Wednesday dawned a fine morning at Grosmont but with showers later on. Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall, Ian Pearson were present, and, to their surprise, I joined them later in the morning for the first time since my heart operation. I could only attend because my Wednesday rehabilitation exercise session had been cancelled, but I was told it was great to see me back in action again. Then I went into the workshop and found out why! I had to wash all the dirty pots, refill the water bottles, and then make the tea at lunchtime and afternoon break. So nothing too strenuous, but clearly essential work! I also did the monthly check of the defibrillator which was overdue, and found it to be in order. The stock of J27 springs was also checked - two engine springs and one tender spring are on a pallet in the spring storage area. As I haven't been to Deviation Shed for a few months though, I must put on record my thanks to Bryan Orange and his team for the work they have done over the summer - the lighting levels, particularly in the workshop, are much improved, the fire exits have been brought up to standard, a first aid station been established next to No 7 Road on the outside wall of the workshop, and the place generally tidied up and smartened. Just need to keep the tea point up to scratch now, with the mugs washed up after use and the water bottles kept full!
Meanwhile, down at the MPD on No 4 Road, the workers found the T2 in light steam. The shed staff had worked hard on the engine over the last few days, fitting the right hand piston back into the cylinder with a new ring, also fitting the connecting rod big end bearings and little end to the piston rod and large cotters. Barney gave Bill and Ian a list of other items still to fit to get the engine moveable - piston packings (which at the time were still being machined), cylinder cock valves and linkage, new insulation and cladding all to be fitted, the latter needing a hole to be drilled into the outer edge of the casting and tapping to secure the top end of cladding. Some of the left hand side cladding also needed to be secured. Another item was the mechanical drive shaft to the lubricator. Later on that morning the piston packings were delivered from the machine shop. These took a long time to fit but, with the help of some shed staff, the piston follower was eventually compressed sufficiently to get the nuts started, and then secured with the slide bar lubrication pot attached. The little end oil pot was also fitted. Most of the fitting of the above was done by Bill, Ian and Nigel, with some help from cleaner Nick Proctor and shed fitter Danny Middleton. Although the engine was in steam, it never moved as work did not finish until about 5pm, so the move was cancelled. It was in steam again yesterday though, but has not been rostered for today's running - hopefully over the weekend?
Elsewhere on site, the S160 No 2253 was in traffic, clocking up the 500 miles it needs before departing for the Dartmouth Steam Railway, the S15 No 825 was having its spark arrestor fitted and a couple of other minor jobs completed before it returns to operation (it has already successfully done a couple of runs up to Goathland), the 9F was having its brick arch fitted (will it be a runner in time for the Gala?), the B1 was on wash out, No 29 was having its final lining out done by Peter Whitaker, Repton spent most of the day under the coaling plant having been failed with a couple of problems after its early morning run to Whitby and back, and Ian Foot and his team were working on Dame Vera Lynn in Deviation Shed, preparing it for a visit by the boiler inspector due yesterday. The Green Knight is also stripped down in the boiler shop. Most importantly though, Martyn Cannings and the PW team were on site at the south end of Deviation Shed, clearing the ground and starting the work to install the new point to replace the broken one giving access to No 6 Road. They are also intending to replace the broken rail on No 8 Road. The Channel 5 filming team were at work around the site, and Piglet was sorting out the transport arrangements for the visiting locos for the Gala. So a lot of activity throughout the day.