1/01/2015

Saturday Gang 2014 Review

Another year has passed us by so in order to continue this blog's short traditions, let's look back on 2014.

25 Northiam's overhaul 


Unsurprisingly we will start by looking at the progress made throughout 2014 on n.o 25 Northiam. 

25 Northiam - frames finished off
It was in March / April 2014 that we completed rewheeling 25 and achieved the status of 'rolling frame'. We refitted the conrods, big ends and various ancillaries such as the sanding pipes. This essentially completed our work on the frames so we moved back to the boiler. 

The boiler required some remedial works which were made apparent by our NDT (non destructive testing) techniques. We also proceeded with further works to prepare the boiler to be reunited back with the frames. Extensive repair and modification work was carried out to the ashpan and it's linkeage connecting it to the motion. We proceeded to 'clean' up the boiler after a considerable period of time outside in the elements. This involved considerable manual labour with the needle gun, followed by painting sessions. During later 2014 our efforts turned to the firebox works, after a comprehensive set up various rivets have been replaced. The Saturday Gang is currently working on the foundation ring and preparing for that to be fitted. 

Saturday Gang working on 25's boiler

As you can read there (and throughout the year) the Saturday Gang has made good solid progress on 25's overhaul. It will be satisfying when it's over as this will be our toughest and longest challenge to date. 

Maintenance / Running repairs 


Recent work on 23 HFS
Throughout the year the Saturday Gang has been involved in routine maintenance and running repairs. This work is essential in ensuring the locos which have boiler tickets are available for service when required. This work brings variety to our task list and is quite different in nature to overhaul work. This variety of tasks keeps things interesting and ensures we're not doing the same things over and over again every week. 

During 2014 we have carried out maintenance on virtually all of the K&ESR's locos and this essential work will continue in 2015. 

24 Rolvenden 

24 Rolvenden - on her way to the CVR
Readers of our blog will know that this is not new news, however sadly during 2014 we had to say goodbye to 24 Rolvenden. This was poignant for us as the Saturday Gang had the privilege of 'having a go' at driving 24 on her last day of service. We also stripped 24 and prepared her for storage, at that time, pending overhaul. However circumstances changed and it was decided to sell 24 to a suitable bidder. The positive side of this is that the Colne Valley Railway are taking good care of her. Nontheless, 24 Rolvenden will be missed. 

People 

Some of the Saturday Gang!
As is tradition we close with a section about 'us'. The Saturday Gang is it's people, all of us make us what we are. Railway preservation tends to be very focused on the locos rather than the people behind them. Of course being part of the dept responsible for overhaul / maintenance we don't expect the spotlight to be on us. We get satisfaction from being the unnoticed guys and girls who make our customers happy, and make running steam trains possible. 

As always the Saturday Gang is an incredibly happy and joyful place to be. We have had a couple of new starters in late 2014 who are most welcome. One member remarked how much fun it is to be involved and that we make something that is normally associated with 'boring old farts' fun. We gathered for a few social events outside our normal workshop duties throughout the year, showing we're as much a group of friends as 'colleagues'. 

Saturday Gang day out during August
We'd like to take the arrival of a new year to launch a new appeal for volunteers. Our work is entirely dependent on us (or potentially you!). Therefore we invite anybody with an interest in engineering, railways or just needing something to occupy them on a Saturday to come and join us. Absolutely no experience is required, even one saturday afternoon every few months would be such a help. Not only would you be helping to preserve the K&ESR locos but you'd be gaining new friends and practical skills. Don't be afraid to get in touch. If you're not sure but would like to know more please get in touch at saturdaygang@gmail.com

Wishing you a happy and prosperous 2015, 

Saturday Gang.  


3 comments:

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