With the cladding now virtually complete we'll soon be removing it all and the underlying crinolines for marking up, further painting and dry storage, which will also enable the boilersmiths to make a thorough assessment of the boiler and firebox. Our attention will then switch back to the frames, tanks and bunker for the winter.
All four buffers have been dismantled, cleaned, checked and re- greased. Three of them are seen here.
New step treads have been installed on all four buffers, seen here just placed in position but subsequently secured using traditional specialist hammered-in self-tapping screws.
The boiler and firebox fully clad, with the exception at this stage of the front firebox corners.
First trial fitting of the firebox corners, usually referred to as 'elephant's ears'. Flanges will be welded onto the lower edges of the ears, which will secure them underneath the rearmost boiler band. The mudhole door covers are prominent in this view.
The difficult section of cladding at the top of the firebox throat plate, with cut-outs for washout plugs.
The whistles in place on top of the firebox. A cover plate has been installed to minimise water seepage through to the firebox crown.
The boiler-top handrail, solidly installed on its underlying supporting frame. The handrail has subsequently been trimmed to its correct length.
Photos: John Whitcomb