4150 Locomotive Fund

July 2023

By Pete Maddicks and Tony Howard

Work has continued this month on several fronts, Charles assisted by Monday Steve, and Tony, has been working on the low level water fillers under the bunker. Phil, Tony, Monday Steve, and Dave have been working on the chimney, blower ring, and petticoat. Steve has been working on the safety valve bonnet and I have been looking for parts as required in the van, that may sound easy but things never seem to be where you remember putting them! Tony will now bring you up to date on this mouths activities.

Saturday 1st July.
Steve M.
Only Steve on site today, polishing the brass safety valve bonnet.

Monday 3rd July.
Bob L, Charles L, Dave Mc, Steve T, Tony H.
We acquired the lengths of pipe we required along with the fittings for the low level water feed. Training was given on the pipe threading machine, and the two pipes were threaded to the required length. The chimney was lifted back on the smokebox to see whether the fixing hole that was altered was correct. Just needed a little more filing and all the fixing bolts fitted. The chimney was then removed and placed on a pallet upside-down so we could temporarily fit the blower ring and petticoat in the right position ready for drilling the fixing holes. Thanks to Olly H for operating the Crane.

Saturday 8th July.
Peter M, Steve M, Tony H.
Peter came to Bridgnorth on the train, and bought three pieces of copper pipe. Two of these are part of the pipework that feeds steam to the injectors and sit underneath the cab floor. We are not certain whether we can use them. But if not we have a pattern to make new ones to. Tony was working on the new blower ring as the holes for the fixing bolts were not square to the flanges and the petticoat. They will need a larger clearance drill to open them up. Steve was still working on polishing the safety valve bonnet.

Monday 10th July.
Charles L, Peter M, Steve T, Tony H.
Steve had made a drilling jig at home so we could get the center of the holes we need to drill in the bottom of the chimney to fit the blower ring. This jig was made for a 3.5mm drill bit. Ònce all six holes had been drilled we then kept increasing the size of the holes until we had a clearance hole for a 1/2" bolt. Charles used the mag drill to drill the holes in the base of the bunker ready for the low water fillers.

Saturday 15th July.
Peter M, Steve M, Tony H.
Tony was doing further work on the Blower ring. He also made a template for the flange we need for the said Blower ring. Pete had been doing some research on the fittings for the Blower ring and discovered that we would need to tap a 3/4" BSW on the flange end. Steve was still polishing the Safety valve bonnet.

Monday 17th July.
Bob L, Dave Mc, Peter M, Phil H, Steve T, Tony H.
First job was to find a piece of round steel bar to make reinforcing washers for the low level water feed. A piece was found, and four pieces were cut off at 10mm thick. Phil will machine these to size at home. We then looked at the petticoat to see what we needed to do to get it to fit. We need it to fit correctly and easily as this item will have to be fitted last in the Smokebox when all the other equipment has been fitted, so not a lot of room to manoeuvre. Some precision hammering was done some would say, or others brute force and ignorance, but we got it to fit correctly. The ejector pipe that connects blower ring to the valve was found in the Fruit D. This is the original pipe and the bolts were gas axed off, so there was some damage to the flanges. Steve has taken it home to remove one of the bolts and give it a good clean up.

Saturday 22nd July.
Kevin S, Peter M, Steve M, Tony H..
The flange on the Blower ring was tapped to fit a 3/4" Whitworth bolt. The batterys that were still in the battery box on the Fruit D needed to be removed. First find the key to the padlock. We thought we had the right key, but no luck in undoing the lock. We did manage to break the lock and remove the batteries. We got the safety valve out of the Fruit D with the aid of the JCB and placed on a pallet by the loco ready to fit on Monday. The wagon with the water tanks on was shunted to the Boilershop. It is hoped that a start can be made on riveting the tanks the first weekend in August.

Monday 24th July.
Bob L, Charles L, Dave Mc, Peter M, Phil H Steve T, Tony H.
Phil bought the finished reinforcing washers he had made at home. Just need to tap two of them to 1 1/2" BSP. This was done in one of the lathes in the machine shop. The two long pipes that were threaded the other week had a shorter thread cut on the other end for the 90 degree elbow to be screwed on. The second hole was cut in base of the bunker water space. The four pieces of pipework X two were assembled and painted with a coat of Rustoleum. These will be fitted next week. Steve worked his magic on the piece of pipework he took home last week, and looks as good as new. The Blower ring was taken off the chimney. The chimney was turned the right way up, placed on a pallet, secured with shrink wrap ready for transport off site to have it's copper cap fitted. The Safety Valve was lifted onto the boiler and bolted down temporarily. Thanks to Gary for operating the Crane for these last two operations.

Saturday 29th July.
Kevin S, Steve M, Tony H.
Tony connected all the parts of one of the low level water feed pipes to get a photo before they are finally fitted on Monday.
Kevin and Tony looked at the curved plate that fits round the Safety Valve. It was noticed that five of the six fixing holes that secure the Safety Valve Bonnet had not been tapped to take the 3/8" BSW screws, just a pilot hole. The 5/16" tapping size holes were drilled and the thread was cut. We had to take the plate off to do this and you would expect the plate would fit back perfectly. No it didn't. Eventually with use of a 'bodger' it was lined up and bolted down again.

Monday 31st July.
Bob L, Charles L, Dave Mc, Steve T, Tony H.
First job was to move a large metal cabinet from the machine shop to the platform and put on the train to take to Kidderminster. There were only three of us at the time to move this item. Eventually we managed to get it on a pallet truck and move it round to platform one, and get it in the Guards Van. We then made a start fitting the low level filler pipes. When this was done we decided we would need an extra lock nut on each one. This will be done next week.


The loco out of the shed again,and yes it was raining! this time to allow the moguls tender out of the paint shop and the great northern coach in.


Steve has spent the last few weeks working on the safety valve bonnet, it is starting to look quite smart.


Tony working on the blower ring, he’s checking to see if the holes for the vacuum ejector pipe are ready to be tapped.


The chimney, blower ring and petticoat all assembled, and they all fit together well.


The old chimney, which is badly cracked, had to be replaced. This photo was taken to go to the coppersmith so he can see the slight difference between the old and new one.


The safety valve temporarily fitted on the boiler, we bought it new from Swindon works in 1974, at that time King George V hit a low road bridge at Lantarnam. Our safety valve was dispatched to Ebbw Junction Shed to allow the King to return Hereford.


The tanks outside the boiler shop which on the next few weeks will go in for a start on riveting.


The chimney all ready to go to Gloucester for the coppersmith to fit the copper cap.