5th June 2011
We should have been into a thoroughly productive weekend, but somehow, things went a little awry. Up to Friday early afternoon, we were hoping to be at Scunthorpe on Saturday but again, the vital element in the plan was declared not available this weekend, and shortly afterwards Andrew succumbed to a heart-felt plea from his girl-friend to make an additional trek down to see her on Saturday. Before he left, he stripped out the DVLR’s free-issue exhauster for “Pluto” to check rotation and exactly how, if needed, it can be reversed since space within the casings is severely restricted and turning it physically round may not be feasible.
16th October 2011
Andrew had a day off work this week, and decided to spend an afternoon at Peak Rail on “Libby”. Sadly it was not as productive as he planned, for a substation blew up (apparently quite spectacularly) and took out all the electrics from Matlock to Bakewell. In contrast, he was off to see his girlfriend on Saturday, so enquired “if I had nothing better to do,” whether I might like, weather permitting, to go to Murton and start fitting the oil separator to “Pluto”. I knows my place.
24th July 2011
Saturday: With “Pluto” set to move north on Monday the 25th, this was the last weekend we had to complete the vac fit and other outstanding matters. So once Andrew had arrived back from a week of night shifts in darkest Norfolk, we packed the van and set off for Rowsley. The motive power situation had apparently been a bit eventful at Rowsley. Ever since the extension to Matlock opened, the lack of run round loop has meant that all trains are top and tailed, which usually means the Austerity (68013) on the Matlock end and the class 31 at the Rowsley end to pull it back.
3rd July 2011
As I was saying at the end of last week’s blog, my next stop was Rowsley to investigate the report of Charlie’s alternator “screaming”. It was quiet enough when I started it up, but it had had time to cool so I took it off anyway and sure enough it was very stiff and probably had a bearing problem. So I hunted out a spare from the VBA, swapped pulleys and got it going again, ready for Matlock duties, though for a day or two Rob was using the HST’s 08.
26th June 2011
14 901 has continued to be in the centre of our minds this week. Having been handed over in the first few days of April, we are, under the operating agreement, due to do a 3-monthly “A” exam in the first few days of July, but the “hunting” that the engine was apparently exhibiting was reportedly getting worse, and after it ‘died’ at one point we were under pressure to bring it forward.
10th October 2010
Monday: I went back over to Peak Rail in the afternoon with the alternator for 14 901. Just as I arrived though, Andrew’s loco “Charlie” was on its way south to Darley Dale with Robin driving, so I grabbed a couple of shots.
24th October 2010
Thursday: Andrew decided it was time to release the news. Whether this was because his birthday was Friday and he was in the mood for excitement, I don’t know, but he instructed me to re-jig the pages on his website (www.andrewbriddonlocos.co.uk – but you knew that really). In fact, the pages had been ready for some time – a news piece and a page on the new acquisition, it just took an hour or so to release these, alter the category header to menu them and update a few other bits.
6th December 2010
On Monday we went up to Elsecar to recover the lorry sheet that covered the Sentinel “George” only to discover that Elsecar had already removed said sheet “in case it was theirs”. Ho humm. Plan A had been to see the loco on board the lorry heading to pastures new, but the latter was apparently stuck in snow somewhere in Scotland.
21st November 2010
OK, so just who was it decided it was the last weekend of the month? Regular readers will recall that according to Andrew, the last weekend is the one where all good plans go belly-up. For Andrew himself, it was time to go visit the girlfriend, so after a week of night-shifts on Manchester Metrolink (he’s on placement there) he headed off Friday evening having arranged for 14 901 to return to Rowsley so that I could continue with the pegboard and strip on Saturday.
14th November 2010
During the week we said a metaphoric goodbye to another of Andrew’s locos – “Claire” – depicted below. It was I suppose inevitable that with three ‘identical’ Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0DHs – “Claire” “Grace” and “Beverley” – Andrew needing to thin out the numbers would lead to one or even two of them departing, but I have fond memories of “Claire” – one of the most travelled locos in the collection.