Ian Pearson reports that, for a change, Tuesday was a fine sunny and dry day at Grosmont with Bill Dobson, Ian himself and Richard De Sadeleer joining after lunch .
On Monday Sean Bowler and Dave Brown removed the springs from the remaining 6 wheels and also the horn stays. The frames were then lifted , leaving the wheels ready for rolling out and the horn stays refitted.
On Tuesday morning Bill and Ian assisted Sean and Dave in removing the 3 brake tables and the guard irons to allow the wheels to be rolled out.
After the frames were lifted higher (see photo), the trailing and driving wheels were rolled out to the rear and the leading rolled out to the front. The intermediate wheel set will be brought round from the wheel compound and placed with the wheels at the rear. Bill and Ian, with Zack the dog, had lunch around the stove in Deviation Shed.
After lunch, Richard and Ian spent the rest of the day cleaning lots of grime from the springs, brake tables and spring hangers. Sean and Dave set the frames down onto four steel jacks which will hold the frames until lifting is required again. Bill continued with repairs to the reversing steam cylinder , making new gaskets for the covers.
There was another day of wall to wall sunshine yesterday at Grosmont, with Steve Hyman, Ed Bolam, Bill Dobson and Ian Pearson on the roster.
Ed and Ian spent all day cleaning the Q6 frames, springs, spring hangers, and brake tables (see photo). The main job was to get the frames cleaned first at Sean's request, and, with help from a couple cleaners, Peter James and David Hobday, the frames were cleaned up by lunchtime. In the meantime, Sean was setting up the measuring equipment to each pair of horn guides. Bill spent most of the morning packing the steam reverser cylinder glands. Steve brought 3 key fobs and attached each one with the key for each dispenser and these are now hung above the sink unit. Afterwards he cleaned the back plate cladding with white spirit and then painted it with black primer (see photo). Lunch was had around the stove, again with Zack, Bill’s dog.
After lunch Ian and Ed continued cleaning while Bill assisted Sean measuring the centre between each sets of horn guides and Steve cleaned all the old paint from the bottom of the cab foot steps which were removed last week. Tomorrow Sean will be on his own, checking axle box measurements against the distance between each horn guides measurement.
With Lockdown 2 starting today, yesterday was the last day of running on the Railway until at least early December, with 9F No 92134 on the shuttle and No 825 on the Whitby working, as on the Tuesday, when No 29 also ran a special with the GWR Saloon. At the same time, following the Prime Minister's announcement on Saturday evening, I have been speaking to Chris Price and Paul Middleton about continuing working parties on the NYMR during these latest restrictions. There is an exemption for work where it cannot be done from home, and for volunteering - type unspecified.
This was discussed by the NYMR Senior Team at a meeting on Monday, and it was agreed that work on both the Q6 and K1 should be regarded as essential. The Q6 will be required for services next year, and the K1 over the Christmas period and possibly into the New Year (the K1 will hopefully arrive at Grosmont on Monday). They were therefore content that NELPG working parties could continue on the Railway on the same basis as before, ie numbers limited to those required and rostered for the work to be done, and carried out in strict accordance with the NELPG Covid 19 control measures (copies are on the NELPG website under 'Volunteers'), which incorporate those of the NYMR. 'Social' working parties are not permitted and, if not rostered, then people should not just turn up, but please keep away. Deviation Shed will remain closed to the public. Paul Middleton is particularly concerned to minimise the Covid risk to MPD staff, who will not be furloughed for a second period as there is essential work to be done on the locomotive fleet over the winter if they are going to be ready to operate next season. He has therefore emphasised that washing and meals be carried out in Deviation Shed, that the MPD not be used as a through way to the toilets, and that where possible, use of the toilets is avoided when they are likely to be busy with MPD staff.
Having said that, as I indicated in last week's Q6 working party report, it remains for the individual to decide whether or not , in these changed circumstances, it is a good idea to travel in order to volunteer. That decision needs to take into account any risk that may be taken which may impact on the safety of others, as well as your own and that of your families. Any changes in rostering availability as a result of the Government's latest advice will need to be notified to Ian Pearson or Paul Hutchinson as appropriate. If anyone develops Covid symptoms then they should self isolate and immediately book a test.
On the same basis of essential work, working parties at Carnforth will also continue, although they should cease from next Monday when the K1 gets to Grosmont. However, there will continue to be no regular working parties at Hopetown for the foreseeable future, but there will be limited and controlled access only for specific, essential, tasks to be carried out, including security checks.