A cold, cloudy start at Grosmont early on yesterday, but it soon brightened up, giving us a sunny, clear day. Ian Pearson, Steve Hyman, Ian McCall, Neil Smedley, Nigel Bill, Jon Bradley, Paul Hutchinson and, just in time for lunch, myself!
After the stove was lit, a brew was made so tea all round, then a start was made on lan’s list of jobs. With ladders fastened to the T2 handrails, Ian McCall removed both safety valves, cleaned the boss faces and studs, and refitted the nuts back onto the studs. He also cleaned the bases of the safety valves which are now marked up and on the workshop bench. Neil and Nigel Bill removed the cosmetic dome cover and the regulator dome cover before, with a team effort, it was gently lowered to the floor. Both covers are now at the back of No 8 Road by the buffer stop. Jon Bradley cleaned the dome studs and refitted the nuts back on later in the day. Steve removed the lubricator drive from the R/H side big end. It was then decided to have a go at removing the L/H con rod. To achieve this without having a shunt, the gate and gate post at the north end of No 7 Road were removed, allowing the locomotive to be moved a few feet northwards and getting the little end pin in a position where it could be withdrawn by the team. The entrance to the shed was barriered off for safety reasons, not that there were any visitors around, but on a precautionary basis.
Lunch was held round the stove, following which the big end bearing was removed, with each side of the bearing kept together with its shims, and wire tied round to keep them together. All the fittings for the L/H big and little ends are in a blue plastic bucket in the workshop. After removal of the brass bearings, the little end of the con rod was lowered to the floor and, with the jacking trolley underneath the big end taking the weight, Barney came in as we were about to attach a rope to lower it to the floor. He volunteered to lift it off the trolley and just picked it up and placed it on the floor on some timber packing, much to the chagrin of team of geriatrics who had been struggling to do the same job. Following an afternoon cup of tea to build up our strength again, a start was made on removing some of the R/H side big end and little end cotters and nuts. They were successfully loosened off but time ran out and this rod will have to be removed next time.
Steve has taken the steam brake isolation valve to Hopetown for Arthur Jenkins to repair.
When Barney came he asked Ian to put some other jobs on our T2 list - remove all locomotive brake blocks; remove the brake wayshaft; and remove the brake cylinder which needs honing and new rings.
On the J27, it was moved out of Deviation Shed and on to the coaling stage pit where the L/H piston was fitted. Again, as the dark descended, the cover was left to be fitted today. The locomotive will be out for a test run for the Northern Lights Express on 29 November, with the service starting the next day.
Unusually, Paul was working mainly on the K1 on his own, and he reckoned not much was achieved. However, the flexible engine to tender steam brake pipe was refitted. This included repairing the tender brake supply pipe and replacing an associated pipe clip, both of which were damaged when the flexible pipe was removed. In addition, one new rocking grate section was fitted with help from the team to get it onto the footplate - boy was it heavy! - and Jon helped Paul get it in the firebox and fitted. The original was noted to be fractured when Ian and Paul replaced the RH rear rocking grate side bearer last week.
While the K1 is not required for the Santas it is to be used on the NYMR Christmas/New Year services. In order to ensure that it will be ready in time we really need good attendances at the working parties over the next few weeks - hopefully starting this Saturday when the next working party will be held. There will also be one next Wednesday (27 November) and any extra ones that prove to be necessary will be called as and when.