Firstly, my apologies if you have had difficulties getting on to Weekend Rails this week. As I write this, people are telling me that they are getting server error messages. Now I “check” WR (and Andrew Briddon Locos) every day, a legacy of the trouble that has been caused by past hacking attempts (as a matter of interest, there have been over 500 spurious attempts to “log-in” to my side of WR this month) but I do so by means of the monitoring package which has been unaffected, so remained unaware. Hopefully it will not take long to fix.
14th July 2013
Of course, when I said that next Friday's plans were set in stone, what I should have said was that they were set in er - Blu-tak - and might be slightly ply-able.
19th May 2013
We have been in regular touch with the firm in Sheffield who are custodians of the 3 fan motors this week. With all due irony, the motor from D9500 is undoubtedly the best of the 3, and other than adding a "Speedisleeve" and replacing various seals and rings, having drilled out the corroded fixing bolts, the motor was in comparatively good order. But it has not been completed this week and so no progress can be reported on '901, more's the pity.
5th May 2013
I usually say that on Bank Holiday weekends I will leave the blog until Monday, but then by the time Sunday night comes around I am convinced that to postpone it another 24 hours will only result in my forgetting what it was we were doing. So here we are again, and already it's 3 days on the trot and still one to go.
24th February 2013
On Monday I was over at Briddon Towers for the morning but aimed to be back in Derbyshire in time to meet the lorry. I needn't have worried so much, for somehow the postcode for Rowsley directed the wagon's Satnav to somewhere near Mickleover, and by the time the driver had sorted out with me over the phone where he ought to be, he'd run out of hours and had to park up. So finally he arrived in Rowsley late in the afternoon, a 40ft flat trailer with an eight-wheel tractor unit sporting the biggest HIAB-type crane I'd ever seen. We'd lifted the generator set and sundries off when Andrew arrived, having dashed home from work and changed. Off came the casing top from the NB, the 6RPH Paxman was lifted out and secured to the wagon, and the casing top refitted.
23rd December 2012
Sometimes what we are planning is affected by the weather forecast. It is not just a case of "if it snows, stay at home" but if it is expected to rain, we try to aim our efforts at a location where we can enjoy some cover.. With rain like we have been having of late (just you watch, there'll be a hosepipe ban next summer) that has become even more important.
9th December 2012
It has been a peculiar sort of a week. Back at the beginning, Andrew received news that the IMechE had awarded him his Incorporated Engineer status - that's roughly half way between his degree and becoming a full blown Chartered Engineer. He can now put IEng behind his name. I've had a man in to widen all the doors at the Briddon Country Pile.
2nd December 2012
Lummy, hardly into December and immediately the temperature plummets. It's back to two sweaters to keep my ageing, decrepit frame warm, and the woolly hat to stop the few remaining brain cells from going hypothermic.
25th November 2012
This will be a short blog tonight, reflecting the fact that other events have intervened.
On the one hand, Andrew has a considerable amount of annual leave still outstanding, so, in his plans, we will be able to speed up work on the locos between now and Christmas. As part of this, he had last Tuesday free and we ended up at Rowsley after lunch with grand ideas of getting on "Tom" and sorting out its pneumatics with fresh pipework.
11th November 2012
There was frost in the grass as we made an early start across to the M1and then east to Scunthorpe. Andrew, still trying to get his body-clock straight after a few night shifts, was dozing in the passenger seat as I passed a plain flat-bed lorry. I was casually wondering what it was carrying in the red stillage on the back - some sort of engine? - a pump? Hang on, that's our powershift! I roused Andrew, who rang the driver. Yes, it was him. I pressed on, anxious to get in, unlocked and be as ready as possible before he arrived. At Tata's Gate D I drove up the barrier and waited. The ANPR did not recognise me and the light stayed red. Three guards were on duty and one came over.