North Eastern Locomotive Preservation Group

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J72 Blog

A blog of activities relating to the J72 69023 'Joem'.

Thursday 13th June 2019


Well, splashing in through the puddles this morning wasn’t so bad. We missed Arthur Jenkins and John Jones this morning. Arthur and John Midcalf should have been travelling towards Fort William through the “yellow rain” which the met office were warning about. It was cold enough to require the lighting of the fire.

First job was to record the water meter reading. On lifting the cover we find that said meter was under water which had to be scooped out.

Maurice Bell and myself borrowed the engine lift from the A1/P2 trust in order to lift 4 engine springs onto a bench. This was to enable Maurice to open the end gaps to fit the new spring hangers. Some progress has been made, but it is not possible to insert either the 4” or the 9” grinder deep enough into the gap without the grinder guards fouling. The 9” grinder is heavy too. We need to give this job further thought.

Paul Mason, helped by Derek Shorton, continued sorting through the nuts, bolts and washers. There are some new plastic boxes to fill. Dave Wright came in for a session today after his badminton injury and cleaned the loco wheels ready for painting. Allan Wilson, Colin Smith and myself prepared the boiler side and tops of the tanks ready for painting. Roy came in later in the morning but concentrated upon administrative work with his computer in the mess room.

Richard Pearson joined us for lunch.

Steve Johnson brought a guest to visit the workshop and managed a visit to see the P2 as well.

As it will be the 3rd Saturday of the month, there will be an open day at the workshop this Saturday.


Thursday 6th June 2019


Another busy few days with a few regulars on Monday night, PAT testing on Tuesday (all equipment passed) and the usual day time working party on Thursday.

After an early morning brew, Colin Smith and Allan Wilson continued cleaning the corners of the cab and tanks where the grease gathers. They were assisted by Tim Williamson who drilled out a broken cab hold-down bolt from the RH tank. Unfortunately in the process of knocking out the residue, the nut which had been welded to the inside of the tank came away. We’ll have to think about solutions to that problem. We are all too large to fit in the tanks these days. I got on with cleaning the wheels for painting. Arthur and John continued machining the spring hangers. Paul Mason continued with his magnum opus sorting through the spare nuts and bolts.

Tim and James Piercy removed and sketched the work required on the driving wheel horn stays.

We had a vice presidential visit from Ian Storey who had come to check progress, especially with the boiler.

John Midcalf came - and went after he realised that he had missed Ian. He returned later to borrow a headboard which he traced as a template. He’s making something – it’ll turn up in a raffle, you have been warned. Roy Marshall made an appearance just before lunch time.

Early afternoon we were visited by Neal Woods who came to check on progress.

Later in the afternoon we were visited by the police!


The activities of our busy spiders - Nigel Hall


Thursday 30th May 2019


Only about half the usual crowd in today.

  • Colin Smith and myself got on with the job of screwing together the boards over the firebox and rod areas. All complete. Cleaning and painting of the top and boiler side of the tanks can take place next week.
  • Paul Mason and Derek Shorton continued sorting our spare nuts, bolts and washers.
  • Tim Williamson carried out a thickness survey of the main steam pipe. He reports thinning in the area of the cylinder block.
  • Tim also lent a hand to Arthur and John who were machining new spring hangers.
  • Allan Wilson and later Hugh Panel and Colin Bowman clipped back some of the rampant brambles. As it was starting to rain, Allan finished early to rescue his washing from the line.
  • Colin Bowman spent the afternoon collecting electrical gear together for PAT testing on Tuesday of next week.

Colin Foxton called in late morning to see how things were progressing with the J72. We were also visited at lunch time by Dave Wright who is recovering from his badminton injury. In the afternoon we were visited by Les Harper who was depositing various K1 bits brought back from Carnforth; unfortunately he didn’t bring the mag drill and chuck to enable it to be PAT tested on Tuesday. Later in the afternoon we were visited by Chris Davison who brought in the other JOEM nameboard.


