Watercress Line

A Sleep(er) on the Job

Well Mid-Summer day has come and gone, with the Solstice being the hottest day of the year so far; I was working in an air-conditioned truck at Royal Ascot and it was even hot there! Predictably though, on my first visit to Ropley for a week or several, it's cold and raining; don't you just love the great British climate...
But are we down hearted? No way.. An unusually large turnout this morning consumed tea and talked cobblers before David came and announced the proceedings for the day. Un-surprisingly, with the Gala coming up both this weekend and next, a bit of house work and general tidying up was high up the agenda...
Some of which proved a bit of a challenge..
There are bits of S15  spread about the place as well as the guts of a six cylinder diesel shunter roughly where David had requested the newly tidied S15 bits should go.. The Bullied tender chassis (I've forgotten which one, in all the Bullied tender saga) was just outside the workshop doors but to make room for the guest engines due to arrive soon, David wanted it pushed into shed, where the diesel shunter bits had taken root. The shunter has individual cylinder heads so you'd think they might be manageable to move into a new position; oh no; boy, are they heavy! So a fair bit of time and ingenuity was used to get them in pairs onto pallets so that the fork lift could re-position them.
At the same time, another gang was laying sleepers across the tender chassis out in the rain to make a solid deck upon which S15 rods and bits could be placed prior to pushing the whole damn caboodle into the shed. Lots of grunting and heaving then as heavy bits were slowly moved to new homes.. It's good exercise, we keep telling ourselves... Anyone selling ibuprofen at the gate would make a killing...
Meanwhile, around the workshop, it was as if I had never been away with Paul soldering and annealing vast bits of copper pipe from Swanage, whilst more of the guys were offering already done bits to the loco; many puzzled faces there so I declined to offer any "advice" as we have all been there...
Les and co were still measuring and fettling pony trucks and bogies; a job for life there if ever I saw one whilst Russian John was somewhere down a pit, between lighting warming fire duties... plus ca change! (Don't know what that is in Russian, John.. sorry!)
Anyway, the plan is to be at Ropley again next week for more of the same (2 weeks running being a bit of a rarity for me at the moment!) Though I've just been asked if I can go to Austria next week for that GP, as someone has gone sick.. Lets see, 7 (paid) days in Austria or one day at Ropley? Mmm,  I wonder?
Until whenever then, that's it from me, your Ropley Scribe.
Dave.

 

Photo gallery