A team of 2 today, and with kinder weather we were able to make good progress with painting the centre span roof inside.
John is making a start here on the Cotswolds end, and when we have done the two panels in the picture there will be another two left, which are a bit inaccessible at the moment as there is a big pile of T&G in the way.
A loud chop-chop-chop brought us outside the mess room again, to find that the sun had returned and an Apache was flying overhead.
Friday is a regular day for footplate experiences, but the trains are very irregular, you never know when one might turn up. Could be any time between 12 and 3.
We caught this one running round by the P2 running in board.
On Monday we can start painting the structural steel here in dark stone undercoat.
Saturday at Toddington
An interesting day, in several places.
The PWay gang was out measuring again, this time at Toddington, where we recorded the details of 4 turnouts.
|35006 and 7820 at Toddington|
It was a 'two engines in steam day' and here they are, P&O and Dinmore Manor. It looks as if they are about to set off on a race, but one is ready to leave with its train south for CRC, while the other is waiting for room to run round its rake, and head north for Broadway.
|'It says 7ft 1/4 inches here' ' OK, noted'.|
By this time we were on the north turnout, loop to main line, which is the longest we have on the railway, with over 60 timbers.
Here Nigel is using the gauge to record the wear on the head of the rail. Tony, Jim and Pete look on.
During our break for lunch, we had a quick look at the goods shed extension being built at Toddington.
It's very motivating to see that it is being built pretty much in the same style as the 1904 goods shed, although in the non-passenger visible area (i.e. along the unloading road) some detail has been omitted, such as the plinth along the bottom.
This is the same view, looking back up the unloading road.
The use of reds and blues is very pleasing.
On the passenger visible Cotswolds side the plinth has been respected, so you should see a pretty seamless continuation of the blue engineering brick plinth headers along the bottom.
In the picture the plinth headers are covered in polythene to protect the bricks from falling mortar.
The big pannier was in light steam for testing various pieces of equipment, before entering service during its stay with us.
Interesting and somewhat unusual is the injector fitted above the running plate, instead of below.
The doorway is actually round the back, and is usually invisible to the passing gaze. The arch above it has suffered from subsidence, and 3 members of the Broadway gang are effecting a repair of the archway, and the sagging brickwork above it.
In the picture Paul (he with the mixer and the ever present coffee cup) is cutting a brick to size.
Round the back now, and with newly cut brick in hand, he awaits the judgement on his cutting skills from brickies Bob and John.
Sadly it was a thumbs down - there was a chip in the piece. Well, they're not easy to cut, it's true.
In the picture a new door frame has been put in, and a new arch of engineering blues is partly constructed.
The problem arose due to ground subsidence, and some rather slapdash brickwork done in 1904. It'll be done properly now.
Returning to the gang, now having their picnic outside Toddington station, we found them well into their snap and the cupcakes already out. Need to move fast here to get a fair share.
Minutes later we had a cup of hot tea from the Flag & Whistle, two cup cakes consumed and two more secured in reserve, heaven!
We went up to ask him about the intended moves of the 'Hoover', and heard that it was booked to go out on a test run to Winchcombe and back. It will also participate in the next diesel gala.
You can also just make out the class 47 hovering in the background, ready to take over the last turn of the day.
An evening with the standard loco 76077 group
Toddingon's 76077 'Pocket Rocket' has been laid up in pieces up the headshunt for many years, and as you may know, a group has now been formed to raise funds and complete the restoration of this engine.
The share issue has launched, and an evening with Tyseley engineman Colin Jacks and artist Nick Trudgian was held on Saturday. Supporters came to admire Nick's paintings, listen to Colin's tales of the steam days, question the board on 76077 progress and enjoy some light refreshments.
Two members of the Broadway canopy team also attended. Not sure of the degree to which the light refreshments might be filling, they had a hearty Thai meal in Winchcombe beforehand, just in case. Their fears were unfounded, as it proved, and there were plenty of sandwiches, wine and even some trifle.
In the picture is 76077's engineering director, Andy Meredith, holding the regulator of the locomotive.
Over the years a large number of parts have been acquired, and some of these were brought as exhibits and subjects of conversation.
In this picture Andy is joined by Chris Hinton, original purchaser of the loco and founder director of TSLL.
Chris explained that after outshopping 4953 Pitchford Hall at Loughborough, our contractors Locomotive Maintenance Services Ltd would be starting on the frames of 76077 within the next two weeks. Excellent news!
Over the next 12 months or so the engine parts that have been sent to Loughborough will be restored to a rolling chassis, with smokebox and cab. The boiler is at Toddington. If share applications come in at the appropriate rate, LMS could carry on with the job and the loco could be restored within the next 5 years. It could run on the GWSR with a borrowed tender (the original was purchased for 76017). The loco restoration is estimated to cost £500.000, and a new tender could be constructed for a further £150-200.000.
Among the items on show was this Ross Pop safety valve, an original from the loco itself.
Colin had to admit that he was unimpressed by the new Standards when they were introduced. He felt that they should be better than the locos they replaced, but they were not.
This changed after he came to work a Britannia, and he became positively enthusiastic when he drove - a 76XXX ! On a number of occasions he chose to drive one instead of his allocated duty on one of the new diesels.
So our little 'Pocket Rocket' has spent too much time languishing at the end of the Toddington headshunt, and we can count ourselves lucky that a group (TSLL - Toddington Standard Locomotive LTD) has volunteered to take on the task and finish the job started by Chris in 1987. 76077 is ideal for the GWSR - modern, powerful and economical.
|76077 arrived at Toddington in 1987. Photograph copyright Andy Bryne.|
Support for restoring 76077 here
Just to underscore that the wallet is after all mightier than the pen, your blogger has bought a share! Please help them finish the job, there's not enough of us yet.