Today work was continuing in the shed on both "Blue Circle" & "Sir Gomer". Meanwhile, "Mayflower" stood shining silently. I first finished painting the frames underneath the Peckett's footplate floor (began last week) and then went off to help Pockets with a job outside the shed. A collegue then set to work needle-gunning even more of "Sir Gomer"s frames, ready for priming and repainting later on. (We feel that we may as well tidy the engine up cosmetically whilst the boiler, and the engine for that matter, are out of service). "Sir Gomer" will probably take a couple of months to complete but progress should improve rapidly once the boiler returns as it will then be a 'mad push' to rebuilt the fittings and fixtures before replacement of the saddle tank & cab. (The engine will be retaining her current livery of Green, lined in yellow and black).
Meanwhile, "Blue Circle" was beginning to have her valve gear rebuilt. (Most of the gear has been remachined to improve the engine's performance and operation). Also, parts of the boiler cladding had been repainted (in gloss) into the engine's regularly Blue Circle Blue livery. (The engine is now coming back together well and is rostered to return to public service on the first day of the railway's June Thomas event, June 6th). The engine will be turned out in fully repainted Blue Circle Blue livery as "Fergus" for the event. (The event will also feature the B1 "Mayflower"). Our "Thomas" for the event will be played a MR 0-6-0 Class 3F, or 'Jinty', tank locomotive.
It is now only two weeks until steam trains run to Shenton for the first time in 2009! The immaculate B1 No1306 "Mayflower" will be steamed over the weekend of May 23rd-25th (Whitsun Bank Holiday), taking part in the railway's "Anything Goes Gala"/"Volunteer Weekend". It is hoped to also run a few diesels during the event as well but it is likely that 1306 will haul most, if not all, trains to the Battlefield on each day. After Whitsun, your next chance to ride behind steam at the Battlefield Line will be June 6th/7th/13th/14th during the line's fabulous Thomas event. Three steam locomotives ("Mayflower", "Thomas" & "Fergus") will be taking part as well as the DMU ("Daisy") and, with no doubt, a few diesels. Check out the railway's website ( www.battlefield-line-railway.co.uk ) for more details and to book tickets now! You can even enjoy "Tea on Thomas" on the last train of the day! Please come along and have a magical Day out With Thomas with us at the Battlefield Line Railway.