Thursday 23rd May 2019


A smaller working party than usual, the holiday season is upon us.

We were visited by three architects from Purcells who were surveying the building.

We also had a visit from the Marlowe engineer who inspected the fire system and passed everything.

Colin Smith continued needle gunning the cab floor in preparation for the boarding over of the firebox. Paul Mason and Derek Shorton continued sorting through the collection of nuts and bolts.

I cleared out the middle aisle in the store in preparation for Colin Bowman who brought a new light fitting to illuminate this dark area. Later in the afternoon, when he had finished fitting it and we could see what was on the shelves, we discovered several interesting components which we hadn’t seen for a while. Colin was thanked for installing the extractor fan last week, the difference is noticeable.

Tim Williamson popped out to obtain a new gas fitting. Roy Marshall arrived and after his various secretarial tasks got on with a bit of gardening. Maurice Bell continued with turning jobs but now needs advice regarding the steam heat spindle and the draw bar connector.

I popped home to obtain some floor boarding from my garage roof space. Later in the afternoon I supplemented the scaffolding planks across the fire box space and boarded over to allow painters to work between the tanks. The boards are not screwed to the supports yet so please do not go in the cab until the barrier tape is removed.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 June 2019 14:44

Thursday 16th May 2019


A better day than last week at Hopetown. No need to light the fire.

I didn’t get in until folks were gathered around the workbench with the morning cup of tea. Colin Smith again brought conversation to an end and forced people back to work when set about the cab floor area with a needle gun.

Arthur and Maurice continued machining the spring hanger bolts. There appears to be a fitting problem with half of the ends in the existing springs. M Machine delivered the pair of springs which they were going to machine, reporting that the metal was too hard for them.

Myself, Allan, Derek and later Colin Bowman did a little gardening. Most of the brambles and roses hanging over the wall into Hopetown Lane have been tidied back. The track has been tidied for the velocipedes at the Museum classic car rally on Sunday, but the shunting area and pound could do with some more attention next week.

Paul Mason is sorting through the buckets of old nuts, bolts, washers and strange finds. Some important looking shims and spacers have been discovered.

Roy brought in an electrician to look at the job of replacing our 56 lights with LED fittings. We look forward to his estimate. He spent much of the afternoon chasing replacement fittings for tools, including a trip to Aycliffe.

I managed to get a gloss coat on the various bits on the paint bench, and a pink undercoat on the rods and remaining big end strap.

Many questions were asked about the K1 test run yesterday and the scheduled trip to Fort William tomorrow. No first-hand information available. However, there is an empty stock movement 5Z62 booked to leave Steamtown at 06:18 Friday on Real Time Trains. More recently has appeared on the web.



Thursday 9th May 2019


A better day than yesterday, but folks still felt that they needed the fire. The last of the pallets was butchered and placed in the fuel bins.

Colin Smith brought earrly morning conversation over tea around the fire to an early halt by needle gunning the cab floor.

Allan Wilson did a little more chipping of the scale in the firebox.Derek Shorton finished cleaning the paint from the eccentric straps, the machinists continued with the spring hangers, I had a trip to Smith and Allen, then got on with a bit of tidying up. The latter includes trying to sort out the bucket load of nuts and bolts on and under the workbench. Colin Bowman cane during the afternoon and deep leeaned the mess room areas.

The vegetation is starting to grow outside. We need to have another pass over that next week.


Thursday 2nd May 2019


Monday saw a big step forward as Arthur completed the needle gunning of the boiler. Neal intends to inspect inside himself before too long.

Les came on Monday to continue with NDT on the boiler. I last saw him mixing what looked like heavy wallpaper paste. I doubt that he was about to cover the firebox with anaglypta. Arthur John and Tim continued machining the V blocks for measurement of the J72 frames.

Today Sue Smeaton arrived with the NYMR truck and all hands ran the remaining pallets down to the crossing for loading. The back door area is now clear of the “Brexit Bonfire” that I feared the local youths might light. Outside the brambles are starting to grow again despite the earlier blitz on the new growth. We need to return to the job soon.

