Saturday, 30 April 2016

Tyseley: Castle's Awaiting The Road...

Hi there everyone. Today, after a busy April in and around Statfold Barn, I made a return to Tyseley for their weekly volunteer day. I had a nice run over and arrived at the former 84E a little while before 10am. On route I had called at the ever recommended Tyseley Corner Café just down the road and enjoyed an absolutely delicious sandwich whilst preparing to get changed into my overalls. This was just what the Doctor ordered on this chilly Spring morning...
Saturday Kitchen over, it was time to get changed and head into the site. There were four of us at the shed today volunteering on behalf of the Tyseley Collection, though some of the 6201 boys were also in working on their huge Stanier pacific. Efforts for our gang today centred around the boiler for No7029 "Clun Castle", which is making steady progress towards a much-anticipated return to steam. My first task was to knock up a gasket for the blow-down valve which was to be fitted soon afterwards. The blow-down is bolted to the foundation ring on the door-plate and allows not only the emptying of the boiler (if required) but also allows a fast release of steam and water when the boiler is in steam, thus drawing out any accumulated scale...
With the blow-down valve fitted, the rest of the day revolved around tapping out and fitting studs which will later hold fittings such as the brake valve, blower valve and the gauge glass. It will be amazing when 7029 is finally complete and Tyseley will then boast both of the remaining pair of double-chimney Castle's. Over the way, sister Castle No5043 was waiting patiently near the shed door alongside Pannier Tank No9600...
"5043 & 9600 Think Of The Main Line"
The trips are now being announced for the mainstay of the 2016 season and I'm sure the "Earl" will soon be batting along at 70mph+ once again. Tyseley's most well known tour is arguably the "Shakespeare Express" which runs on summer Sunday's between July and September, operating the North Warwick Line route between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stratford-Upon-Avon. Motive power is either the ever reliable 4965 "Rood Ashton Hall" or the Castle and for more info you can click here. Tickets for the "Shakespeare" are available now on that link and, though I'm now biased I guess, it is a lovely trip which we've had the pleasure of travelling on a few times before. Likewise, there will be other trips going further afield with either steam or diesel traction at the head. Don't miss your chance to get behind the Castle or the Hall in 2016, with of course all funds from the trips going to good causes such as the restoration of 7029 "Clun Castle". I left Tyseley after another interesting day at around 5pm. All the best all, Sam...

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