Saturday Gang 2012 Review

 So another year passes us by and it gives us a moment to reflect on what has happened over the last year.

Work progressing on 25 Northiam
We have continued to push on with 25 Northiam's overhaul and are making good progress. Having completed the boiler late in 2011 we have switched our attention to the frames and motion (no small job). Throughout 2012 we have progressively dismantled the motion and stripped the frames down to the bare essentials. The long derusting and cleaning process is almost complete and hopefully the frames will be top coated and ready for reassembly in early 2013. Currently work is being undertaken on the various motion components, still plenty to do but to quote British Rail "we're getting there".  

376 Norwegian's overhaul progressing
We have also continued to support the other overhauls currently underway. We completed the tender's repairs and overhaul in 2011 but have also carried out various tasks on the loco itself. These tasks range from painting, to de-rusting and preparing components for fitting. We're please to say that 376 Norwegian should (all being well) be in service in 2013. When she does return to service we can look with satisfaction at the part we played in returning her to service.

DS238's painted boiler in silver aluminium paint
We have also been involved, from the beginning, in the overhaul of DS238 Wainwright. This loco, having sat outside for around six years was rather worse for wear. The Saturday Gang helped in the mammoth effort to de-rust the boiler and to paint it in protective aluminium paint. The sheer physical effort and amount of time this took cannot be understated!

The Saturday Gang has also carried out running repairs and maintenance work on all of the K&ESR's operational loco fleet. This has given a great variety of work, ranging from inspections, to dismantling and repairs. So whilst we do focus on "our" project, 25 Northiam, whenever you see a loco hauling a train on the K&ESR a little bit of the Saturday Gang is with it. Many people get caught up with the importance of overhauls and forget just how essential the running maintenance is. 

Running repairs on 65 Maunsell
I have said this before but I will repeat the point for effect! British Railways was struggling to attract people to the railways during the 1950s / 60s because there were more pleasant, better paid jobs to be found elsewhere. This was part of the reason why there was such a hurry to get rid of steam (which worked out rather well for the fledgling railway preservation movement).

It is therefore even more remarkable that people freely give up their time to come and carry out that same work that BR couldn't pay people to do!

Challenging but enjoyable and rewarding work
Working on steam locomotives is often very dirty, cramped, awkward and often very frustrating. However that illustrates the enthusiasm and passion of the Saturday Gang, that we overcome these challenges and difficulties to play our part in ensuring future generations are able to enjoy seeing working steam locomotives.  

The Saturday Gang will continue to develop and improve the way it showcases our work. This blog is, to sound sinister, just the beginning! We are of course always looking for new volunteers so if you see anything that interests you then please get in touch! We welcome all ages, skills and experience (or none!).

Please see the latest Video here: Latest Saturday Gang Video

Check our photo album at: www.kesrloco.co.uk

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The Saturday Gang, wishes you a very happy and blessed New Year.

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