A fine day at Grosmont, with Bill Dobson, Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman, Nigel Hall , Brian Nunn and myself. Sorting out the stove and cups of tea all round were the standard first jobs.
Then the water hoses were connected up and the T2 tender was filled. The brake connection between loco and tender which connects to the wayshaft requires a new bush but, for the moment, the old one has been refitted. Before doing so Owain came and measured the hole in the wayshaft which was found to be quite oval. A new bush and pin will be made at a later date. Brian Nunn came to Deviation Shed on Tuesday with Maurice Burns to clean the smokebox and give it a coat of black gloss paint. Brian returned yesterday to give it another coat of black gloss. He then cleaned the wheels and the sandpipes, before the side rods were cleaned and oiled. Nigel cleaned and varnished the rear buffer beam.
Lunch was had around the stove in spite of the outside sunshine, as there was still too cool a breeze for sitting outside. After lunch the tender was full so the hose was connected to the injector overflow pipe to fill the T2 boiler. Before it could be filled though, the left hand mud hole door, which was still was loose from the previous emptying, had to be removed, cleaned, and fitted with a new gasket. Once refitted, the water was turned off when half a glass of water was showing. Meanwhile, I cleaned the NELPG headboard (and repainted the letters) and the T2 100 plaque ready for next Wednesday's centenary event. I was allowed to make afternoon tea (no complaints about its colour this time!) and washed all the pots and filled up the water bottles afterwards. Ian and Steve gave the engine another oil round. Work still continues on the rocking fire grate. 20 rear fire bars have been shortened to fit, and these were brought up from the boiler shop and stacked near the engine ready for fitting when the brackets and rocking mechanism are fitted. In view of the continuing lack of a grate, the steam test planned for today has had to be postponed. It is hoped that, one way or the other, this will be held over the next couple of days to give time to rectify any issues that may be identified before next Wednesday (not that we are expecting any). Bill is pursuing, as we don't want it to become a last minute activity before such an important day for both us and the NYMR.
Because of the uncertainty over the steam test timing, no date has been fixed for the next working party, which will be needed for any rectification work and then cleaning the T2 for Wednesday. So please watch out for any short notice appeal from Ian for volunteers at Grosmont. There will though be no working party next Wednesday. All being well, the T2 should come off shed on Wednesday about 11ish and come down to Platform 4 at Grosmont where it will stand awaiting the arrival of the train from Pickering due at 1205. It will then come across to Platform 2 and couple up ready to depart at 1230 after speeches and formal unveiling. For those attending and travelling on the train, can you please aim to be there by 1200. Unfortunately, I will not be able to be present as I now have a hospital appointment which has to take priority. NELPG President, Andrew Scott, has kindly agreed to take charge of proceedings in my absence however, and I am sure the event will be a great success under his stewardship. A bottle of Newcastle Brown Ale will be available to him to wet the T2's running plate, but whether it will be used I cannot guarantee.
Elsewhere, the J27 was back in traffic yesterday as there was a shortage of operational steam locomotives, particularly of Whitby engines, with both the B1 and Repton sidelined for various reasons and 76079 not yet back in service. The J27 handled the Grosmont/Pickering sections of the Whitby services, top and tailed with the Class 26 on 7 coach trains, with Mr Cubitt looking very regal as he passed Deviation Shed in the cab of the Class 26.