Friday, 11 September 2015

Statfold: September Preparation with No19...

Hi there everyone. This afternoon a good few volunteers were over at the sunny retreat of the Statfold Barn Railway, preparing engines for tomorrows open day. I arrived at just after 1pm and immediately set to cleaning Brazil class 0-4-2 "Trangkil No4". Not far from No4 was my steed for tomorrow: No19, known to me as 'Little Fiji'. Built in 1914 by Hudswell Clarke for the Lautoka sugar mill in Fiji, this pretty 0-4-0 is a strong little engine. The only survivor of a class of only two, No19 was brought to the UK for restoration at the SBR and now looks resplendent in her shining maroon livery. This is a far cry from how she looked when she arrived. My tasks today mainly involved cleaning the engine. She carries quite a lot of brass, mainly in her cab, and this looks lovely when buffed up...
Later in the day I lit the engine up, attempting to warm her through ready for tomorrow. Though a 6am start was in prospect, she'd need enough steam to move by about 7:40am, and then we were due off with the first train just before 9am. I always think a good warm through is necessary for maintaining a healthy boiler anyway and, crackling away with some dry fresh wood alight in her box, No19 came quickly towards the boil. I left the engine at around 5:30pm with everything isolated and ready for tomorrow.
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Sadly, today was not all about enjoyment. Early this week we were given the sad news that long time SBR volunteer and photographer Jeff Cogan had passed away, during the early hours of Monday morning. Ever a friendly face to chat to, Jeff will be greatly missed by all of us at Statfold. Even outside SBR territory, we would often bump into him & Ken at various railway hotspots and Jeff would always find time to talk to us. Our thoughts are with Jeff's family and friends at this very sad time and we will surely miss him. Statfold will certainly not be the same. As a mark of respect for Jeff, the beautiful Bagnall 4-4-0 "Isibutu" was polished up and dressed with a black ribbon and Jeff's headboard. She will run like this throughout tomorrows open day. RIP Jeff, you will be missed...
Thank you all very much for reading folks

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