Good morning everyone. This should bring us up-to-date on the work reports. Thank you for your patience, but as you can tell from the live Twitter and Facebook videos, us drivers have to steel ourselves before dipping our toes in the murky waters of Being a Fitter for the day. It’s not easy, folks!
Before we get to “Wot I Did With My Spannerz” by Chris Buckland (written in crayon, available in all good dustbins), an update on the fundraising effort. As of today we have 180 backers on JustGiving who have pledged a total of £5,580. We still have 22 days before the appeal finishes on 3/4/17 (see what I did there?!) – the price of a pint will help us immeasurably. The price of a round will help even more.
And with that, back to the studio. Buckie has provided another episode on Tales from The Dark Side of the Shed for you all to read. Enjoy!
“IT’S THAT MAN AGAIN! Well, it’s Saturday again and it’s VEP time! It’s becoming a very nice habit.
Today is about Shoegear, Lights and Tidying Up.
A nice warm day at Strawberry today so arrived in a t-shirt. Summer is coming. Slowly, but its coming. (Enough with the meteorological fluff, get on with the spanners – Potter)
Section 4 sub section 6 carried out as per the rules and regs but with Amendment (b) – amendment (b) being a double Marathon Bar (I mean a Snickers. I’m showing my age). I think I’m going to need the energy with today’s work load. Potter arrived just after me and I was half way through Section 4 sub section 6, so as he’s a driver he finished making the tea. He has, after all, been fully trained. Overalls on – EVEN POTTER! Yes! Shock-horror-rage! A large driver in blue overalls! He could be the fifth Tellytubby! (Smeg off – Potter)
And so, in the words of Jimmy Young, “Off we jolly well go.”
Potter decided that he wanted to be a movie star and tell the Interweb World what we were up to today. Unfortunately Tom Cruise he ain’t. I had to drag him back to reality and persuade him that being under the unit to replace the shoegear pivot beam was a better place to be than trying to earn his next Oscar. (Smeg off, again – Potter)
As you may recall Trousers has welded the broken shoelead support bracket back on again, and a proper job he has done repairing said item. Well done, Trousers! All that was needed was to refit it. And it’s not a one man job as it’s a big bit of metal. This is where the Driving Tellytubby comes in, as I needed his flab, err, muscle to help lift it up. (I’ve said smeg off already, haven’t I? – Potter)
By this time Daz had turned up and he was pointed in the direction of the worn out speedo cable that needed unsoldering to effect a permanent repair. Shoebeam refitting was easier than I expected; just lots of hitting of pig iron with a hammer to effect the required adjustment. All I need to do now is adjust the final height setting of the slipper and BIG TICK for the old girls feet. Boots on every corner!
Daz was busy with the speedo cable so I decided to show Potter how to change lighting inverters in the open saloons and compartments. I have to say that this was better than any Eric Sykes and Tommy Cooper sketch; I think Potter is getting the hang of this fitting lark. Well, apart form his inability to reach the roof to change the defective inverters as he is a little bit height challenged. He did manage to change all bar one so hats off to the lad. It might take a week for the blood to get back to his finger tips and for me to stop sniggering but the job was completed. (Smeg off, Dog Food Face – Potter)
At this point Potter had to depart the Church of the VEP to go and do what he loosely calls work.
Daz reported back. It seems that the speedo cable is further gone than we first thought. He’s going to take it home and rewire it. The speedo will work again one day. Honest!
As we were chatting Gwil Jones arrived. Good to see the old boy but no time for pleasantries. A set of overalls were found and he was press ganged into work. The last remaining light not working on the unit was given to him as a job, which he fixed in no time. (Drivers and lighting inverter replacement is apparently a happy combination – Potter) The old girl now has a complete set of working lights first time in over 8 years.
Gwil was then asked to label and number the removed Main Res and Train Pipe air pipes so they can be taken away next week to be repaired while Daz and I decided to do a bit of tidying up and putting away of stores. What looked like a boring job turned into an interesting look at what we do have. And we have a fair bit of good stuff. I was like a kid in a sweet shop!
A lot of it went onto shelves and all we need to do now is do a spreadsheet and catalogue all the bits and pieces we have, It’s not the sexy side of train restoration but it’s another vital thing that needs to be done. We aren’t playing at this, and we have to be professional at everything we do. Preservation isn’t just about shiny paintwork, it’s about everything required to run a rail vehicle including the paperwork.
So there we go another day in the holy grail of preserved 3rd rail electric traction. One day we will run out of jobs but not yet. There’s a long way to go and a fair few pennies to be spent yet!