26th August 2013
There were a couple of things I neglected to mention in last week's blog. The first is that I am now on the Minor Railways Extended Trunk Dialling system and can be reached on 056 2026 – Andrew will be on shortly, but first I must drill a hole through the wall to get a further phone wire through!
11th August 2013
I haven't mentioned much about the sale of Briddon Towers of late. Suffice it to say that after going on the market on July 1st, we had our first offer within 3 days (before the “For Sale” sign actually went up), and by agreement with the Estate Agents, opted for written bids to be in a week or so later. In fact 8 such bids were received, all of them in excess of the original asking price, and after a bit of a hiccough the sale is going through. I am using a Licenced Conveyancer located in South Wales: I only say all of this to observe that a Freepost envelope, posted on Wednesday 24th July, finally arrived with the Conveyancers on Monday 5th August.
28th July 2013
If you thought last week's blog was a little terse, then let me explain. Late in the week my computer had gone kaput. It had been struggling for a while, acting strangely, the usual error messages popping up with increasing regularity and certain pieces of software inexplicably taking up 99% of processor time, that sort of thing, but suddenly it went black. So I dug my father's old one out of storage, and was writing last week's instalment with the casing open and my two hard drives cabled up but sat on a shoe box alongside. Of course, Windows suddenly decided that as the hardware had changed radically,
7th July 2013
Years ago, when I was working at Thomas Hills, a new competitor appeared on the scene - Wilmott Brothers, a plant dealer/hirer based near Nottingham. Now, to my mind, if you are in business and representing your employer to customers, there is only one way you can regard a competitor. He is the Brand X your powder will out-wash; he is scum, nothing he does is right and he has no right to exist. It is your job, every day (but without openly slagging him off, the etiquette of business does not allow it, that is why he is referred to as Brand X) to get out there and ensure that the customers know that you are the better supplier than he can ever be.
30th June 2013
If Andrew had been paying me for the time spent on his behalf this week I would be a wealthy man. For amongst the hours spent back at Briddon Towers, furiously painting (my shoes now have so many paint blobs on them that they match the mottled non-slip flooring at my dentists - I think this non-drip paint is wonderful) I have been chasing to and fro getting bits organised and generally being in the wrong place at the right time.
26th May 2013
Apart from a run to the profilers, we have kept in touch with the hydraulics company in Sheffield and towards the end of the week I was able to collect the repaired fan motor ex D9500. A chance comment averted a crisis - we had thought the ports in the motor were 3/4 BSP, but learned they were in fact a metric thread virtually the same OD but different pitch. Fortunately they had fittings in stock and quickly converted one in to a hydraulic coned fitting which we required for our new hose, sat in the loco waiting.
12th May 2013
So, when I left off last week it was with Bank Holiday Monday in prospect, and we headed back to Rowsley for a "light" day. While Andrew pottered about clearing James' cab, I decided I had better press on with the additional wires needed to run the fan motor on 14 901. But before I got too far in, I was called over to assist Andrew in recovering the fan motor from D9500, which was to head to the repairers as another possible candidate for fixing. Mind you, with D9500 having last run c. 1988 we were less than optimistic about its condition, especially as the fan's top cover was missing and so the retaining bolt on the top was corroded.
21st April 2013
We had little enough time to lick our wounds this week. On Tuesday we were due to load the Palvan at Scunthorpe and the new owner had asked Andrew to set up the transport. Heanors had been booked, with one of their folding neck trailers where the rails are not only in the deck but across the neck as well. We have used these trailers before, and they're OK up to about 30tons, so the 8ton box van was easy.
7th April 2013
So on Bank Holiday Monday we sorted out a few things and as I was suffering from a bit of fatigue it was not until after lunch that we headed in to Rowsley with the intention of progressing Tom and 14 901. Andrew had decided to nip up the bolts on the Voith oil cooler which had been leaking for some time so we would need to see if it was better.
17th March 2013
Having escaped the previous Saturday, I had been roped in to hiring a 3.5ton dropside for a Monday tour of Humberside. Since no local firm had one available, I returned to my old friends in Sheffield and sure enough, the same Y-reg Transit that I have had twice before, with all its old idiosyncrasies (like a speedo that flicks around 10-15mph while you are standing still) and added a new one or two (like the screenwash no longer worked). The purpose of the trip was to continue unloading the Palvan at Scunthorpe, including 3 radiators and the transmission that had failed to work in D2128.