In a month not noted for giving us an Indian summer, we were blessed with lovely weather on Friday 6th when we ran Paul Anderson's memorial special train "Waterloo Sunset" from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster and back.
The day was enjoyed very much by all who took part, though one or two people commented on the fact that the morning photo-call turned out to be a bit shambolic. To those who felt that it lacked clarity, I can only apologise and explain that all our carefully-laid plans were thrown into confusion when we were asked to carry out an unexpected shunt release movement for the SVR's footplate experience train, which had arrived at Bridgnorth while Tony and I were getting ready to come off shed with "Taw Valley". Now this is about the last thing you want when you're all ready to go, and I regret to say called forth some colourful language from 34027's ageing fireman, who had to hook on and off the stock for the other train, with all the grunting and sweating that this involves. One thing we've learned about our beloved Railway is always to expect the unexpected!
That apart, all went well, and I would like to thank all those who helped to make the day a success. It is often unwise to single out individuals, but I would like to record my thanks to 34027 owner Phil Swallow for allowing us to have his locomotive for the day, to Gareth Price for making such a superb job of the SR-style headboard, and to David Postle, curator of Kidderminster Railway Museum, for arranging the catering and entertainment so well. Others I'd like to mention include Bryan and Everdina Clarke, Barbara Massau, John Gupwell and Richard Shaw of the Kidderminster Coalyard Railway, who opened his miniature line specially for the event and gave free rides to our guests all afternoon. We are so lucky to have so much goodwill around us, undoubtedly the number one factor in the success story of 82045.
We were delighted that Paul's partner Joanne and their son Jacob were able to make the journey from Halifax, and I was so pleased that Jacob was able to spend some time on the footplate, suitably attired (see photograph) and performing some of the duties that his Dad had carried out on this very engine all those years ago. You could tell by the look on his face that he was thrilled to bits.
The chimney has been off the smokebox in recent weeks to enable the hollow sections between the inner and outer walls to be filled with fire cement.
Both cylinders are secured with fitted bolts, front and rear end covers attached with front steam chest covers also attached. The rear steam chest covers are in production.
The cross heads are cast and the slide bars are on order as are the piston rods.
Machining of the manganese liners of the leading pair of axleboxes is well advanced whilst welding on of the liners on to the trailing pair is in progress as these notes are compiled.
Whilst the bulk of the machining of the drivers reversing mechanism is complete some fettling of smaller bits to enable final assembly is in progress.
Some parts of the hand brake assembly are prepared and work to progress installation is in hand.
This will be held on Saturday 7th April in the upstairs lecture theatre at Kidderminster Railway Museum at 2.00 p.m. All are welcome.
Preparing for the off at Kidderminster. Photos: Ivan Whitehouse.
Paul's son Jacob Mills at Kidderminster. Photo: Fraser Goulding.
Fire cement drying out in the chimney voids between the inner and outer walls. Photo: Tony Massau.
Left hand cylinder with front cover fitted and front steam chest cover fitted. Photo: Tony Massau.