Ian reports that December has arrived with a sting, with snow on the Moors and bitterly cold. Fortunately the roads were clear on the Middlesbrough side so no traffic hold ups, although lots of pictures in the papers of deep snow at Goathland and in the Whitby area. Santa Specials have started and Grosmont station is a hive of activity again.
Only four attended yesterday, with Peter Ellis, Trevor Wilford, Dave Donegan and Ian.
After removing another mouse from the trap, the usual cuppa was had to warm up, then down to work. The first job was to move all the small boiler tubes from No 6 road in Deviation Shed to outside so they can be easily loaded onto a vehicle for the scrap yard. After removing about a third of them, apparently everyone was getting a bit tired, so Ian went down to the MPD where there was a large team of cleaners working in the shed. With the permission of the duty fitter, he managed to borrow five young cleaners to help move the tubes. This proved to be a success and they had all the tubes removed in no time at all - well done and many thanks to them. The tubes have been stacked between No 10 & 11 road to the east side of Deviation Shed. Peter cleared all the scale that had been left in the smoke box from last Wednesday, which was another barrow load. Dave, Trevor and Ian moved the tender forward to see whether the fall plate required any more levelling when it sat on the tender plate. Unfortunately, the welding repair to the hinge broke, so Trevor is going to make a new hinge at Hopetown next week. The scaffolding from the front of the smoke box was dismantled and taken back to the boiler shop . Lunch was had in Deviation Shed.
After lunch, the right hand cylinder cover was fitted by Trevor, Dave and Ian with the aid of the hydraulic lifting table. All the nuts and washers have been put on the studs, but not tightened up yet. Peter started working on the axle box lubrication pipes and fittings. With the aid of a special thread cutting tool loaned to us by Andy Lowes, Peter was able to dress the damaged thread for the adaptor to be screwed into the right hand outer leading axle box top where the oil is fed to the bearing via a flexible pipe from a brass oil box above the frames. Both leading axle boxes are now connected up to the brass boxes above the frames. Thanks to Andy for loan of the thread cutter: Peter will return it to you . Dave has fitted the left hand piston packing.
Then, about 2.30, four Junior Volunteers came into the Shed asking if they could help out. They had been on an NYMR induction course which had just finished. We were looking for some small person to go in the boiler barrel and give it a sweep out, and two of them, Finn Allen and Ed Murray, couldn't wait to get in. Armed with brushes, shovels and buckets, the lights were switched on, dust masks were given to the lads, and in they went. After about twenty minutes they were out of the boiler barrel with only a small amount of dust: there was probably more dust over them, but they enjoyed it! They also cleared some small pieces of tubes from inside the fire box which was taken up to the scrap pile outside Deviation Shed.
There is quite a bit of boiler tube scrap laid about in Deviation Shed which has been there for seeming years. Unless anyone objects and lays claim to it, we will take that to the scrap yard, along with the old K1 regulator rod, when we take the small tubes from the Q6.
Working party next Wednesday, weather permitting, to try and maintain progress. Forecast is for a mils say, to be followed by the return of winter.