Fabrication of the two water tanks has commenced at the Dinas workshops of the Welsh Highland Railway where there is currently more available space for construction work of this nature than at Boston Lodge. The two photos taken at the end of March show some of the profiled steel plate being prepared for assembly.
The front ring of the smokebox is now fitted into the wrapper and secured with temporary bolts awaiting a suitable opportunity to exchange the bolts for rivets. Handrails and their pillars have been made for the sides of the wrapper. Pilot holes have been drilled around the edges of the smokebox saddle in preparation for drilling through into the wrapper once that is placed on to the saddle.
A sturdy extension bar has been made to connect a reamer with the magnetic base drill across the width of the chassis for reaming the cylinder security bolt holes. The plan is to remove the cylinder on one side of the chassis, place the magnetic base drill on to the chassis face vacated by the removed cylinder and connect with the extension bar to ream the holes in the cylinder flange on the opposite side of the loco. The procedure will then be reversed for the second cylinder. Fitted bolts will then have to be made and installed.
Work is in progress on the welding and associated machining of manganese plates on to the driving wheel axleboxes.
This year's AGM was the best-attended to date, with 87 people - plus the usual suspects - filling the upstairs Lecture Theatre at Kidderminster Railway Museum. It was, as always, a cordial event, with plenty to report and a good number of questions from the floor. We were very pleased to welcome Neil Taylor, the SVR's Bridgnorth Works Manager, who talked to our members for a quarter of an hour. Neil outlined progress with locomotives currently under overhaul, as well as - crucially for us - giving us an approximate timeline to completion of 82045's boiler: the barrel is due to go into the works for riveting in the next few weeks, and work is scheduled to start on the overall boiler and firebox job in November, with anticipated completion by June of next year. We will not be tubing the boiler until we have a firmer idea of when the rest of the loco will be ready (2019 is the target for the first steaming), as we do not want certification to be initiated only for the tubed unit to be sitting around wasting precious time.
We are happy that the locomotive is in good hands now, and would like to thank Neil for all his help over the past few months (he has only been in office since last autumn) as well as for taking the time out of his weekend to attend our meeting.
The small sub-group organising the Paul Anderson memorial special train met on the morning of the AGM, and the meeting was attended for part of the time by our good friend David Postle, Manager of Kidderminster Railway Museum, who came up with some excellent ideas for us to surprise you with during the three-hour stopover at the adjacent station.
We'd like to keep these to ourselves just for now - the original plan had been to hire the Kinks tribute band (The Kinx!) to play a gig for an hour, but unfortunately the SVR's Catering Department had booked a wedding party for the same day, so our reservation had to be cancelled, fortunately without incurring a penalty. What we have in mind now will be quieter, but hopefully no less enjoyable, and classics like Sunny Afternoon, Dedicated Follower of Fashion and - of course - Waterloo Sunset will still be part of the proceedings. Those were the days: Waterloo Sunset is especially poignant and for a number of reasons: Ray Davies's lovely song seems to encapsulate those times so well, plus Paul had requested it to be played at his funeral; and lastly, it was the smash hit of midsummer 1967 just when steam was at its very last gasp at Waterloo. I don't think Ray can have intended this, although he is known to love steam locomotives!
Tickets are selling steadily, so if you'd like to spend a day out with us fifty years ago, please let Barbara know as soon as possible. The train will run on Friday October 6th and tickets cost £30.00. Please send Barbara your cheque made out to The 82045 Steam Locomotive Trust together with a stamped addressed envelope.
As you know, the train is being run to honour our friend, and profit is not the primary motive, though for obvious reasons we'd like to break even, at least: I know Paul would approve of this wholeheartedly, as he was looking forward more than anything to reliving his days as a Nine Elms fireman on the footplate of one of his beloved BR Class 3 tanks, and I wish so much that he'd been able to do so. We are offering two full-length footplate rides over the SVR (Bridgnorth-Kidderminster and Kidderminster to Bridgnorth), each for one person, at £250.00 a time. If you fancy a ride of sixteen miles and a bit on the footplate of Bulleid Pacific 34027 Taw Valley in the company of Tony and Chris, please get in touch with Barbara as soon as you can and reserve yours. Remember, this is open to only two people and it has to be on a first come first served basis, so don't leave it too long if you're interested!
Two pictures of the handrails temporarily fitted to the sides of an upside down smokebox wrapper. Photos by John Pagett.
Two pictures of the steel for the water tanks as construction begins at Dinas, Welsh Highland Railway. Photos by Tony Massau.
Gordon Barnes Painting. We held a raffle for the Gordon Barnes painting (featured last month) at two SVR events - Spring Gala and Open House weekend. Our winner was Graham Constant (ticket number 336) whose name was drawn by James Hicks of Oxfordshire. James is seen here with his father and 82045 sales assistant Denise making the draw in the shed at Bridgnorth. Thank you for your help James!