In my continuing convalescence, Ian Pearson reports that he met up with Roy Marshall, Bill Dobson, and Steve Hyman at Grosmont at 8.30 yesterday morning to travel to Pickering New Bridge yard to split the J27 engine and tender ready for loading up for Wensleydale. As they arrived, T2 No 2238 was moving onto the pit to complete its oiling up, so it was time for a cuppa. The T2 left about 10. 15 for Pickering Station.
They then had the J27 shunted onto the pit by P/Way head Martyn Cannings and got started as the temperature started to rise. It got hotter and hotter. In fact for this work it was too hot, but the split pin and packing pieces were removed as they struggled with the big spanner on the drawbar nut, it being nearly impossible to move. But a saviour arrived by the name of Jim Gosney, an NYMR fireman who was Ian's fireman on Tuesday. Ian had asked if he was doing any thing on Wednesday and, as he said he wasn't, Ian suggested he might like to help out at New Bridge. He did and was a godsend. Without him Ian thinks they would still be there! Quite a tall, strapping man, and useful with a large hammer, so with Roy and Bill assisting, and Steve and Ian on the rope, eventually the big nut started to move. But only very slowly with the amount of tension on the spring. By now it was well after 12 o'clock, so work stopped for a little lunch and a cup of tea: it was too hot to eat much.
After the break, they returned to the loco and got on loosening the drawbar nut which started to turn more easily and eventually came free.
But what an effort, especially in those hot conditions. If it had the same size nut as on the T2, then the same ratchet spanner could be used to make things a little easier! The split pins were removed from the safety links and main draw bar, although the main drawbar split pin was badly bent so Roy obtained a new one from the stores at Grosmont on his way home. The water hoses, vacuum hose and steam heat hose were all split and tied up, along with the brake connection between engine and tender, and the split pin put back in the link.
Roy has the new split pin for the drawbar pin, and also a syphon and coal pick, which he will deliver to Hopetown or take to Leeming Bar today. The tool box on the rear of tender needs repair as the lid hinges have pulled away. Stacked on the rear of the tender is the Fish Fryer guard, a big hammer, a long bar, a tender spring, various tools in the box , big draw bar spanner and 2 shovels. In the fireman's side tender locker is a plastic bag with the drawbar cotter, spacers and split pin and safety link split pins, a loco brush and spanners, and the loco back sheet. In the drivers side tender locker, in tins, are the tannin and soda ash water treatment - Paul Whickham has emailed Richard Pearson with the dosage instructions. A water bucket is in the coal space. Our lamps at Hopetown will have to be used on the Wensleydale, as the NYMR would only let us have the square type, so they were left at New Bridge. The coal was also levelled out.
New Bridge was left about 14.15 and the team returned to Grosmont for a cuppa in the tea room on the station. Some new items were taken to Deviation Shed which Steve had brought - 3 adjustable spanners, oilcan, grease gun, gloves - then signed off just after 16.00.
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