Ian reports a cold but fine and sunny Armistice Day with a mega turn out of Joan and Andy Lowes, Peter Ellis, Trevor Wilford, Rachelle Martyn, Dave Donegan, Bryan Orange and the JVs and Ian himself. Another mouse in the trap which Ian disposed of, and then the usual cuppa to warm everyone up.
Rachelle cleaned all the holes in the header which our 1.5" gauge would not comfortably fit, and also cleaned the rust and oiled the R/H piston rod and slide bars. Two of the JV's cleaned and oiled the eccentric sheaves. Trevor, with Peter's assistance, straightened the fall plate some more, but finishing this will have to wait until it is attached to the cab floor. Andy removed the last bit of steel shell in the R/H fall plate bracket hole and then re -tapped the hole with a 7/8"bsw tap: it is now ready for the new stud which Owain is making. Dave and Peter set about completing the sand pipe fitting - the L/H centre pipe proved the most difficult one to fit and had to be heated up and re-shaped slightly to clear the wheel and aim towards the rail.
At 11 am, the two minute silence was observed in Deviation shed by our NELPG team, the JV's, and volunteers from the Dame Vera Lynn team. Also the 'Last Post' was played on a mobile phone which had been recorded earlier by one of the JV's.
Afterwards, work carried on with JV's lifting all the side rods in position along the side of the locomotive under the supervision of Bryan and Andy. The L/H piston rod and slide bars had the rust removed and oiled by one of the JV's. Just before lunch, the L/H piston cover was fitted by Andy, Trevor and Ian with the aid of the lifting trolley. The nuts were put on by the JV's later. Lunch was had in Deviation Shed with Joan making us lots of tea at various times of the day. Bill called in for a cuppa and to see how we were getting on. Peter and Trevor had to retire early as they had to join the Sir Nigel Gresley team for their Social at Brigantes in York. At that, Peter was given an award for his outstanding contribution to the A4's overhaul - congratulations to him! Dave therefore completed the sand pipe fitting with the help of Andy, Ian and the JV's: the pipes are now all secured.
Bryan Orange has purchased a set of high speed drills (from 1mm to 10mm) which are in a red/yellow Sherwood cylindrical holder next to the drill in the workshop. Also now in Deviation Shed is a velocipide which has been given to the JVs via Phil Naylor, so they will be able to join John Midcalf and the velocipide enthusiasts on their own terms in future.
There will be another working party on Wednesday, for which the weather forecast is for a warmer, sunnier day, so hopefully will see as big a turn out as yesterday.