I’ve been somewhat tardy with Hopetown reports during March. So, let’s try to make amends.
- After a few weeks away with illness, Les Coughtrey returned on Thursday to continue thickness testing the boiler. Neal had spent an earlier Monday testing the thickness of the copper plates within the firebox. Colin Smith and Allan Wilson made thickness measurements over the water tanks.
- Arthur Jenkins has spent the last few Mondays needle gunning the inside of the boiler barrel. This is now about 90% complete, but that residue is the awkward bits behind the longitudinal stays etc.
- Paint has been stripped from the outsides of the frames to allow a check to be made for straightness using a piano wire. Paint has also been stripped from the vicinity of the horn guides in order to enable them to check that they are parallel to the frames.
- Cylinder bores were cleaned by Neal Smedley. The RHS is quite deeply scored.
- The slide valves have gone to William Lane foundry for new ones to be cast.
- Paul and James Swainston have been dressing the piston rod ends.
- Tim Williamson has removed all of the nuts within the saddle. Replacements have been made and fitted. One fitted bolt has been removed from the saddle midpoint joint and replacements manufactured. These replacements need turning to size and fitting. The main steam pipe and the blast pipe have been trial fitted to new studs.
- Ashley Moor has checked progress with brass bits and continued servicing the remaining items.
- Surface cracks have been dressed out of one of the horn stays.
- The machinists have been busy turning spring hanger bolts and brake pins. They will be able to make more progress now that the swarf bins have been emptied.
All K1 bits have now been taken back to Carnforth.
An enormous load of pallets has been delivered. About half of these have been butchered for the stove, but summer is on its way and the need for such supplies has diminished. We need to find somewhere to store the excess.
During those warm early spring days we have made an early start with the loppers on the vegetation around the lines. Hopefully we have caught the worst of the brambles and wild roses before they have become a problem.