Watercress Line

Ropley Loco Wednesday Gang - 3rd May 2017 - Now where’s that S15?

When we all arrived, Mr Sibley was on hand to announce some changes and direct us to our tasks for the day.  Not that we needed much directing, as most of us just carried on from where we left off last week. Details are a little sketchy as I’ve been occupied with a variety of domestic duties since Wednesday, ranging from re-configuring PCs to sorting out a new PVR, and listening to Nightingales singing at Pulborough.

The first thing we noted was that the S15 (30506) had disappeared from the workshop!  After a bit of searching around, it was found at the back of the wheeldrop shed – the favoured spot for finishing chassis overhauls.  One of it’s wheelsets had been removed, and was out in the yard.

During the search, we also noted that the 9F was a lot cleaner than before, and that the cab-side numbers had been newly painted.  Considerable debate ensued about the correct size for these, and as always, it emerged that there isn’t one. BR had standards for lettering – lots of them – and each region more-or-less chose it’s own preferred size.

On the shed apron, axle-boxes were being heaved about and cleaned by George, Roy and Aussie-John.  They look rather like Swanage’s axleboxes but I was kept too busy to find out.  Steve was in the Ivatt Tanks smokebox doing some cleaning – or possibly just transferring the oily soot onto his overalls, and the Wadebridge tender gang were undercoating their chassis. Alasdair was up on Swanage’s tender, helping Ollie to prepare it for painting.

Keith and Welsh Pete hadn’t any bogie work to do, so they dressed in orange and went on an expedition to the head-shunt.  I just can’t recall what they were doing – except that it involved a whole new lot of thous and high-vis vests. Perhaps we’ll find out next week.

Paul and I carried on silver-soldering fittings onto Swanage’s axle-box lubrication pipes, so now we have a full set of 24 that need cleaning. Graham joined us and made a start on this, but left us plenty to do next week. 

There was a welcome interruption to apply some heat to Swanage’s steam-powered turbine generator that was being stripped by Morley and another chap whose name I ddin't catch - but I now know him to be Les-the-crane.. The heat did the trick and allowed them to remove a collar from it’s shaft, making the electrical parts accessible. A fascinating combination of the old and the new order.

More next week.

Under Assistant Ropley Scribe


Cake roster for the next few weeks:
May 10            Dave-2Jags & George
May 17            Dave-the-scribe & Andy-the-artist
May 24            Kieran & Colin-Morris

Photo gallery