Friday, 27 February 2015

Statfold Reborn...

Hi all. Today was a slightly impromptu visit to Statfold. Phil had rung earlier in the week and asked if there was any chance that I could nip over to help with one of their steam test days. Naturally, with over 15 engines to test, boiler testing at SBR takes a good week! 'Eddie the Late' was over there in the morning doing various tasks, and I arrived at just gone 1pm to relieve him. The afternoon was very pleasant, with what seemed to be my first encounter of steam engines and sun in the same place this year. There were six engines in steam today from the Statfold stable, all having safety valves checked, boilers looked at, gauges studied and so on. All the usual boiler test jobs were being carried out and each engine gradually passed with flying colours. The first SBR Open Day of 2015 arrives on March 28th and what a day it will be. The SBR continues to go from strength to strength and it is a truly awe-inspiring set-up that has been created from a brown-field site. My job this afternoon involved keeping fires going, boiler levels up and helping by driving engines around for shunts. Driving "Sybil Mary" or GP39 around in the sun on this calm winter afternoon bore no complaints from me in the slightest! Meanwhile, in the impressive Oak Tree storage shed, just some of the Statfold collection lies in wait...
"Just Some of the Statfold Collection"
I was at the SBR until gone 5pm when I had to head for home. All six of the days test engines had passed with flying colours and reports suggested that all of their previously tested sisters had too. Its amazing how long the SBR has been there now as "Trangkil No4" and Peckett "Harrogate" are now out of use following expiry of their 10-year tickets! How time has flown! I left the SBR today feeling much more enthused; my thirst for steam being quenched for a couple more weeks. Roll on the SBR Open Day! If you haven't visited Statfold before, well, you can't really call yourself a steam enthusiast...it is a MUST SEE! All the best, Sam...

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