Maurice received two Christmas cards today. I took them down to the TPO for him.
Five issues raised by today's driver [AM]:
43: Excessive play in reverser catch.
44: Front damper control handle keeps jamming open.
45: Intermittent vacuum fault; slow to create and sudden dropping of train pipe.
46: Firebox cladding angles inside cab falling off; pop rivets splitting.
47: Safety valves blowing 10 - 20 psi light (or gauge misreading).
I noticed that Maurice has taken one of Gilbert's blue latex gloves. Presumably he's volunteering to get stuck in and help us?
Three times I visited Winchcombe station to deliver boot scrapers to them! Obviously a Christmas rush. Once more, I am struggling to produce them at such a rate! We are putting the price up to £40 next season.
No new issues from today's 2807 crew.
Winchcombe station re-stocked yet again! They have sold 9 boot scrapers over this weekend.
Back at Todders, the shelf was empty, but I was able to finish making six more. Also I had the delight of painting eight black bottoms.
Email received 7pm from Phil Cummings (Winchcombe Stationmaster): "Just to let you know we have sold out of scrapers." Aaaaaagh!!!
8 am dash to Todders to collect the last six boot scrapers; then Tesco with the family; followed by delivering the six boot scrapers to Winchcombe station. Back home for lunch. Two hours spent after lunch at Todders applying primer to 8 rail chairs plus cutting 90 wooden wedges (to hold the brushes in the chairs' jaws).
Maurice had not bunged up his entrance - probably assumed no one would be down on a Tuesday. It must have come as a rude awakening when I started up the band-saw. Poor little chap - I could just picture Maurice with his little paws in his ears !!!
No further issues raised on the loco's record card.
11 am: Seized the opportunity to go for a bike ride via Todders. It was a bit chill: sticky-out bits got a tad cold. (What??? Nose & ears, of course!).
Applied top coats to: five GWR/BR(W); two anonymouse 1939 black, plus one 1885 MR crimson. Reading one of the FLA's books while supping a coffee, I discovered that GWR did not start to convert from bridge rail to bullhead rail until 1894 - which explains why I have never come across a GWR rail chair dated before 1900.
4 pm: Called in at Winchcombe station to collect boot scraper sales money.
Two more issues reported:
48: Pep pipe leaking by handle nut. [PG]
49: Front driver spring cross-beam at an angle; leading edge of springs at different heights. Springs appear not to be broken. [GF]
I grovelled underneath to take a look at the front springs. It is true that the beam at the front is much higher on the left than on the right. So much so that the end of the beam is actually hitting the frame. The left-hand front spring is also at an angle rather than horizontal (I suppose it has to be, to make the front beam at an angle!). Because the front spring and the second spring are connected by a balancing beam, it is hard to know what the effect would be if any one of the adjusters is adjusted. I wonder what would happen if we just turned round the front left-hand spring?
2807 is now rostered for Friday 26th and Monday/Tuesday 29/30th. So, winter maintenance can commence on Wednesday 31st.
This will be eight steamings in December.