The 26th July 2020 marked the Fund’s working party’s first visit to Bridgnorth since the beginning of the lock down. After a four month break, the priority was to see where things were up to and devise a plan for future weekly visits, but for the time being, these will be on Sundays rather than Thursdays.
The first new items discovered were the new glands where the main steam pipes emerge from the smokebox, which must be air tight. This photo shows the pipes with the old glands still on; the shiny replacements to the lower right.
We reported last time that new cylinder cladding sheets were being fabricated and that the right side one was trial fitted. It was still on the engine, so the working party removed it; next week will see it begin the painting process.
An unexpected job appeared on the brake system: some of the hangers were tight to move, so the decision was made to remove the offending hanger pins for a quick skim in the lathe. The final one was the left hand leading, and as can be seen, this is in very close proximity to and partly masked by the back cylinder cover. This pin required some persuasion from a lump hammer but eventually came out. The hanger bush is seen through the hole, the hanger having swiveled forwards.
Following its spin on the lathe, the pin proved even more stubborn when trying to return it to its home. Josh tries to line up the three bushes (one each side of the bracket, one in the hanger) by eye prior to another abortive attempt.
Success was finally achieved by removing the pins in the brake pull rods and the taking off brake block itself, but victory was achieved. The pin is home and the split pin inserted (note: but not opened), then the rest of the linkage reassembled.
As previously reported, work continued on the boiler for a few weeks after lock down began, so we went to have a look. The lower firebox sides have now been riveted to the new lower throatplate and backplates, another step forward.
The inner firebox sides have had their stay holes reamed out and the hole size written next to it...
...and further back have had the stays inserted.
The last report mentioned that the nuts and bolts securing the inner backplate to the crown and sides were being replaced by patch screws, and this work has progressed.
The view vertically downwards towards the crown with the backplate to the right, and patch screws in course of being fitted. Note the boilersmith’s tools, including a large spanner (bottom) and reamer (right).
So what do patch screws look like? This is a close up on the fire side. The square heads will eventually be removed.