An update

The following is from the text of a brief update article which ran in the Avon Valley Railway’s in-house news magazine, ‘Ground Signal’ in Feb 2015.

Since the last report, the work on LMS 4123 (BR 44123) and tender No 3257 has continued apace. However before giving an update on this, we would first like to welcome two new members of the mid-week group.  They are Alan Church and Peter Crossfield, both of whom are bringing a wealth of knowledge to the team.  We also have two new volunteers to the weekend team – Nick Ealey and Justin Edwards who are both getting stuck in to helping with the making of new parts for the tender.

Work is progressing on the tender chassis and tank, this being primarily a weekend gang project, and numerous additional items have been manufactured,  such as:

  • Water scoop mechanism actuating shaft and water scoop dome.
  • Tender water feed elbows, pipe nuts, flanges and flexible hose elbows.
  • Tender tank filler ring and lid – spun for us by Purdie Metal Spinners of Bradford
  • Tender well plates and clips.

We are also producing wooden patterns for the numerous small castings and fittings which will allow the tender to eventually be made operational.  Many of our castings are made at Bristol Foundry just down the road in Brislington, this being an arrangement that works well for us as it gives us the opportunity to discuss the castings with the foundry manager, and there are no delivery charges!

To allow things to progress more quickly, we have recently been working with another Bristol company with a view to having them help us with the fabrication and assembly of the new tender tank.  This is almost at the point where they are ready to start work on the water well at the bottom of the tank which forms the foundation on which the rest of the tank is assembled.   As you can imagine, this work will be expensive, very quickly running into thousands of pounds, so if anyone has some spare cash they would like to donate, this would be gratefully received, and would make an amazing difference to our speed of progress.

The loco has been having attention as well, primarily by the mid-week gang. The nuts on the Piston covers have been loosened and many more loco parts have been rubbed down and painted.  The rear buffer beam was removed after a lot of hard work then rubbed down and painted.  The loco requires a brand new rear dragbox, and the large and heavy steel plates for this are approximately 50% manufactured.

One item that has yet to submit to our attempts to remove it is the smoke box door hinge pin. It is about 2’6” long and after soaking it in diesel, applying lots of heat, using a hydraulic jack, an Acrow prop and lots of persuasion with a sledge hammer it is yet to move a gnat’s whatsit. Hopefully by the time you read this we hope to have got the better of the !?!?!?!?!. We need to take the door off to check its condition and measure it up prior to having a new one made.

If any member is on site Mondays or Fridays do come and see us at the top of the yard by the loco and we will give you a guided tour and a pair of overalls!

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