29th July 2012
They say that moving house is one of the most traumatic things in your life. But it became apparent, as we got the keys on Tuesday with no prospect of having it fully functional until late August, that for us, moving is going to be a sedate and (I hope) relaxed affair as we pick ourselves piece by piece (or maybe van-full by van-full) from Briddon Towers and relocate it all in Briddon Country Pile. We'll be spending next weekend there (I hope again) as we must be at Rowsley both days for the "Warring 40s" event but this weekend has been the usual split.
8th July 2012
On Saturday morning I was woken from my slumbers by the mobile - actually I often am but this was the ring tone rather than the alarm - being a call from my transmission gurus. The boss himself had stripped our powershift on Friday - the converter seals had failed probably because of the presence of rust and debris (and having been stood unused for over a decade probably hadn't helped) plus at least two bearings were knocking in the powershift and were probably close to failing. Taking labour, bearings, seals etc into account the total cost would be £3000. It is the sort of shock that brings you summarily into the land of the living and I told them as calmly as possible to proceed - after all, it has to be done, and ultimately it's Andrew's money(!).
1st July 2012
The last week of the month I suppose lived up to precedent. At the beginning, I had one of those "I'm sorry to have to tell you" calls. It appears that when we were told last week that the spare powershift transmission for D2128 had been tested OK, it had in fact been pulled off prematurely as a more urgent job had arrived. When it was put back on and tested properly not only did the converter seals leak but it made "unhappy" noises which may be a bearing down in the powershift. We knew it was much stiffer to turn the output flange so this was not really a surprise, but nevertheless unwelcome.
24th June 2012
The narrow gauge theme started by the Amberley visit continued this week. On Wednesday night Steph and I met Andrew at Butterley for their annual n.g. open night. (We met for the simple reason that he was on his return journey from Eastleigh.) These open nights have a similar theme - two or three runs the length of the GVLR with resident 0-4-2T "Joan", then the area around Butterley is de-marked into sections and a loco is set on each and visitors are free to have a go.
11th March 2012
The magazines are now beginning to report the plans for the AFRPS gala, now but 2 months off. Some are confidently saying that haulage will include a certain 03, others adding the “subject to availability” caveat, and one contributor muttering that “getting a move on” will be vital if D2128 is to turn a wheel (but what does he know?). Provided there are no major hitches, things are progressing nicely, and Andrew’s biggest concern is cash flow to buy the remaining big lumps. The control panel still monopolises the front room table at Briddon Towers.
25th March 2012
During the week, a jiffy bag arrived for Andrew containing a new set of vanes for the dmu exhauster on “Pluto” and in consequence he decided that it was time we showed our faces there. So on a misty Saturday morning, we headed north to York and the DVLR.
4th March 2012
Even as I was packing to go away for the (previous) weekend, I got a phone call from Peak Rail reporting that Charlie’s stop solenoid had given up the ghost. Let me explain. Left to its own devices, most engine fuel pumps head to the “run” position, it is what they are made to do. Therefore you need a device to pull the lever on the pump to a position where there is insufficient fuel delivered and the engine stops.
8th April 2012
There has been a something of a wall between Andrew and me this weekend. Mostly it was six foot of brick surmounted by asbestos sheeting. But let me explain – a lot of deliveries have been arriving at Briddon Towers. All the usual suspects, from the TNT man in his shorts through to the “Big Green parcel machine” (Tuffnells) have pulled up and disgorged their consignments, from drive belts to the disc brake calliper. I myself came home from the electrical stockists with a 3 metre length of cable tray which just fitted in the van – scraping the windscreen at one end with the other nudging the back doors.
19th February 2012
Back to normal, well for one week only. I had earmarked Friday for a run up to the profilers for a bumper collection, taking a small copy of my CAD drawing so as to spot, and tick off, each of the various shapes as we found them. Mostly they were bits for D2128, but there were also parts for the Drewry and a job of mine for a loco down south, but anyway.
1st April 2012
Dead on schedule on Monday morning the “big green parcel machine” that is Tuffnells rolled up outside Briddon Towers and their man staggered up our drive with a large, flat-ish and relatively light parcel – D2128’s cooler group fan had arrived from Breeza. After Andrew declared that he would be taking Friday off from work to crack on with things at Scunthorpe, I thought I had better plan the same. After all, unless I had an exceedingly good reason, disappearing off in the van and leaving him with few tools and only his “I don’t want anything dirty in the back of this” Golf to get him there would have been foolhardy.