June 2014 Report

Welcome to June 2014's report.


Team photo! - Not everybody was here though

It's been a busy month down at Rolvenden for the Saturday Gang (yes we say that every month!). Progress on n.o 25 has been continuous and  we have done a good share of running repairs / maintenance too. 

We have also had some new starters which is very encouraging, they are most welcome. Perhaps unusually we have had two new female starters, just goes to show the girls can get stuck in just as much as the lads! We had quite a large group in one Saturday (though it doesn't show all of our members) so we took an opportunity to take a group photo. We hope that is shows us as we are, happy and proud of the work we do. 

Sadly 24 Rolvenden has left us (see feature below) but there is much to be positive about. The Saturday Gang continues onward, striving to return n.o 25 Northiam to service and keeping the other locos in service. New members always give us encouragement and it is people that are important above machines. 

25 Northiam 

Progress on 25 Northiam's frames

Last month we showed the ashpan being constructed. During June the remaining sections were welded up and we commenced painting. The linkeage for the door mechanism on the ashpan has also been completed. The con rods have been burnished making them gleam in the light. 

We have begun work on n.o 25's boiler again. There are various items of work to be carried out before the boiler can be tested or reunited with the frames. Naturally a period outside in the elements will have its effects. So our first job has been to needle gun off surface rust and do some more painting. The smokebox requires a thick and rather gooey apexia paint which is heat proof. We have been attending to the smokebox, the door is needlegunned and painted but the sides and front ring will be completed in July. The foundation ring has also been cleaned in preparation for the non destructive testing. The washout plugs have also been removed, cleaned and reinstalled. This process is known as 'boxing up'. 

Painting the smokebox door
Currently the boiler is waiting on NDT testing and an ultrasound scan to check for cracks. 

Goodbye old friend - 24 Rolvenden 

24 Rolvenden on day of depature (Bradley Bottomley)

As some of our readers may be aware - n.o 24 Rolvenden has been sold to the Colne Valley Railway. N.o 24 was moved down to Wittersham Rd loading point and departed the railway on Friday 20th of June. A team from the Colne Valley also came back to pick up some spares we had for sale. 

N.o 24 Rolvenden has been part of the furniture of the K&ESR since 1971 and has been almost continuously in service (in between overhauls). A particular memory of the author's is a few Christmases ago. We only had n.o 24 and n.o 23 in service, nothing else was operational - one failure could have caused disaster for the K&ESR Santa Specials. Fortunately both n.o 24 and n.o 23 were magnificent and ran continuously between the first weekend in December till Christmas eve. A tribute to the robustness of the Hunslet Austerity. 

The Colne Valley have a feature on their website: http://www.colnevalleyrailway.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/a-new-arrival.html 

In tribute, here's a few pictures on n.o 24 through the years. 

24 Rolvenden at Northiam in 1994

Undertaking works in the motion

The Saturday Gang assisted in reboring 24's cylinders in 2009

Photo of Saturday Gang with 24 upon completion of works

24 Rolvenden on Santa Special duty, Christmas 2009

In the works / news from Rolvenden 

32670 Bodiam: In service after a successful steam test.  

32670 under steam test
32678 Knowle: In service

12 Marcia: No progress since last report 

14 Charwelton: Repairs are ongoing, works have begun on the firebox. 

14 Charwelton repairs ongoing

376 Norwegian: As of end of June / early July loco under maintenance. 

23 Holman F Stephens: 23 was under washout and routine maintenance but as of beginning of July is available for traffic.  

Saturday Gang working to refit the spark arrestor

1638: In service 

6619: Failed in traffic with a broken spring so was under repair for most of June. 

65 Maunsell: In service. 


June 2014 video report: 

Many thanks for reading, 

Saturday Gang 

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