Refitting the alternator was relatively straightforward, apart from dropping an M10 nut at the vital moment, and the loco’s charge system duly started functioning again. Unfortunately I could not move it back to the shed area as the Heritage Shunters Trust were in action with 08 016 shunting various bits out for scrapping. They had already cleared most of one siding, including Andrew’s VBA van, and left the rake out on the loop so doing any work on the lighting was out of the question. To cap it all the 08 took exception to a turnout, but I’ll not say more. I had been hoping to pose 14 901 alongside D9500, but as the light fell, HST were still shunting. And here I am going to express disapproval. On the “to go for scrap” list is a loco, not just any loco, but the very first diesel loco built by the Yorkshire Engine Company – 2480 of 1950. HST have been trying to sell it for some time – their ethos is that there is no such thing as a shunter unless it is ex BR – and Andrew considered it but just has too many major projects on the go, and believe me, restoring it to anything like running order would be a major project. But that is not the point. Throughout its ownership by SYR/HST it has not, to my knowledge, had any attention whatsoever, so it has deteriorated steadily, to the point that they consider that they can justify scrapping it. And what are they scrapping it for? To help raise money to buy an 09. There are other 09s in preservation and to most people an 09 looks just the same as an 08. Scrapping a unique (in that it is THE first, that at Kelham Island was the second) loco to buy a “duplicate” is not good preservation in my book.
Saturday: Andrew had had to dash back south to help his girl friend who had had a fall and cracked a rib, and as Mrs B was at our daughters, I had other things to do but made it back to Rowsley just after lunch. The HST had kindly parked D9500 on the same track as 14 901, so I got my pickies, though the light wasn’t good. Not only that they had blocked 901 in with it. First job was to find where on earth – or Rowsley – they had parked the VBA, because it wasn’t in any of the usual places. Second job was to locate the Brush 0-6-0DE for the same reason. Anyway, I had trouble getting the VBA doors open and had to spend some time sorting out the mess caused by people who drive 08s as though there is nothing between “release” and “emergency” on the brake valve. Various bits had moved a few feet, bits were now on the floor that had been on shelves, and some Dexion racking had developed a pronounced twist and was fouling the door. I found John Wade, the “supremo” of the forthcoming HST Gala weekend (23rd/24th October) at Andrew’s request to ascertain how many trains 14 901 had to do and at what times. But John has apparently not cast the timetable yet. I then set about stripping a radiator and was about 2/3s through before deciding to call it a day.
The two Teddies - D9500 was stripped for repairs at Williton in 1992...
Sunday: Andrew returned and I followed him over to Rowsley. We were due to have a visitor to look over the Brush 0-6-0DE, but just as a few a weeks ago he went fishing instead, sure enough having gone to the trouble of getting the 0-6-0 over to the pit (it had been left behind the 47 at the bottom of a siding adjacent to the two class 50s, so the 47 had had to come as well) when again we get a text to say he wasn’t going to make it. But the weather was much better than Saturday and the pictures I got of the two 14s had more zing. We took our anger (at the wasted shunting time) out on the radiator. Later in the afternoon we fired Charlie back up and parked the 0-6-0 back by the loco shed (in case Mr X condescends to turn up next week!) and put the 47 back down the siding. [This 47 likes being pushed around, incidentally: at the “Anything Goes Gala” it got pushed to Matlock and back by the Austerity after it took its place at the front of the train and refused to take power!] Flushed with success, we swopped D9500 and ‘901 around so that the workable 14 can at least be started up and used – and after collecting a couple of dead batteries from Libby for weighing in, headed home.