A fine warm dry day at Grosmont today, with Trevor Wilford and Dougie Blyth working on repairing the door stanchion. This involved welding some new metal on to the bottom of the stanchion which they completed by lunchtime, in spite of running out gas and having to borrow a large gas bottle from the MPD store (with their permission!). Trevor has taken our small gas bottle back to Teesside for replacement. The weld was tidied up with the grinder and now just needs a coat of paint to protect and smarten it up - a job for a JV this Saturday? While the welding was underway, the public were barred from accessing the front of the shed on safety grounds, so no visitors in the morning until the tape was removed.
In the meantime, Bill Dobson, Ian Pearson, Nigel Hall and I were working on the Q6, whilst Owain Samuel( MPD Fitter) spent some time measuring and assessing both crossheads. Ian completed fitting the steam oil valve to the cylinder on the R/H side with two new copper washers.
Bill measured the size and number of the small tubes (and got a different number each time - he is planning to ask the JVs to count them on Saturday to see if they can come up with the correct number!), while I checked the new header plug supplied by Andy Lowes to see how it fitted. It was a perfect fit in all six plug holes, but the hexagon head is too large so there is no space to get a socket on - the head will have to be reduced to meet the original specification. Before departing, Trevor burnt the R/H tender water valve nut part way through.
Lunch was at Deviation Diner, again with quite a few visitors once the welding had finished. The trains were reasonably full as well for a green timetable day. After lunch I dismantled the R/H tender water valve which was covered in tannin deposits, believed to be the result of the water treatment, and making it very stiff to operate. The valve was cleaned and reassembled with a new nut and split pin fitted. I then removed the L/H side which, again, had a lot of tannin deposit to it and is now on the workshop bench ready for cleaning and refitting.
Ian started removing the nuts and split pins from the water valves to the injectors on the locomotive and these are now all slackened off ready for removal. It was noted that the R/H water valve shaft is slightly out of line to the water valve causing operation to be somewhat stiff, and this is to be looked at on Saturday. Bill found one more spring hanger washer in the upstairs store, which we needed as we have 15 good ones but 16 are required. Ian has cleaned it up and given it to the MPD for NDT treatment, possibly on Friday. Bill was quite busy sorting out jobs for the JV's this coming weekend and also getting some information regarding the crossheads but will pursue that with Barney today.
Nigel continued his sterling efforts with painting the wheel sets and now has two coats of gloss on them all. Four of the refurbished springs are now back from Owens and the remaining four are due in the next few days. Subject to that, the current plan is to rewheel the Q6 next week once the Gala is over. It was then hoped to move it back into Deviation Shed on the centre pit road, but Hartland has now been moved into the space previously occupied by the S15, and the only space left to move the frames and boiler off No 29 (whose raw cylinder casting is due back next week prior to assessing it for machining) is in front of No 5, which would involve the track being slewed to provide access in the continued absence of the point to replace the one broken a couple of years ago. Bill is on the case and sorting out with the MPD where the Q6 will go.
By way of light relief, two very strange looking tank engines arrived at Grosmont during the afternoon, rumoured to be of some Great Western origin, in spite of being painted black. 1501 and 7714 from the Severn Valley Railway ran from Pickering in steam and joined 5199 from the Llangollen Railway which was already on shed, all being the guest engines for this weekend's Gala. So there is at least one working copper capped chimney locomotive on the Railway for those devotees of such peculiar things. Repton is also rumoured to have returned from its trip away, having been spotted on a low loader in Pickering on Tuesday night.