Things seem to be looking up of late.
Dicky Boast has started work on a set of lubricator pots, produced from 65 mm steel tube, turned down to 55 mm, then to turn down end plugs and braize together. This being part of the locomotive's lubrication system, which can be formed and fitted once the springs are fitted.Attention is now being turned to the motion. While the project possesses the eccentric sheaves and straps and slides bars all need refurbishing. The two crossheads obtained by the project are of the wrong pattern and will probably be sold to one or other of the recreation projects being undertaken elsewhere. Crossheads of the correct specification for a County will have to be cast, but the cost of this could be covered by the sale of the two unwanted crossheads and the first answer to the sponsorship appeal.
Furthermore, there will be a need to raise about £45,000 to machine the connecting and coupling rods, the forged roughs being safely stored in the Midlands.
The firebox is now complete, and with the new barrel sections will shortly be delivered to HBSS at Butterley for completion. A smokebox door has been ordered (sponsored by Steam Railways) and design-work on the door ring and saddle are in hand. It is hoped that these parts will be ordered soon to create the 'face of the engine' before the end of the year. All this will require a great deal of funding (£125,000) has been estimated - hence the request for sponsorship or establishment of a 'boiler club' (see sponsor ship list leaflet).
One bit of good news is that research indicates that the boiler will not need to be lowered into the frames to meet the Network Rail height limit of 13' 1", although a reduction in the height of the cab roof will be, which is already catered for.
As per the King, current plans are not to proceed with fitting 1014 with the necessary equipment to facilitate main line running.
Completion of the tender frame awaits fitting of the push rods, acquired recently, and a seal for the vacuum cylinder.
Thanks to a recent donation, the way is clear for the tender platework (already purchased and cut to size and presently in store) to be cut and shaped in readiness for welding in-house to complete the only 8' 6" Hawksworth tender in existence (all other Hawksworth welded tenders are only 8' 0" wide) which is unique to the County class.Sponsorship etc.
A new Leaflet produced relating to sponsorship and the 1014 Boiler Club. If you would like a copy contact Richard Croucher: firstname.lastname@example.org
Details of items which are available for sponsorship may be found here.
After 10 years or so doing the website, Terry, the present Webmaster, has decided to step down. A volunteer to take-over has come forward and has produced a dummy website which has met with approval. It will be different, and probably better and more up to date (even websites age!), but the emphasis will still be on following the progress of the recreation of 1014 'County of Glamorgan'.
It has has been a pleasurable and worthwhile experience keeping the 'world' informed about 1014's progress. I have learned a lot about the engineering which goes into building a steam locomotive and my railway enthusiasm, as well as my overall knowledge of the work people have done and still do has benefitted enormously.
I will continue to watch progress with the County and I hope I will still be around when she comes alive, with fire in her firebox and steam in her cylinders.
All the best to my successor, who I am sure will introduce himself in the near future. Meanwhile, any changes to the web address I will communicate to you all. Thanks for following the 1014 story to date, thanks to all those who have taken it forward this far, notably the 'County Set' and all the best to the ultimate success of the project.