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.
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.
16th June 2013
Andrew had Monday off again, and after popping in to the Peak Rail office at Matlock, where I provisionally agreed that 14 901 would do a trial passenger run on Wednesday afternoon, we headed in to Rowsley to investigate where this fuel leak was coming from. Between the vee of the two banks, where the fuel pump sits, it was awash in diesel and we deduced that one of the fuel hoses, which I made c.2008, was leaking. But in any event the header tank, which is mounted on a tube above the engine, needs to come off for a crack in the mount to be re-secured. So far, so good.
9th June 2013
In lieu of his lost weekend time, Andrew had arranged to take Monday off, which as it turned out was a good thing as sleep deprivation meant that he didn't even stagger out of bed till late morning and Plan A, to whit head over to Scunthorpe, was out of the question. Meanwhile I found an e-mail telling me that Peak Rail were ready to sign the formal agreement over the use of Darley Dale yard, so we re-arranged a short session at Rowsley followed by a trip to Matlock for a meeting.
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.
28th April 2013
After tripping the radiator tubes in to that nice Mr Booth's yard on Tuesday, I went in to my usual hydraulics supplier to see about getting the fan motor from 14 901 repaired, but he was up to his neck in work and suggested a firm I have not used before. So off I went across Sheffield and left it with them, hopefully we should see it back early in May. Later in the week I spent some on the phone and internet talking to structural engineers regarding their costs for determining our requirements for concrete at the new shed and providing the calculations that Building Control will require.
9th April 2013
There has been, I must confess, a story going on in the background that has not previously featured in this bog, by agreement between Andrew and myself that it would not do so until a particular landmark was achieved. Originally I was going to slip this in as an extra long weekly entry, but Andrew pointed out that as this covers events that have been going on for over 18 months, it deserves a post of its own.
18th November 2012
I threw in the last two lines of last week's blog just as a way of rounding it off, but I should have known better. First thing Monday morning Andrew learned that, owing to administrative screw-up, there was in fact no vehicle heading to Hollycombe to collect "Jack" despite several prior assurances. To cut a long story short, a vehicle finally rolled in on Wednesday afternoon and despite awkward access, darkness and other such impediments, "Jack" was loaded and on its way before the end of the day.
7th October 2012
Back when I was about 20, I was invited to an Open Day at a private railway not far from Southampton, then under the general auspices of the Hampshire Narrow Gauge Railway Society. They had started building a small circuit on land belonging to their Chairman, Barry Curl, in 1967 and I was there the day the finished ballasting the far side of the line and were able to do the full circuit for the first time, with ex Dinorwic 0-4-0ST "Cloister" as well as a selection of Simplexes and one of two O&K RL3 0-4-0DMs.
16th September 2012
It may surprise some people to know that I was an n.g. enthusiast before I became professionally involved with s.g. and in many respects I would rather be involved with 2ft than 4ft 81/2". I was at one point offered a job as Commercial Manager for Bala Lake Railway by the instigator and Chief-Of-Almost-Everything George Barnes, only for the company Chairman, Tom Jones (no, not that Tom Jones, this one was a Gwynedd County Councillor - you really must keep up with the Jones's...) politely to withdraw it as the railway "could not afford me".