From September's Working Members' Newsletter:
A rather eventful couple of months have passed with the wheeldrop passing its insurance exam, and 42968 having a test drop with its rear axle removed. There are still a few things to be done before we fully accept it into use. Suffice to say it does everything that we expected of it; a well worth project for the company to have done.
When you look at what was done over the last year or so, with locos 4566 and 7802 going down to Buckfastleigh to go on their wheeldrop, and 43106's tender in the boilershop on the crane, we will now be more self sufficient in this sort of work.
We will have the jobs queuing up to go on the drop shortly. There are a number of owning groups subscribing to the appeal that can now see exactly what it is all about, and not just some frivolous piece of show machinery.
The life of the mechanics can be extended with a visit to the drop to do some metalling work on axleboxes, or re-setting springs. As locos are getting older, the repairs are getting more intense and, coupled with the railway's mileage, means more work for it.
On my usual appeals, we have had some things given to us that we need to move on. There are two woodworking benches, and a colchester lathe set for 240v. If you have a use for any of these, please give me a call, and make an offer to the wheeldrop fund.
We are still looking for cupboards. Any more plastic bins? All that have been supplied previously have long been used up.
Another request is some sheet stainless steel, or ready made drip tray, to drain out axlebox pads - ideal mesh size is about one inch square holes.
The bigger sandblast cabinet for cleaning large objects has had a major overhaul - by default - by one of the mid-week volunteers. It started with a little valve playing up. Then we had to have all of it completely in bits, until the last thing dismantled was the problem part. We are now able to clean things to a higher standard. We may now look for a bigger machine to do very large parts - anyone have one spare?
by Mark Vrettos