A Postcard from Norfolk
As regular readers of this site will know, the NRM’s ‘King Arthur’ class locomotive No. 30777 “Sir Lamiel” is currently on holiday near the seaside at Weybourne on the North Norfolk Railway. She arrived in the middle of the night last weekend (see “I do like to be beside the seaside” in the news pages) and then worked an intensive service for their gala. This weekend she was in traffic again so we sent Alison & Hugh over as minders to look after her and answer any technical questions that the crew might have.
Hugh with George Harper, the NNR driver, preparing to leave Weybourne up the 1:80 towards Holt (who said Norfolk's Flat!)
We usually send an “Owners Representative” with the engines when they visit another railway, just as we provide a support crew when they go out main line. It’s particularly important with Lamiel as many of her controls are subtly different to those on other engines people may have worked, and being the only surviving member of her class means that the chances of someone having experienced an Arthur in their career are low.
As only one minder is needed on the footplate at a time, Hugh spent his ‘off duty’ shifts working on the coach, replacing the door panels which cover up the scissor mechanism for the drop lights. These were not finished in time for the coach to go away from Loughborough, although all the tools, equipment and panels were loaded into the coach to be done “going along”. So far no one had done them so Hugh thought that this was an ideal opportunity and set to work. He was slightly hampered by the fact that a few of the wooden strips were missing for one of the doors, but a quick trip to the NNR’s lighting up pile provided some excellent tongue & groove timber to complete the job. The NNR’s resident fitters seemed happy with the exotic use of a small amount of their lighting up pile and we will always have a souvenir of our stay in Nofolk.
The door panels installed, just awaiting painting (well he can't do it all!)
Lamiel appears to be proving popular with visitors to the NNR (and among the volunteers & staff). She’s due to work next weekend as well, at the NNR’s “1940s Weekend”. I don’t want to give too much away, but there are preparations all over the railway, with sandbags, unexploded bombs, warnings against ‘Careless Talk’ and exhortations to save food. All mixed in with the NNR’s M&GNR somersault signals, architecture, stunning scenery and sea views. It looks as if it will be a great weekend, and obviously it will be your final chance to see Lamiel by the Sea on this visit. There are full details on the North Norfolk Railway’s website http://www.nnrailway.co.uk/ to plan your visit.
30777 in the evening light on Sunday, disposed and ready for stabling.
An Update on Cromwell.
We occasionally get emails here at 5305la Webquarters asking whether there are any further updates on Cromwell. The answer is Yes - and No.
I have been trying to keep everyone up to date with Cromwell, but the news at the moment is more of the same - "the work is progressing, and the expected completion date is still October". Details are few and far between when you deal with boilersmiths, particularly at 3rd hand - the last thing I want to do is slow down the job by constantly phoning people up for updates which in the end would boil down to 'ongoing, on target, leave us alone.....'
So I don’t have any specific details to give you but the expected completion date is next month (October 2010), with a view to getting Cromwell back into traffic ready to undertake some of her planned work later this year.
An Update on 45305.
The five has been making steady progress recently, with all the axleboxes completed, the engine re-wheeled and the boiler is being steam tested ready to go back into the frames. I hope to have a few more details, and possibly a photo or two soon.