At Bridgnorth machining work continues on spring links, axlebox crown brasses and keeps. The completed buffers have been fitted to the chassis.
At Boston Lodge engineering works the bunker construction is well advanced. We understand that the team hope to finish the fabrication by Christmas.
As mentioned last month, Boss Patterns of Coventry have been producing a superb and extremely complicated pattern for our front pony truck; some photographs may be seen here – I think you will agree that it looks very impressive.
82045 gets to grips with the 1 in 100 climb to Eardington Summit at the head of a Kidderminster-bound service. The train is seen here crossing Oldbury Viaduct, with the distinctive Bridgnorth skyline, dominated by the towers of St Mary Magdalene and St Leonard's, in the background.
The Trust commissioned Stockport-based artist Stephen Millership to produce this lovely 82045 poster for display and sale. Prints are 500 x 700mm - that's 20 x 28 inches to those of us of a certain age! - and are the right size to fit a standard IKEA frame. They are available at a price of £20.00 (cheque or cash) including P&P from:
Barbara Massau, Highlea, 4 Southfield, Prestbury, Cheshire SK10 4XF
Tickets for our special train on Friday 17th April are selling fast, so just a reminder that, if you fancy a day out with us, please send Bryan Clarke your remittance (cheque or cash) as soon as possible. See November’s News updates for full details.
Again, a reminder that this will be held at Kidderminster Railway Museum on Saturday 11th April 2015 at 2.00 p.m.
The completed front buffers photographed on 15th December. Photo: Tony Massau.
Two photos of the bunker fabrication under construction at Boston Lodge. Photo: Jon Whalley (FR & WHR CME)
One of twelve forged and machined spring links. Photo: Tony Massau.
The front pony truck pattern under constrution at Boss Patterns. Photos: Brent Cameron of Boss Patterns.
by Chris Proudfoot
I once read somewhere that there is a scientific reason why time seems to speed up as you get older, based on the fact that, at - say - age 10, one year represents 10% of the time you have been on the earth; by the time you are 50, this has shrunk to 2%, and so on...........but perhaps it’s best not to dwell on this too much!
Whatever the truth of the matter, it seems hardly possible that a whole year has gone by since I was writing these notes for 2013. Having just read through them to remind myself of what I said this time last year, again I’m glad to say that there weren’t too many false promises in there. It has been a very good year for 82045, though one that has not been without its frustrations.
As those of you who follow the monthly updates will know, our cylinders have been the subject of a protracted saga which has involved their being moved from the WSR to Tees Components at Saltburn for machining and resulted in the fact that (despite Tony’s best efforts) we are still awaiting them, though we believe that their arrival at Bridgnorth is imminent. We are happy that Tees took on this highly skilled job, since the company was responsible for machining the cylinder - cast from our pattern - for the NYMR’s Standard 4MT mogul 76079, and did a thoroughly good job on it.
The second frustrating episode concerned the contractor originally chosen to fabricate the bunker, cab and side tanks, who eventually (and it took them six months) decided that they didn’t feel able to do the job. This, however, has had a happy outcome in that Tony contacted the Ffestiniog Railway, who enthusiastically agreed to accept the contract; and indeed, as the photos show, have cracked on at a rate of knots with the first item - the bunker - which should be ready for painting as you read this. The painting, including lining-out and bunker “furniture” (number, power class and yellow RA disc) is being undertaken by SVR drivers and skilled craftsmen Andy Williams and Gary Townley as a volunteer job. Thanks so much, gents - we are excited at the thought of a lovely bit of green bling to show to the public, and will be undertaking some joint publicity with the FR once it is outshopped in all its glory.
A number of people have also asked about the coupled wheelsets, which are still at the SDR though we understand very close to completion. In actual fact, we’d rather they didn’t arrive at Bridgnorth just yet, until the axle box assemblies are complete and the frames are ready to receive them so that they don’t have to sit around pending fitting. Meanwhile, work is proceeding apace on the front and rear pony assemblies: the four three-foot-diameter wheels have been cast by the Boro’ Foundry, while at Bridgnorth progress is being made in the quite complex assembly of the pony trucks.
On the subject of axle boxes, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank our quiet, patient and skilled “indoor” engineering team of Richard Fraser, Alan Harris, Rick Jarvis and Dave Struckett, for all their unobtrusive hard work on the most time-consuming (not to say tedious) job of machining these items. This work is intricate and calls for the highest degree of skill, and the Trust is incredibly fortunate in being able to call on the abilities of its volunteer team, both indoors and out. I just wish I shared some of their skills!
As you will know, 2014 was designated the year of the Boiler Appeal. This was launched in March with the tentative aim of achieving the first £100,000 by the end of the year. To our astonishment - and despite the intense competition for funding from other new build projects - it has fully emulated the success of the earlier Wheel Appeal, and the figure, as the year nears its end, is close to £140,000! Thank you so much to all of you who have supported us up to now: SVR engineering staff Will Marsh and Gary Williams jumped out of a plane 15,000 feet above Swindon in September to raise nearly £5,000 for 82045, while there have been a number of instances of great generosity from our supporters. Again, thank you all. Tony was recently introduced by Duncan Ballard (the SVR Boiler Shop Manager) to an official from Royal Sun Alliance Insurance who was on a visit to Bridgnorth. This gentleman declared himself to be generally happy with our proposals for the boiler, and we are hopeful that work will start fairly early in the New Year. The next target to reach is £200,000, so there will be no letting up in our fund-raising activities.
A propos of which, look out for a short piece in January’s Steam Railway about Frank Cronin’s near-miss in trying to save one of the three Patricroft 82XXX’s, no. 82034, in the late 1960’s when they were in store at the Salford shed. The awful thing is that this engine had only covered about 700 miles since overhaul at Crewe - what a waste! I’m also delighted to tell you that an article by one of our members, Alan Clothier, is to be published in the March issue of Steam Days. Alan was a draughtsman in the Swindon D.O. from 1949 to 1953 and worked on a number of the design features of the 82XXX class. Both articles will be accompanied by an appeal insert, featuring our new leaflet (see November updates for a sneak preview), so keep your fingers crossed for a good response. We also now have an attractive poster entitled Raising the Standard - a succinct and brilliant text suggested by Trust member Iain Jack - the work of Stockport-based artist Stephen Millership. Prints are available from Barbara (see above) at a cost of £20.00 including P&P, all profits to go to 82045. We have a number of other fund-raisers to look forward to during 2015: let’s hope they do the trick! By the way, if you have any bright ideas for raising decent amounts of cash, please do let Chris know: all suggestions will be very welcome and will receive serious consideration.
Well, I think that’s about it for now. I’d just like to conclude by saying I can confidently predict that 2015 will be a year of metamorphosis for 82045, when the huge amount of work which has been going on, much of it behind the scenes, will at last become visible. In the meantime, may I thank you, once again, for your support and wish you all the very best for Christmas and the New Year.
floreamus omnes, floreat machina nostra!
PS: We've just heard that the item about Frank Cronin will be appearing in the next-but-one issue of Steam Railway, due out in late January.