Wednesday 13th July
Today turned out to be a bit manic. You see, “our” TPO is only a loaned vehicle to enable us to restore the siphon van. The restoration has been taking place at Winchcombe, mainly by Fred, Bill, Geof and Ray. However, the owner of the TPO wants it back … in 4 weeks’ time! So, Gilbert had instructed Fred & Bill to come to Toddington and assist with clearing rubbish out of the TPO. All day, Gil, Fred, Bill and I dug into the “stuff” on and under the shelves. Much useless stuff was marched off down to the skip by Bill. Twice, my boot scraper making kit was seen heading towards the exit !!!
One bit of nostalgia was uncovered:
Sadly, this has now gone onto the pile of loco springs for actual use in due course. Dead paint brushes, empty boxes, filthy old boiler insulation, a huge length of unsuitable rubber hose (probably purchased for vacuum connections), nuts with no threads in, a coach seat bottom (used for laying on, on the ground under the loco) … they all went into the skip.
Amidst all of the chaos, only John G did any actual “work”. Somehow, he managed to cut, thread and paint the next bit of the conduit for the ATC. (The arrow is pointing at it, not at John!)
The item below didn’t go into the skip. But what is it? It has a brass bush; there’s a nut on the left side (as viewed); a sticking-out bit on the other side with a hexagon on the end; and it is stamped “L1 825”. Any guesses?
2807 was in service, again.
Only David and I were able to come, today. David spent much of the morning working on the lathe - that is to say, improving its performance: tightening, loosening, fixing; by the end, it was able to carry out a reasonable cut. Nevertheless, at the end of the day, David took away one small component to fix that. There would have been a possibility of a gear cog sliding out of position and making one of those noises that you cringe to hear!
I decided to finish the boot scrapers in the production line. We don’t know what the situation is going to be over the next couple of months, while we vacate the faithful old TPO and become entombed within a 20ft tin box.
Apart from that, we spent the afternoon clearing out more junk; donating welding items to the Loco Dept, and trying to organise material into boxes for moving. David decided that our 3-phase welder was past its prime, and unsalable, so that’s going in the skip (when we can move it - it weighs a ton!). We don’t do gas welding, so that equipment went to the Loco Dept workshop, too.
Following up John G’s remark that we (Cotswold Steam) own an open wagon, I explored the Toddington north headshunt - it’s not there.
Then on the way home, Geof and I scoured the yard at Winchcombe. Not there either. That means it’s in Hunting Butts tunnel! I feared as much.