Sunday, 21 September 2008

Another Working Sunday At Shackerstone

Today,like most Sundays(!),I spent my day at Shackerstone. The day started at 10am as the days service trains were not due to be steam hauled.The order of locomotives in the shed went as followed:-
0-4-0 Class 02 Diesel Shunter "Diane" (front)
4-6-0 LNER B1 No1306 "Mayflower" (over pit)
0-4-0 VBT "Yvonne"
0-6-0ST Peckett No1859 of June 1932 "Sir Gomer"
0-6-0 Bagnall Saddle Tank "Lamport No3" (back)
"Sir Gomer" and "Yvonne" were seperated by a 'Lowmac' wagon mounted on which were "Sir Gomer"s brand new tubes ready to be heated and then cut down."Sir Gomer"s boiler holds 164 tubes, 155 of which are to be replaced.The other 9 tubes have been replaced in recent months and so these did not need to be removed.Mr Britt fired up the 02 Shunter and then he & myself 'ran her round' through No11 (a ground frame) and to the back of the shed.After negociating a nasty set of very tight points we reached the two roads which lead into the back of the shed. Andy opened the doors and in the 02 ("Diane") went.I coupled her up to "Lamport" before releasing both steamers' handbrakes.
Mr Britt then dragged "Lamport","Gomer" & the 'Lowmac' out of the shed.The two pictures above show old "Lampy" & "Sir G" basking in the suns rays."Lamport" hasn't seen light of day for a while and I was glad to the get the chance to get a pic of her outside instead of in the darkness of the shed!We then lit a large fire whilst Mr Britt prepared his blow-lamp sort of set-up.6 tubes at a time were then laid out with one end in the fire.The other ends were then heated until they were 'red hot' by Mr Britt.Myself,Andy & Graeme then helped to swap,turn and stack the tubes.Over the next 4 hours or so the same system continued.We all had alot of soft drinks to compensate for the heat of the fire,the blow-torch and the hot sun.By the time we'd all had enough (around 4pm!) we had heated both ends of 50 or so tubes and with 5 still in the fire we decided to add one more for good measure!We then finished heating the last 6 tubes of the day before piling them onto the wagon.The blow-torch equipment was put away before Mr Britt restarted "Diane".
"Diane" then pushed the ensemble back into the shed ready for next Sunday's work which,as you may have guessed,is the same job!Once this work is done however the tubes can be cut to size and polished before fitting commences.Once retubed,"Sir Gomer" will HOPEFULLY have a new lease of life and will be back in traffic once more.But for 76 years of age she still looks good! Meanwhile,away from the shed area,4 trains were operated on the 5-mile line to Shenton with diesel-haulage.The first three trains were hauled by Bo-Bo Class 33 (019) "Griffon" with the trip being handled by visiting Class 20 (166) "River Fowey" (pictured above).All in all it had been a good day and after locking up the shed myself,Andy,Mr Britt and Graeme made our steady way to the staff room for the all important job of 'signing off'.In my opinion the day was worth it and was certainly much more enjoyable than it would of been if we had nothing to do!I hope to be at Shackerstone again on the Sunday after next so we'll see what that day brings!Thanks for reading folks and have a good evening.

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