So much for the weather forecast that today would be the best day of the week - dry albeit cloudy! In the words of the Geordie anthem, 'The rain it poured down all the day and made the ground quite muddy' (in a suitable Geordie accent of course which my computer cannot replicate! - but no coffee Johnny, (it was tea), no white hat, and no-one yelled 'who stole the cuddy?'). As a result it took continuous running of the pump from 9.30am until about 1pm to get the swimmimg pool water down to a level that you could actually get underneath the engine, and we had to keep it going during the afternoon as it was coming in as fast as the pump could get shot of it. However, thanks to Trevor's work last Saturday, the pump kept going and we had no blockages.
However, in spite of all the difficulties, the 5 of us present (Ian, Les, Derek, Jon Bradley and myself) had a reasonably successful day. The brick arch remnants have been removed from the cab, the concrete has been removed from the smokebox except for two small pieces in the back corners behind the steam pipes, where it will need someone thinner and more flexible than me to get them out (James?), the bottom row of small tubes and the two lower flue tubes on the LHS were blown through from the smokebox end (they will need doing from the firebox as well), and Derek continued his sterling work on cleaning the wheels and frames, having started to tackle the right hand, and very dirty, side. Both piston valves were also removed successfully and have been chocked and placed on the workshop bench. No visible broken rings, but it was not possible in the time left to knock out the split pins and loosen the nut on the valve spindle - the pins proved very resistant, preferring to simply bend, and will need more attention on Saturday.
Because of the physical size of members of the working party, we were not able to do any more cleaning of the inner firebox, nor remove the compacted ash from both ends of the grate. Sorry: looks like Andy or James for those ones!