch. In the meantime, Roy removed the R/H and L/H injector caps for cleaning and refitting with Steamseal jointing compound. He then set about cleaning the wheels and frames on the J27. Another job done was the nipping up of the R/H side leading injector union. On the other hand, having called in at Pickering on my way to drop in ID card applications for Arthur Jenkins and Paul Jameson, I spent the rest of the morning servicing the Defibrillator, and sorting out the car parking and travel and discount cards for NELPG registered volunteers which I had collected at Pickering. These will be distributed in the next few days: those NELPG members registered with other NYMR departments, such as the MPD, will get their cards separately in due course.
Lunch was had in Deviation Shed around the stove, with Anzac biscuits supplied by Mrs Lawson. No bacon this week, although Derek had brought a deep frying pan and some dripping just in case.
After lunch, as the valve covers were being refitted it was noticed that the left hand cylinder cock was loose where it was screwed into the cylinder block casting. So the operating rod was disconnected and almost immediately the front section of the cylinder cock broke away from the rest of it, leaving the remaining threaded end in the cylinder casting. It had clearly been fractured for some time and was literally hanging on by a thread. Nick Simpson, MPD foreman, came up with Barney to investigate, and he managed to remove the threaded end of the cylinder cock. The cylinder cock and the threaded piece were taken down to Owain, the Railway's machinist, to remake the broken part and it should be ready for fitting today. I had a look in the smoke box at what was thought to be a loose hand rail bracket but found it secure. On the outside, the same bracket has a bolt securing the hand rail which, when loosened, allowed the hand rail to be pushed forward into the socket at the cab end. However, when tightening up the bolt having done so, it sheared off at the head. The handrail is still secure at the smoke box end though, as the bolt end remains screwed in tight, but will need drilling out and replacing with a new bolt in due course.
There was a lot going on at the shed today with Repton, 80136 and the steam crane on steam test. The DMU was undergoing maintenance, 5428 was being moved up and down and there were regular lorry deliveries of ballast for the Esk Valley relaying. These were tipped in the ash pit area and then loaded into Sea Cows by the MPD JCB and transported up to the relaying by the 08 shunter to be dropped on site. Pete Best's S160 has arrived at New Bridge, and will be moved into Deviation Shed next week, replacing Hartland in No 8 road. Some pipework is needed to be fitted along with some other small jobs, but it is not expected to be in the Shed for too long.