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.
3rd March 2013
I teased the readers with a hint of something happening this week and aside from those scurrilous souls who suggested that we were acquiring 08s or other such shoddy shunters I think we managed to keep most guessing. (Oh, and for those who don't know our views on 08s and their ilk, see "Of 08s and trawler engines, here - otherwise, read on).
17th February 2013
The week seems to have been taken up with a lot of my time dedicated to Andrew. (Actually someone might say, "how unusual"). What with ordering a larger drive pulley to speed up the charge pumps on D2128 (we will be going from 1:1 to around 1:1,56, which means we should be delivering 5 US gallons at idle and when we get bold enough to run the engine at full chat, the pump will be just under its maximum of 3000rpm) we have also managed to get to the MoD at Bicester to view more rolling stock that Ramco are auctioning, and a meeting with Peak Rail's MD.
10th February 2013
There have been over two hours of phone calls this week between me, our transmission experts and Twin Disc over in the USA. One of the outcomes is that it may be that our low base pressure on D2128's powershift is the result of the charge pump not delivering sufficient oil. In the manuals we had with the transmission (or to be exact, the manuals that Hunslet supplied with the original locos when they were delivered in 1984) there was no reference to oil delivery rates for the transmission, only acceptable grades.
3rd February 2013
Those of my readers who like to think of themselves as regular will be aware that the first weekend of the month is generally regarded as the best weekend, where "things go right". It was a pity therefore that the Saturday was taken up with another Class 14 Owners group meeting, where the company was pleasant (people representing D9516, '20, '21, '23, '26, '31, '37 and '55 were there, and good friends amongst them) but when someone starts asking about the rumoured 10 spare Paxman engines that Swindon had for the '14s?
27th January 2013
This week's edition will be short as Andrew has been with his girlfriend and their son for the weekend and this fitted in nicely with my desire to attend a commemorative service for a good friend that was being held in Oxford on Saturday. I did however spend some time during the week working on alternative schemes for gear change - or perhaps I should say a range change - arrangement for D2128, but nothing as yet that I am happy with on CAD.
20th January 2013
On Monday, as the snow fell, Andrew decided that an early return to the Briddon Country Pile was in order rather than wait for his paternity leave to expire. Having made it safely home it had the added benefit of Tuesday being clear for a bit of "catch-up" loco work so we headed in to Rowsley to continue ministering to "Tom" and await a delivery of 2" pipe from BSS.
13th January 2013
Firstly, my thanks to all readers who have sent messages of congratulations to me or Andrew after reading the news in last week's blog. I am pleased to report that the next generation of the Briddon clan is putting on weight and doing all the things that babies of that age are supposed to do.
6th January 2013
There are some events that seem to denote significant stages in your life. Some you have an element of control over - marriage, moving house, jobs - others occur at times outside your control, and serve to remind you of time passing, like the deaths of your parents. Andrew this week contrived to compel a pleasant, but nonetheless involuntary change in our status, when he awarded us the role of grandparents. Needless to say this was not a solo enterprise, nor was it entirely unexpected (though 10 days early) when his partner (whom I see I have not named hitherto and trust no-one will try to interpret this as in any way Freudian) gave birth to their little boy Jake.
30th December 2012
It may have been Christmas Eve but that didn't stifle Andrew's desire to get on with some loco work and we headed in to Rowsley. After some tasks for me, we moved over to "Tom", Andrew intending to cut off the remaining bolt holding the exhaust manifold and me to investigate where the feeds to my lights had gone. Andrew was out of luck though - having taken a lot of bits out of the van a few days previous, one thing that had not returned was the 110V transformer and there was no sign of one in the workshops. Slightly disgruntled he went to the VBA to do a bit of sorting while I was left alone in the cab.