After I left, last Saturday (10th), what I didn't know was ...
Geof was at Winchcombe working on the siphon. Gilbert may have joined him for a while.
Steve was at Toddington and cleaned up five chairs ready for painting. It was the five that were on the bench outside. These had been carefully placed there as a hint for cleaning ! Anyway, they're cleaned now and ready for the next stage.
Last week's railway work was thwarted due to my Mum having been taken into hospital after suffering a mild heart attack. She came out on Monday and is recuperating at home, so ...
Message from Winchcombe station: "Only one boot scraper left!". I nipped down to Todders, picked up the remaining three completed boot scrapers and refreshed the Coffee Pot Cafe.
My first port of call was Winchcombe, where there was a positive host of helpers crawling all over the siphon. John Tyler (most appropriately was working on the roof); John Giles, Colin & Ann Bennett, Fred (laying down on the job - fitting a replacement lump of wood just above the sole bar), Ray and Gilbert. I needed the use of Gil's right hand (signatures on cheques).
C&W had not had time to make me any wedges for boot scrapers, which was a blow. Nevertheless, I poodled off to Todders, where Bruce was just about to pack up and go home. He's pranged his rib again, so couldn't do a lot ... but somehow had managed to lift 6 rail chairs onto the workbench to paint their bottoms!
P.Way were working nearby, and dropped off a couple of barrow-loads of rail chairs. I duly presented them with a cheque in payment for the last 32 thereof. This led to discussion about the lack of wedges being a problem. Eddie (C&W) usually makes them for us, but he's had an op on his back and is OOS for 6 weeks. Since I hate pestering the other C&W guys all of the time, I mentioned "Plan B" to Bruce - get a wood-turner to make some for us. Bruce said that the chap I had in mind has retired, but .... Bruce just happens to have a band saw that he rarely uses. Bruce nipped home (it was lunchtime anyway) and reappeared later with band saw (for long-term loan)! All we need now is some hardwood, of which there might just be some in C&W.
Back at C&W, I discovered that (i) whist Steve had no time to made wedges on Saturday, he had left a note asking Dave to do so today; (ii) Dave is on holiday! However, Mike offered to make a couple of dozen for me there and then! Most kind ... and the boot scraper business is back in operation!
I had an enjoyable day lighting up 5542 and assisting with a bit of shunting in the yard. I heard that 2807 is not in service for the next two weeks, but will be required to be available through to end December.
Having acquired some hardwood, I made a jig for cutting boot scraper wedges, and then ran off a dozen to test it. Seems OK so far, but the proof of the pudding will be when I (try to) fit some brushes into rail chairs!
Fred & Gilbert passed through, but retired to Winchcombe to work on the siphon van.
David came to do maintenance on the loco. It had been recorded that both injectors were leaking from the rear. There appeared to be two hexagons at the rear and David was uncertain as to which was causing the leak. After deliberations, he decided to leave if for Bruce, who has more experience on injectors.
Gil wanted a new bracket making for the work on the siphon, and David cut, drilled, welded and painted one for him. While wielding a (black) paint brush, David painted the bottoms of 8 rail chairs that I had prepared during the morning. I painted 5 tops plus 10 brushes ready for assembly when dry.
The two of us had separate goes at tidying and reorganising parts of the TPO. Some "stuff" that had been sat idle for months now has a new home (one such home being the skip). The table is tidier. The end of the workbench is tidier, and now houses the band saw.
The excitement of the day, however, was the crane (that lives on the adjacent track to the TPO). Loco Dept chaps unwrapped it, and played around with jacks trying to raise its jib. The problem with it has been that the crane consists of 3 trucks. That beneath the end of the jib is the wrong sort for this crane. However, a correct wagon has been acquired. But with the wrong one, the crane cannot safely negotiate curves. Of course, the right one is at the wrong end of the crane, so some shunting is required. The chaps tried to allow the jib to move sideways (i.e. for cornering) but this was not safe. So, having shunted all of the other vehicles out of the way and hauled the crane 200 yards along the track, they had to shunt it back again. This time, they lifted the jib high enough to get two sheets of metal under the end of it and put rollers between the sheets. In theory, this will allow the jib to move sideways when negotiating curves. The pudding proof will be next Wednesday!
2807 to year end.
As I said above, she is not going to be in service for the next two weeks. In fact, she has done about 50 days running, which is approaching the contractual limit. Therefore, she may not do much running during September or October. There are NO SERVICES at all during November (apart from a race train or two, I believe). She is required as a standby loco right through to end December.
Having taken delivery of new valve spindles, we would be well advised to fit them during November, methinks.