The boys are back!
At 10 am on Monday 6th July we started back at Bewdley, but it was not what we were used too. First, we gathered in the car park, all socially distancing, for a briefing. Then we set up a sanitising station at the front of the loco. We also set up a second one by the fruit van, with handwashing facilities, and a third in the van. We could then start work, Charles was preparing the spectacle plate for welding, Phil fitted the rear window frames, Tony and Steve were working on the brake rigging, Steve under the loco and Tony drilling out the snapped off split pins. Bob was in his lean-to, painting lots of bits and pieces. I was working on the vacuum retaining valve. It did not take long to get back to the feeling that we had not been away, but it is not the same, the station was so quiet, the car park almost empty and the loco’s look so sorry for themselves, no number plates, nameplates. Not long to go now, the full-time staff are getting them ready to go, the pannier, 7714 and 2857 have had their steam tests. By the end of the month we will be ready to run trains again.
Next, it is the turn of the Saturday gang to get started, first we set up the hygiene stations and then it was off to work. Simon welded up the holes in the spectacle plate, Martin working on the vacuum brake pipework, Tony on the injector pipework, Kevin and myself having a look for some bits of pipework that had been put away safely before lockdown, so safe it took a couple of hours to find them!
An update on the just giving page, set up in memory of Frank Walker. Our share of the money is a magnificent £2275, for which we are very grateful we are going to spend it on the cab windows, they are visible in the cab, so the family and friends can see them each time the loco is running.
We are starting to get the loco ready to be shunted out of the tent. A team led by Phil H have jacked up each axle-box and sprayed oil onto the journals. We are also making sure that all of the parts are secure, we then moved the loco forward slowly to make sure that all of the bits we have put on are clear of all moving parts. One of the many jobs that have to be done before the loco can move, is to make sure that all the nuts and bolts are tight, that all the lock nuts are on and all the split pins are in. Most of us have been involved in this job.
Phil H has made the brass plug for the oiling of the hand brake out of old boiler plugs.
One of the new window frames funded from Frank's Just Giving donations.
The water operating handles fitted. Photo: Tony Howard.
The half locknut and split pin fitted on the radial truck. Photo: Tony Howard.