Progress March 2020

Week 4

Not much to report given that the Railway is totally shut down currently although, fortunately, HBSS are still operational up in Liverpool so work on the boiler continues.  After a bit of hassle we managed to get the manifold pad delivered up there so it can be attached to the backhead.  Here are some of the photos from HBSS starting with the boiler’s arrival – ours at the front with 7200’s behind.  Not a sight you’d see every day on the motorway.

This shot shows the firebox after the backhead and crown stays had been removed.

And these are of the backhead doubling plate been drilled.

So, what have we been doing during this enforced layoff?  Charlie has been undertaking spring planting in his vegetable patch (growing them is probably quicker than queuing at the supermarket currently)

I’ve been self-isolating in my workshop taking yet another Jaguar to pieces,

Dave F and Kelvin have been drafting Newsletters so, basically, we’re all finding things to keep us occupied until we can get back to work again.

Week Three

Just when you think a job’s done, we found another piece of 5668’s tank which, luckily, included the bottom front angle pieces.  It was however, the most difficult bit to get apart as the old rivets refused to punch out and some areas had been seam welded, presumably to cure leaks in the past.  We resorted to the use of wedges and the hydraulic press to separate the parts

followed by more grinding to remove the remains of the weld bead.

Others were still undertaking the exciting job of marking out and drilling the new angle pieces.  Some of the shaped platework pieces are currently on order and, once received, we can make a start on the construction which will, of course, involve drilling even more holes – something to look forward to. 

The new manifold pad for 4253’s backhead had the holes marked and drilled for the retaining rivets followed by those for the studs to locate the manifold itself.

The latter then having to have threads  tapped into them.

A small crate was then made up for it to be transported to Liverpool next week.

The plaque for the Dave Dee memorial bench has been received from the foundry and is currently being painted and polished.  The official unveiling will, of necessity, have to wait into the current virus situation is at an end but we’ll give everyone involved plenty of notice.

Week Two

The long job of dismantling the remains of 5668’s tank has finally finished with the last of the rivets removed and all the salvageable parts cleaned up.  

This included the reversing quadrant holding brackets, tank access lids, water value operating rod brackets, filler lids and some bits from their catches.  The drilling of the new angle sections has continued but was slowed down by two of our Mag-drills developing faulty switches almost simultaneously.  Other work included measuring the side rods for the machining of new bushes and the completion of the machining of the inner radius on the manifold pad that fixes to the backhead.

This now just needs the rivet holes drilling before it’s sent up to Liverpool.  Work on the Dave Dee memorial bench was also completed on Sunday so we are now waiting on the casting of the plaque which, hopefully, will be done next week.

Week One

This week saw yet more drilling of the new angle sections for 5668’s new tanks

while yet more bits of the old tanks were dismantled to salvage any usable parts.  Here a reversing quadrant bracket is being gently removed

prior to having its threads cleaned up, getting painted and then stored.  We went down to Wittersham Road to get some measurements from 5668’s running plate and discovered that the bottom front section of the  fireman’s side tank was still attached comprising little more than the angle sections but they’re the bits we need.  So, later in the week, we went down in the diesel, removed it and transported it back to Rolvenden to be taken apart.

The new manifold pad casting was set up in the boring machine

to machine the inner radius where it fits to the top curve of the backhead which is a very time consuming task to get right.  This was followed by the actual machining with Graham keeping a close eye on things as the first cut commences.

The Dave Dee memorial bench has now received its final coat of gloss and been reassembled. Here are the guys who did the work looking suitable proud.

It just needs the plaque to complete and this has been ordered from the foundry.