Ian reports a beautiful warm spring day at Grosmont yesterday (cold and cloudy where I was in Surrey), with Bill Dobson, Jon Bradley, Peter Whitaker and Ian Pearson. Although it was warm, Jon lit the stove and Ian made the tea.
Peter then continued with painting the letters and numbers on the tender and buffer beam, while Bill, Jon and Ian got on with fitting the right hand cylinder cover. A new seal of PTFE material was fitted to the cylinder cover, then the cover was jacked up into position and pushed onto the studs. With washers and nuts fitted, it was secured in position using the torque wrench from the MPD, set at 300 lbs/ft. Just before lunch, outside on the railway, a ballast train, hauled by DBS 66114 and banked by the railway’s 08 shunter, came past taking ballast to Esk Valley to the newly relayed track.
Lunch was had round the stove with a lot of chin wagging and talk of painting the loco number on the rear of tender in small numbers just below the top lamp bracket, as had been done with the T2's NER livery in the 1970s. This though needs a bit more investigation to establish its authenticity. After lunch, Jon worked on the J27 fitting new gauge glasses and rubbers and also injector caps. He then lagged the steam brake copper pipe on the Q6. Bill took the right hand brake rod from the Q6 tender down to the MPD for welding. This will be welded and NDT ‘d today. Ian fitted the Q6 tender axle box covers after the axle ends had been ultrasonically tested.
There will be no working party on Saturday 23rd March although Peter will be present hoping to complete the letters and numbers. With the imminent arrival of 60009 Union of South Africa for its week's running, and the start of the operating season immediately after, covers are being organised to hide the new paintwork from visitors prying eyes and cameras in advance of the 1 May Q6/T2 centenary launch. The next WP is therefore Wednesday 27th March when the right hand brake rod will be fitted and a coat of gloss paint can be applied to the previously primed brake rods.