Happy New Year to my loyal followers of my volunteer diaries! I would like to start this diary entry with a great big thank you to everyone who has been reading my diary entries over the last couple of months as they have proved to be far more popular than I ever imagined. A big thank you is also in order for Dave the owner of Locoyard.com for giving me the platform to share my experiences and the amazing photographers who have given me permission to post their images of the beast in action. Today’s photo of her in the BR Blue Express livery is something rather special yet controversial and is a great way to kick off this new year. Its been a while since my last entry and as you would expect lots of progress has been made with the stripping down of the beast. The majority of the work has been done on the front of the locomotive with the smokebox all cleared out of pipes with just the superheater header remaining. The other major work has been the removal of the left and right hand ash hoppers. The central one is still in place and will be until we are able to gain access under the locomotive.
My job was (after making the all important tea) was to remove various pipes from under the cab floor starting with the steam generator exhaust pipe.
Lots of work has been done behind the scenes recently with the arrival of a new hut to keep our stuff safe and clean whilst we work. Work has also been heavily focused on our storage container with the building of some shelves for the many pipes and fittings we have removed from the locomotive. Overall the stripping down and inspection of Canadian Pacific seems to be going well and once funding has been secured for her restoration she will have a bright future. I have been working on the project once every 3 weeks roughly for 3 months now and its amazing how much progress you make in such a small period of time. Originally I was not very confident and very unsure what to do but after a small amount of time I have learnt so much (both practical skills and knowledge of the Bulleids) and become quite confident with what I am doing. The Mid Hants has always been good at teaching the young (or not so young in my case) the skills needed to run a heritage railway and its the same with the other lines across the country. So if you are thinking about getting involved any of form volunteer work I do highly recommend it.
Before we can start restoring Canadian Pacific we need to raise the funds. This is where we still need your help. As I have mentioned before the boiler work is alone expect to exceed £100,000 so anything you can give will be gratefully appreciated no matter how small you think it might be.
Both links take you to the Mid Hants Railway Website which is where you can find out more information on how you can help. Thank you.
Don’t Forget to check out the Brookes Castle – Volunteer Diary to catch up on previous posts!
Thanks for reading Simon