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  • Writer's pictureChris Hoskin

Spring summary

Since last autumn, work has been progressing on ‘County of Glamorgan’ on several fronts; in particular the boiler and the tender tank.

Reconfiguring and rebuilding the firebox together with assembling the new barrel has been a mammoth undertaking and the winter has been spent working towards completing the firebox reconfiguration and repairs and fitting the various internal and external fittings to the barrel. The time has now come where we need to place the boiler in the frames for a trial fit to these and align the smokebox; for this the boiler will shortly be transported to Didcot to carry this work out.

Once this has been satisfactorily achieved, the boiler will need to go back to HBSS (the boilersmiths) to allow the tubeplate to be finally affixed, including the copper pipe to house the regulator, together with the smokebox. We still need to manufacture the new ashpan which will cost around £8000 and the complete regulator mechanism which is likely to cost in the region of £10,000. Once all that has been done, we can turn to fitting the tubes.

Throughout, one of our major concerns has been to get the maximum life out of 1014’s 10-year boiler certificate and proceeding in this way will help in that regard.

Work on the tender tank has progressed rapidly over the winter and it now really looks the part.

Good progress is also being made with the motion and we hope over the summer to complete the refurbishment of the expansion links and eccentric rods, machining of the new eccentric straps and valve spindles as well as various bushes for the connecting and coupling rods and the rock shaft. Unfortunately completing the motion is turning out slightly more expensive than we envisaged, caused by a combination of substantial increases in material prices and rather more machining required than expected.

With this in mind we have decided to keep the motion club open with a view to raising the shortfall of £15,000. We are hoping to persuade another fifteen supporters to donate £1000 each either as a lump sum or in eight equal payments of £125. Everyone contributing will receive a framed print of Jonathan Clay’s painting of 1014 in the condition it will appear at its launch. In addition, anyone who contributes to the extended motion appeal will receive a smokebox number plate of their favourite County.

With the tender tank now a reality and the majority of the boiler rebuild now under our belt, we are beginning to be able to see the finishing line in the near distance.

Once we have the boiler at Didcot and sitting in the frames of 1014, we would like to put 1014 on display at Didcot to be viewed. This will be the first time in nearly 60 years that we can see a double chimney County.

In the meantime, any help to speed up the completion will be more than gratefully received.

Richard Croucher,

Treasurer and Secretary for the County 1014 Project

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