A very cold sunny crisp day at Grosmont yesterday with Trevor Wilford, Peter Ellis, Andy and Joan Lowes, Steve Hyman, Bill Dobson, Ian Pearson and myself. Jon Bradley called in very briefly in the afternoon to check we hadn't frozen to death!
Today was the Q6 internal boiler inspection, and, after the usual cuppa and biscuits prepared by Joan, and the removal of one mouse, the boiler was examined by Glyn Coxhill (Bureau Veritas) inspector with Bill and Mark O' Brien in attendance . Glyn was very happy with what he saw and passed it as OK. Bill will be sending round a short reprot separately
Trevor and Peter, with assistance from Andy, completed the repairs to the fall plate with welding done by Trevor. It was then refitted to the locomotive. Steve cleaned the rough edges on the hexagonal parts of the steam heat reducing valve and the valve was put back upstairs in No 7 bay. He also brought a piece of plywood from home to cover a possible mouse entry hole about 10"x 8" inside the workshop to the left of the top door in the corner of the rear wall: this is now sealed up and we will see if it has the desired effect. Andy fitted the blower valve. This took some time as it required a copper washer which was acquired from the MPD stores but this then had to be cut to size on our lathe and then annealed. These jobs sometimes take hours to complete. Bill and Ian, with assistance from Peter, continued with the left hand slide bar alignment. A new thicker shim was made with the stud holes cut out with a circular cutter by Owain at the MPD, but, again, this job is still to complete next time. I arrived a little later than the rest but am now able to wear my safety boots and got to work on the left hand connecting rod. This was cleaned and the NDT dye penetration process completed with no cracks to report. Joan kept us in tea ,coffee, cake and biscuits during the day and lunch was had in the A4 SNG cabin - nice and cosy!
During our lunch break there was a discussion on heat in our Shed. Piglet (who was working on Lucia in the Shed) had loaned us a mobile diesel heater to take the chill off today, but with the doors open, it was trying to warm up the whole of North Yorkshire and did not have much success. And we had the doors open because, with trains running (44806 and the DMU), there were quite a few visitors around and we encouraged them to come in and have a chat and a look round - and most importantly, drop their loose change in the donation box which a lot of them did. We are looking for a coal fired stove or similar to be installed in Deviation Shed in the corner next to the paint locker, which will have to moved. If anyone knows of a suitable stove going cheap, please contact Ian. Otherwise, Trevor might have to run one up. Apart from warming the (mainly) geriatric workforce, there was much discussion about being able to cook Parmos on one. If you don't know what a Parmo is, Ian explained that it is a Teesside speciality of chicken and cheese. Nicos Harris, a chef with the American army in WW2, was wounded in France and brought to UK to be treated in a British hospital. He moved to Middlesbrough and opened a restaurant in Linthorpe Road where he created the Parmo! - lovely grub according to Ian from his vast experience of them. The new elected Mayor for the Teesside Joint Authority is now trying to get protected name status for the Parmo, so if successful it will join Wensleydale cheese, Melton Mowbray pork pies and Parma ham on the world list of specialist foods.
However, enough of this food talk. No working party tomorrow. The next one is on Wednesday 3 January, so from Ian and myself, thanks for all the efforts in 2017, and all the best to everyone for the New Year, with 2018 hopefully seeing both the Q6 and J27 (or T2 and P3 to our more aged readers) back in operation on the Moors.