The pivot slide for the front pony truck has been returned following machining by Mallens together with both crossheads only partly machined. We are now seeking a quotation for whitemetalling the crossheads following the return of the pony truck axleboxes which have undergone the same process. Once the crossheads have been whitemetalled they will need to be finished machined in house together with machining the tapered bore for the piston rods, the latter are partly machined at present.
Various small parts continue to be made for the pony trucks.
Reaming of the bolt holes for securing the slide bars is in progress.
The steam brake cylinder has been delivered and is now fitted in place under the rear end of the loco.
A start has been made on repainting some of the weatherworn areas of the loco's chassis.
Sharp-eyed visitors to our Bridgnorth site may have spotted an old loco chimney adjacent to the black shed, sometimes used as the base for a work surface. It was inherited by Tony and myself from John Besley in 2003, and for many years resided in my garage until Alvin Barker kindly brought it down to the SVR.
The original intention was to have it restored and use it on 82045, but in view of the damage it had incurred over the years it was decided to go for a new casting, and that is what you will see sitting atop the engine now. It is not beyond redemption - there are firms out there who specialise in the repair of old castings - but we anticipate that any interest in it is likely to be as a garden ornament, plant container or something of that sort.
Fact is that the chimney has a bit of history, so if you are interested in acquiring it, we are inviting offers for its purchase (details below). It was worn by the final Riddles Class 3 mogul, no. 77014, one of a class of locos virtually identical to the 82XXX despite superficial appearances and, like the 82XXX, sadly scrapped to extinction. 77014 started life in the North East, but in the mid-1960's made its way south via a brief sojourn at Northwich. I still remember my astonishment at seeing this engine belting through Navigation Road on the 08.20 Chester Northgate-Manchester Central semi-fast as I was making my way to school one bright morning.
It didn't stay long on the CLC but ended its days at Guildford, where it became something of a pet, in demand for railtours and having the distinction of being the very last main line steam locomotive in service with the Southern Region (I believe there were one or two USA tanks still around), having its last fire dropped on 9th July 1967. It's a great shame that none of these moguls was preserved, and it would be wonderful if the old chimney were to be acquired by a group wanting to build a new example: I think we might have done one ourselves, but most of us are too old to contemplate doing it all over again! There have been a couple of schemes to build 77020 and 77021, but these seem to have fallen by the wayside. A pity, as a 77XXX is eminently doable, and we have lots of patterns, as well as years of hard-won experience, so could help anyone wanting to have a go.
Anyway, if you are interested in making an offer for this little piece of BR history, please get in touch with Chris. Best offer received by 30th September will be accepted, with the only proviso being that we will need to retain it until there is no longer any use for it at our site. The purchaser will need to make his or her own arrangements for getting it home, or we can arrange transportation subject to costs being met by the purchaser. We have set a minimum of £500 for bidding to start.
On behalf of the Trust, I attended the funerals of two SVR and 82045 stalwarts this month. First was that of Roger Hart, who was an enthusiastic supporter of the new loco until he became ill in early 2014. Roger was an ebullient character and a first-rate salesman, who raised a lot of money for 82045, in particular at SVR Gala events. He was laid to rest at Harrogate Crematorium on 19th June.
Ken Oultram was a well-known face at Bridgnorth, where he worked for many years as booking office clerk. A retired headmaster, Ken was one of life's gentlemen and a most generous supporter of 82045. His funeral took place two days after Roger's, this time at Telford. Our condolences go to both families.
Both men will be greatly missed, and we will always be grateful to them for all they did to help us. You don't need two funerals in three days to remind you how fleeting life is: none of us is getting younger, and we are only sorry that Ken and Roger will not be around to see 82045 when it enters service. We have a duty to all our supporters to do all we can to ensure that that day arrives as soon as possible: thanks to our engineering team and to the excellent support we are now enjoying from the SVR under the management of Neil Taylor and Martin White, we have more grounds for optimism than we have had for some years.
Two photos showing the crossheads and the pivot slide for the front pony truck. Photos: Tony Massau.
The check spring brackets for the front pony truck. Photo: Tony Massau.
The new steam brake cylinder. Photo: John Pagett.
The chimney from the final Riddles Class 3 mogul, no. 77014. Photo: Peter Line.
We thought you'd like to see these two nice shots of 82XXX locos at Wrexham (Rhosddu) by Colin Caddy, courtesy of Andrew Dykes and sent to me by my friend Neil Evans recently (click on the images for larger versions). Rhosddu shed (84K) was located on the down side of the line from Wrexham to Bidston and was an early casualty, being closed on 4th January 1960. Thanks to its GCR origins, the depot housed a number of LNER tanks, so that it was possible to see the incongruous sight of an N5 heading local services in North East Wales and on the Wirral. The old GC locos had disappeared by the late 1950's, 82XXX tanks being their principal replacements. Also in the pics is a Stanier 3MT 2-6-2 tank, which would work turn and turn about with the 82's. These engines were not regarded as Stanier's finest, though I always found them rather attractive little machines.
Rhosddu was not as well-known as the nearby WR Croes Newydd mpd, though the site of the latter is now totally obliterated by new development whereas it is still just possible to discern from passing trains where the old GC shed used to be.