Arthur and John and Maurice continued machining the spring hanger bolts for the J72. Derek and Allan continued cleaning the paint from the eccentric straps in preparation for NDT. Colin mended Henry, which I used for cleaning the workshop. James did a big sort and tidy of the machinists cupboard.

Discussion of the jammed drill took place over afternoon tea. The drill has been opened. Opinion seems to be that the chuck is attached via a metric Allen bolt. Unfortunately, we only appear to have imperial sized Allen keys in the drawer. Colin has been able to free the chuck sufficiently to take larger bits. However, the chuck has been chewed about a bit and may not be of a great deal of use now. The right answer would appear to be to buy an additional drill and to obtain a replacement chuck for the existing drill. Both chucks ought to be Jacobs chucks with keys.

We won’t be opening on Bank Holiday Monday, but will open Thursday 9:00. All workers welcome.


Thursday 25th April 2019


A rather relaxed day at Hopetown yesterday, with just nine of us present.

I spent the first hour showing Owen Plummer, an architect from Purcells, who have been appointed to undertake the Historic Building Survey at the Carriage Works.

Paul Mason lit the fire, Colin Smith got on with cleaning a little more scale from the saddle whilst Allan Wilson made tea. Arthur and John continued machining the V blocks for measuring the frames. We were joined later by Steve Johnson and Derek Shorton. Steve helped Arthur whilst Derek continued stripping the paint from the eccentric straps. Allan took over from Colin when he had to go. Colin Bowman came during the afternoon and reminded me that PAT testing is due shortly. I replaced the key cabinet on the wall, then spent the afternoon continuing the deep clean started by Allan a week earlier. There’s still a lot more to do.

Les Coughtrey wasn’t able to attend yesterday, but will be coming on Monday for more NDT. If you are available on Monday then I’m sure that Arthur will be able to find you a job.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 May 2019 14:24

Thursday 18th April 2019


A bright sunny day in Darlington saw Colin Smith, Arthur Jenkins, Mo Bell, Allan Wilson, Paul Mason, Derek Shorten and Colin Bowman at Hopetown.

Colin Smith painted the centre of the wheel fastening for the T2 smokebox (the rim of the wheel is polished bright and very nice it looks too).

Les Harper called in for some K1 parts and Neal Woods and Nigel Hall also came in later on.

Most of us were tidying and cutting up wooden pallets, while Mo was making pins for the J72 rear drawhook and Arthur was making V-blocks and turning the thread on one of theJ72 spring hanger pins.


Thursday 11th Appril 2019


Frosty start at Hopetown, but Paul Mason soon had the fire warming the place through.

First job to get some bollards out to reserve space for Sue Smeaton with the NYMR truck which was to return the axle boxes, then next door to borrow the engine hoist from Ian.

Next job to tidy up all of the tools which had been left lying about and to sweep up as much dirt as possible. Arthur cut some cardboard cylinder covers to keep out further dirt.

  • Les continued thickness testing the boiler.
  • Tim Williamson managed to fit his bolts in the saddle.
  • The font draw hook was taken to Flavell’s by Steve Hyman to be built up with weld and machined back.
  • The rear draw hook was dressed by Arthur and painted by Colin.
  • The 2 welded springs by the door have been moved to the welding bench for opening up.
  • James and Derek cleaned the paint from the eccentric straps two and three.

Bill Dobson arrived mid-morning and we found him a wheel to secure the smokebox door of our T2. After a visit to the museum, he returned to Whitby to paint said wheel.

Sue arrived with the axle boxes at lunch time. These were unloaded, the engine hoist returned, and she returned with Barnie’s verniers.

Arthur, John, Tim and Paul spent the afternoon sorting out the Bridgeport.

I spent my time countersinking the T2 makers plates and searching for 3/8 BSW countersunk Allen bolts to cut to size.

Cake with tea in the afternoon.


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The overhaul of J72 No 69023 Joem is being supported by a restoration grant from the Association of Industrial Archaeology.