North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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Wednesday 15th February

Although I was not at Grosmont yesterday as I was taking the final bits for the J27 boiler down to Crewe, I understand there was a good turnout, with Nigel Bill, Steve Hyman, Jon Bradley, Derek Shorten and Ian McCall all hard at work under Ian Pearson's leadership.

No reports of any more mouse fatalities, but there were further problems with the electrics. This time it was the 240 volt sockets that kept tripping out and Gordon Wells suspects it may be earth leakage. However, although frustrating when it occurred, it was still possible to keep the kettle and heater working to provide essential refreshments and a bit of warmth in the workshop.

On the work front, Derek cleaned both steam pipes and joint rings along with the two valve covers while Ian McCall cleaned the smoke box tube plate, the header and surrounding area. He also wire brushed the studs where the steam pipe fits, oiled the studs and ran the nuts down. These nuts have been left in situ. All the loose dirt was also removed from the smoke box.

The rest of the team started to remove the valves and encountered more frustration in trying to part the intermediate valve spindle from the actual valve spindle, especially the right hand one. It was constantly back and forth to the workshop for punches, old taper pins, anything that might move the valve forward. The air line was set up so as to reverse the engine to move the spindle but the reverser would not work: it just kept blowing to exhaust in both directions. Eventually, assistance was received from Barney, the NYMR Senior Fitter, who got the reverser working such that the left hand valve was extracted. The right hand valve proved just as reluctant to come out, but with a lot of determined effort, success was finally achieved. They are now both on the workshop bench waiting to be cleaned.

On Saturday, Mark O'Brien, the NYMR boilersmith is planning to start removing the flue tubes, for which he will require our assistance. So if you are able to help this Saturday, please let Andy Lowes know.