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News Update - March 2021

Engineering notes

By Tony Massau

We are still absent from site at present although the full time staff continue with firebox work and, as time allows, on machining injectors and water valves plus oil trays for the pony truck lubrication.

Stephenson Engineering have completed machining the valve spindles and have recently been forging the coupling rods.

Publicity and Fund Raising

By Chris Proudfoot

Despite the low profile we've been keeping over the past twelve months, I am pleased to tell you that donations have continued to come in: £1,300-00 in March alone. Thank you so much to all our friends for keeping faith in us to deliver the goods!

I was delighted to see the photographs from Arthur Stephenson Engineering (see Tony's notes) showing the forging of 82045's coupling rods and the completed valve spindles. Of course, there's still a lot to do before the rods are delivered to Bridgnorth, but these will show you that they are on their way. Apart from the firebox - assembly now well under way, as you know - the coupling rods constitute the biggest single item of expenditure still outstanding for the remainder of the build. I will talk to our engineers for an expert assessment of what still needs to be done before the engine is completed and will report back to you.

The latest issue of Steam World carries an article on the performance of the BR Standard 3MT locomotives (77XXX/82XXX classes). It is a little disappointing that the article makes no mention of the 82045 project; also that the magazine didn't contact us to let us know that it was in the pipeline, as I would have liked to include an appeal leaflet insert. I suppose SW is an historical magazine and is not primarily concerned with the preservation (I try to avoid the word 'heritage' as much as I can) scene.

82XXX in BR Days

This month's shot was sent to me by Ivan Whitehouse (thanks as always, Ivan) and was taken at Bristol Temple Meads. If anyone knows who took the photograph, please let us know so that we can acknowledge it properly. Now, 82044 was a bit of an oddity, so let's see if sharp-eyed readers can spot why! Answers, please, to Chris.

Thanks to those members who wrote to me following last month's sad image of 82041 and the 9F at Bath Green Park, firstly for identifying the photographer as Terry Onslow, then to Philip Probert and David Smith for identifying the 9F as 92243. David emailed me as follows:

'Looking at the latest February Bulletin, I think the 9F...is almost certainly No. 92243 and the date early 1966. My guess is that the 9F worked into Bath from Bristol in December 1965 and was failed with some issues and then condemned by the end of December. The connecting rod has been removed so it is awaiting movement on to Cashmores, Newport in March. This was the only 9F noted as being stored at Bath Green Park (The Book of the 9Fs).'

I've always found that folks will know the answers to any questions I pose, so I look forward to hearing about 82044! The photograph we featured in February is always a poignant reminder of the sheer waste of good kit that resulted from BR's headlong dash to rid itself of steam in the 1960's. I wouldn't mind betting that the 'issues' David talks about were nothing that couldn't have been fixed without a Works visit.




The forging of the coupling rods. Photo: Robert Stephenson.


The completed valve spindles. Photo: Robert Stephenson.


82044 at Bristol Temple Meads - click the image for a larger view.