Weekend Rails

what we do for our kids

Tales of the Andrew Briddon Loco collection

Elsewhere - www.andrewbriddonlocos.co.uk - you can see the "official" face of the locomotive collection my son has built up. Here on "Weekend Rails" you can read a blow-by-blow account of our work in restoring and improving them.

Of a long weekend - 2

2nd May 2011

No doubt about it, this classed as the “last weekend of the month”. No: no problems reported from the Carmarthen direction, well, other than a phone conversation about a minor fuel leak, but progress has not been without problems.

Of a long weekend -1

25th April 2012

Two weekends sandwiched with Bank Holidays – what more can you ask for? Well I suppose quite a bit, but let’s see what we can do with it. Pity that the next one classifies as the last of the month – or was it this one?

Of a weekend that seems to have lasted all week

3rd April 2011

There is an old adage that says “a job takes the time available to do it in”. It can be all too true. I was back at Rowsley anyway on Monday, and Steph followed me over later to resume work in 14 901’s cab, this time rubbing down and giving the old grey steelwork a coat of Magnolia. When I had finished I joined her, and when Andrew had got home from work and changed he came over and we all three carried on until nearly dark, Andrew taking over on Magnolia detail while I was handed the masking tape and after Steph and I had masked off the desk top, I painted it with a fresh layer of Hammerite.

Of auctions and actions

8th May 2011

The overlap between my activities with Andrew and commercial work has been extensive again this week. It was after all, Andrew’s acquisition of the re-railing jacks from Doncaster that enabled me to broker the deal that saw the East Anglian Railway Museum acquire the Plasser crane, and while I was there putting the engine back in, I’d had a chance to have a quick look at more bits coming up for auction. So it was that on Wednesday I back yet again in Doncaster, “officially” inspecting the lots of an on-line auction due to close on Friday.

Of D2128 and Pluto

22nd May 2011

It has been a week or pluses and minuses. On Tuesday I went down to Nottingham, to inspect more auction lots of Jarvis’, but obviously the liquidators advertising is now reaching parts and persons not reached before because bids on Friday soon went out of all proportion to the value of what was there – at least to us – so no lorry loads to collect next week. Down in South Wales, 14 901 has been in action covering for defective kettles – is there another ‘14 in daily service at present? It has certainly transformed from being an unwanted Cinderella…

Of DV8s and changing plans

26th June 2011

14 901 has continued to be in the centre of our minds this week. Having been handed over in the first few days of April, we are, under the operating agreement, due to do a 3-monthly “A” exam in the first few days of July, but the “hunting” that the engine was apparently exhibiting was reportedly getting worse, and after it ‘died’ at one point we were under pressure to bring it forward.

Of MIG and miniature

15th May 2011

The invoice arising from last weekend’s auction appeared on Andrew’s e-mail account on Monday and caused a certain amount of consternation. Payment methods acceptable to the auctioneers versus the time available were slightly conflictive – so on Tuesday I added organising a banker’s draft to my list of things to do, which included booking a 3.5ton dropside to collect the purchased lots.

Of pipes and wires

5th June 2011

We should have been into a thoroughly productive weekend, but somehow, things went a little awry. Up to Friday early afternoon, we were hoping to be at Scunthorpe on Saturday but again, the vital element in the plan was declared not available this weekend, and shortly afterwards Andrew succumbed to a heart-felt plea from his girl-friend to make an additional trek down to see her on Saturday. Before he left, he stripped out the DVLR’s free-issue exhauster for “Pluto” to check rotation and exactly how, if needed, it can be reversed since space within the casings is severely restricted and turning it physically round may not be feasible.

Of this and that

30th May 2011

This (long) weekend was the Last Weekend of the Month. There is a danger in all this that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy, that in some way we expect that it will be a wash-out, plan less to do for fear of it going wrong, see every minor problem as a major disaster and come out of it with our convictions reinforced.

Of vacuum and lost buses

19th June 2011

Sadly the cunning plan Andrew had hatched last week didn’t work. In fact, not only – when he rang up on Friday lunchtime – was he unable to secure the services of the required contractor, but the “boss” declared she was on holiday that day! He was not at all impressed with such customer service and we may be looking at an alternative solution.

Of water in all the wrong places

12th June 2011

It has been a fraught week at Briddon Towers. It began on Tuesday – well I know weeks generally begin on Monday but this one really launched itself a day late – with a scream from Steph that we had a leak. Actually we had suddenly developed two – one in the bathroom but a more serious one in the dining room, where water was gushing out from a radiator.

Of wiring and welding

17th April 2011

So, did anyone miss me, I wonder? (Don’t all shout “No!” at once). There was no “Weekend Rails” last weekend because, although Andrew had a (rather unsuccessfull) day on his own at Rowsley, your truly was to be found at the Leander Club at Henley-on-Thames Saturday night on one of those “family occasions” that necessitated swapping overalls for a Dinner Suit.


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