Norchard has been quieter than normal lately, but a small band of volunteers have been hard at work under strict social distancing measures in order to carry out vital maintenance on Prairie No.5541 and a push on with Pannier No.9681 to ensure we have a replacement for 5541 when she is withdrawn for overhaul.
Prairie No.5541 has received a new brick arch and sprinkler system. Pannier No.9681’s new cab is progressing very well. The two spectacle plates, gutters, coal bars, cab shutters and various handrails and fittings have been put back onto the loco. Western Steam Engineering have been working on the new cab floor which is looking excellent.
The pistons and crossheads have returned from Tyseley and will have been fitted by the time this article goes out, all being well. Work has been progressing well on the boiler with the last of the staying being completed in March. The foundation ring will then be removed, repaired and refitted.
The Mink G is progressing very well indeed. The door locking bar guides have had the recesses cut in the first door and everything trial fitted to make sure everything works O/K [it does]. It has been removed to enable the ongoing painting to proceed. Sometime in the next two weeks it is hoped that we can meet the signwriter to arrange getting the lettering done. Progress at the moment looks a bit slow, but we are into the time consuming fiddly bits now.
We are all gearing up for a return to steam in the near future and are always looking for new members to help us on our way. Please consider checking out the membership page for more details. Photos T.Halford/C.Bayliss.