After the light engine trip for both engines earlier in the week, the NRM’s Britannia No. 70013 “Oliver Cromwell” was taking stock today – through the South of England with the Sussex Belle (in place of Tangmere which was unavailable). Latest reports have her on time and looking good despite the gloomy weather.
Meanwhile, our intrepid volunteers back at Loughborough have been taking stock of another sort: having equipped one support coach this month, we are rapidly finishing off the second ready to pair up with the NRM’s other loco in our care – 30777 King Arthur Class “Sir Lamiel”. Out Treasurer has persuaded the team that rather than go out with an open purse and buy extra kit, we should taking stock of what tools and equipment we have already, which, rather than looking in a tool box and saying “yes, plenty of spanners” means taking them all out, cleaning them up, laying them out on the bench and working out whether we have a full set, or whether there are gaps – usually of the critical sizes or duplicates – usually of the size you need least!
The same for hammers, punches, screwdrivers, cups, plates, knives, forks etc. It’s amazing just what we have got stashed away ready – anyone would think we’d done this before! (Thinks back to the summer of 2008 when the Arthur was up at Carnforth on her own without a support coach, and we had to store cups, kettles and teabags in the tender locker with the spanners and brasso during the week.) Every item we don’t have to buy new means more money saved to go towards finishing off the Five.
News from Tyseley is that the support crew began the job of getting the rods off the Arthur as soon as the engine arrived on Monday, ready for the axleboxes to be removed to check the hornblock clearances.
The snow this week has rather put a chill on another job that we could otherwise have been getting on with: we had a volunteer lined up yesterday to start cup-brushing and painting the outside of the Five’s boiler, but it began snowing (again!) and paint doesn’t go on very well in the snow .