Sunday, 6 January 2013


Hi guys. Today was my first visit of 2013 to Shackerstone. It was chilly but workable, so I arrived at about 9am and headed off down to the loco shed, being the first to arrive there. After a good chat with Reas, David arrived. Myself and Dave then set to cleaning out "Sir Gomer" following her three excursions just before new year. Dave cleaned out the smokebox whilst I jumped into the firebox with the battery-lamp and cleared the grate. "Sir Gomer"s firebox is obviously much smaller than 3803's but you can still get in there quite easily, keeping your head down as you go about your work. With the grate clear, I could remove myself from the dark firebox and clamber back out onto the footplate, covered in ash. I was pretty pleased with the result...
"Sir Gomer"s Firebox Nice & Clean
"Sir Gomer" is also undergoing some winter work...pretty much all over her. Her regulator is currently in bits for work as it has been getting very stiff and it is feared that the linkage has been damaged. The steam chest covers are also currently off so as to allow alterations to the valve timing to take place. The loco is currently chuffing OK but it was definately better when it returned to service in September 2011 and so an investigation is underway. Having started up the Class 08 diesel, myself & Jason removed 3803 from the shed (still sparkling from her New Years Day antics) and parked her on the outside pit road. The 38' still looks brilliant in terms of cleanliness, following a hefty clean up for her new years run. For the rest of the day we shunted "Sir Gomer" up & down the shed, recording the movements on the valve at the various positions of the leading crank. This data allows us to work out how much the ports have/should move, and we can then adjust them up accordingly.
The Old Gal' (3803) On The Pit Road
Next week we will be adjusting the valves to suit the data that was recorded today. I left Shackerstone at 4pm after a cold but enjoyable day with the lads in the shed. Cheers - Sam.

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