We (the committee) agreed that one of us would be available at The Lavender Line on the last Sunday of every month to meet, greet and hopefully work on the loco with any member that wished to attend. This has developed into a team of between 3 and 7 every last Sunday and we are now beginning to progress with the loco.
Steps have been put in place next to the engine to make access to the cab easier. We have begun to release nuts and bolts that have not been released since the late 1960's and we have begun to remove boiler tubes. This is a long and arduous job but is necessary to prepare for a boiler examination which should give us a better idea how much work will be required before coal can be put into the firebox for the first time. It will also allow us to get quotes from boilersmiths for the refurbishment of the boiler. To date (13th June 2013) 5 boiler tubes have been removed and Warwick has been able to remove the resulting limescale from the boiler barrel allowing us to see this for the first time.
The nuts and bolts on the buffer beam are proving rather obstinate and if anyone has the tools, materials and time to help with these it would be much appreciated. Forty plus years of rust and paint are going to be difficult to remove at any time, not forgetting that they are imperial sizes, and we are struggling manfully on with help from our friends at the Lavender Line.
The cab has been cleaned out and we are now ready to add cosmetic items such as pipework and immitaion valves and gauges to portray 3837 as complete as possible. To this end we are sourcing several items externally. More news soon.
In April 2013 our new builders plates were added to the cabside and have drawn many admiring glances from visitors and Lavender Line members alike. Thanks go to Peter Pope and Alan Snow for fitting them, to the Surrey Society of Model Engineers (www.ssme.co.uk) for casting them and to the member that created the wooden pattern. If you have not seen the plates yet please go to the photo library.
Thank you to all those that regularly give their time to the cause. We are now making steady progress to our ultimate goal.