Watercress Line

Ropley Removals at your service…

Wednesday 8th February; where is the year going? Mind you, rushing headlong toward longer days and better weather is fine in my book; it's not quite light yet as I get up to head for the Ropley fun factory, but it's getting close...

One or two or our readers (yes, we do get to double figures sometimes) have noticed the lack of blogs of late; I wasn't at Ropley last couple of weeks having got the pass out and the deputy scribe was also AWOL so the web-site was spared our ramblings but assuming we pass censorship this week, we are back, hopefully on a regular basis (though my GP season stars soon!)

Anyway, enough drivel; what were we all up to this week?

The "White Board" in the mess was being up-dated by Andy as we arrived for the preliminary tea and gossip then Andy explained his priorities for the day. A job I stuck my hand up for, metaphorically, was to go to Medstead, get the company transport and head for Alresford to pick up a heavy pallet load delivered there in error. Three of us squeezed on the bench front seat of the Transit and found a pallet far to heavy for us to lift sitting in the booking hall; un-daunted we broke open the box and took the individual bits to the waiting Transit and whizzed them off to Ropley. Well, not exactly whizzed as I was a guest of the local constabulary on Monday doing a speed awareness course so was taking an unusually keen interest in the speedo...

We dropped the newly cast valve heads, for that's what they were, into the machine shop then, surprise surprise, it was tea time; we seem to have got the timing of our different jobs, whatever they are, off to a fine art when it comes to rea and cake...

We returned the transport to Medstead then went looking for another job; Mark asked us to press some bushes from Cheltenham brake rigging as part of her on-going refurbishment; the rigging had long since been removed and stored in the wheeldrop. However the wheeldrop has been "requisitioned" by the paint shop so we had Ollie to contend with as we passed Thomas which is being primed, filled and flattened by him. It takes special training to create red white and blue spotted paintwork, but he assured us Thomas would be resplendent in new topcoat by the time that week we all look forward to arrives...

Mark was working under the loco too as part of it's full mechanical re-furb. but he found time to explain which bushes he wanted removing before we headed for the hydraulic press.

The press is located very near the front of the loco shed next to where Dave 2-jags and his merry men are working on the tender frames that they have been welding, drilling and generally busying themselves with for the past few months. To get access to the press and to get some welcome daylight on to our job we opened the large roller shutter door thereby inviting some interesting banter; it seems the poor souls were getting cold and didn't give a monkeys about our needing a bit of light on our job! Luckily, lunch intervened...

As usual, lots was going on all around with steam cleaning Bullied reversing gear just one more bit of entertainment for a little group to stand and "advise". It's a wonder we ever get anything done really with all the different opinions on offer as to how to do any job, but, surprisingly, we do!

And we'll be doing it all again next week..

That's it from me then, your Ropley Scribe.

Dave.

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