With Ian absent from Deviation Shed for the next few weeks following an injury to his leg, this week's report has been compiled from notes provided by Bill Dobson, Nigel Hall and Chris Henwood for whose help I am most grateful. Nevertheless, this report inevitably takes a slightly different form to the usual.
So, with a view to steaming both locos on Sunday 10th, Bill attended on Saturday 9th to finish off the brackets/clips for the copper pipework on the Q6 while the engine was on the pit in Deviation Shed. Later that day it was shunted outside on No 7 Road and a warming fire lit. However, on Sunday morning, the troublesome plug on the LHS gauge column was leaking quite badly, so the steaming was abandoned and on Monday, our new machining volunteer, Piglet, repaired the plug.
Tuesday started a wet and miserable day, with cardboard laid on the ash ballast to allow access to the underside of the Q6. Steve Hyman attended to a leak on the atomisers whilst Bill continued with grinding in a conical pipe joint. Nigel Hall spent most of the day titivating the paintwork on both locomotives, but also helped Bill in and out of the Q6 firebox where the rocking grate had jammed. Later that day the Q6 was shunted down to outside the running shed, the tender and boiler water were topped up, and a warming fire lit.
Wednesday saw Bill and Dave Cholmondley, from the MPD, supervise the Q6 steaming. The whistle return spring was modified and is now operating correctly. A brake test and carriage warming test were successfully done, and detonaters, wash bucket and back sheet were installed. The Q6 is now ready to be tested on the back of a service train before going into traffic, as soon as a spare crew is available.
In spite of ian's absence, and the imminent return to traffic of both locomotives, working parties will continue on Tuesday (19th) and Wednesday (20th). Even if there is not much work to do on the locomotives (but there will always be something by their very nature), then we need to tidy up in Deviation Shed and make it both safe and respectable for visitors so they are encouraged to drop money in the collection box. Chris Henwood and Bill Dobson will be the usual contacts if you plan to attend.