Sunday, 5 June 2011

St Christopher, George Sholto, Gallopers and Teddy Bears

St Christopher in steam
Although today's visit was family time, I used some in between time to catch up on some of the things that have been happening over the past few weeks. Since I do not attend regularly like a lot of volunteers I have to make the most of my visits.

With St Christopher passing its boiler test a couple of weeks ago, this was its second weekend of running, and an opportunity to write the remaining blog entry chronicling its entry into service.

St Christopher departing the Waveney platform

Newly installed water softening plant

After all the platform and track alterations Chris had to undertake to accommodate St Christopher it must have been a welcome relief when the final piece of the jigsaw fell into place — the installation of a water softening plant. Previously a special additive had to be added to Rosenkavalier to prevent help limescale build-up, but now the Waveney Valley Line has its own soft water supply like the other two narrow gauge lines.

The next project for Chris will be the construction of the new 5″ & 7.25″ track which will circle the dodgems and crazy golf. Watch this space!

Despite its somewhat diminutive size, St Christopher can still pull nearly a hundred people and is proving to be a very popular engine with visitors, staff and volunteers.

George Sholto progress

In order to get St Christopher into service as quickly as possible George Sholto had to take a bit of a back seat. With that done, and assuming nothing else fails, it's now full steam ahead on George Sholto.

Since my visit back in March, the sheet metal that Tony was rolling for the boiler and firebox cladding has now been fitted and painted in resplendent green and contrasting black. George Sholto should look absolutely stunning when it emerges from the workshop in the coming weeks. Fingers crossed I can be there!

George Sholto — side view

George Sholto — other side

Now that the boiler appears to have been mated with the chassis for the final time, work has also started on making the driver's cab — from scratch!

Cab front view

Cab rear view

Depending on timing, I might be lucky and get some photographs of the cab as Brian paints it. There is of course still the saddle tank to fabricate, so it might be that Brian paints everything in one go.

Gallopers horses

A horse with no name

This one will soon be back — and with a name!
Way back in February Brian started work on one of the horses and to this day I still don't know its name. Every time I ask him he can't remember either!

For some reason this poor horse has been hanging around for months as other tasks (like repainting two sections of the Gallopers platform) have taken priority. I shouldn't grumble as it's meant that I've been able to follow its progress so far.

Rot had set in leaving this thumb-sized hole

Repair under way

Looking much better
Back in February I could fit my thumb into the hole left by rotting wood in the mane. During April this was repaired, and today it's nearly finished.

As well as a sympathetic surgeon, this horse also needed some help from a friendly orthodontist as the teeth it was sporting were somewhat oversized (I think I've translated Brian's description correctly there) and lacked any definition of the individual teeth. Thanks to Brian, Pauline and a Dremel that's now sorted and things are looking a whole lot better in the mouth department.

Oversized teeth

Sporting new dentures


Also back in April, Les had come off the gallopers and was being stripped of paint. Needing a short name due to the carved designs on the neck leaving space for about three letters Les was destined to become Jet and receive a coat of black into the bargain, giving a second black horse on the Gallopers.

Still some colours to go on

Detail on the neck

Teddy Bears

Almost as a footnote, today's primary reason for going...

Bear hug

1 comment:

  1. Hello,
    I have been away from Bressingham for a very long time but my heart will alway be there. I learnt to drive there and have so many happy memories. George Sholto was the first engine I was passed out on, followed quickly by the rest.
    I was saddened when it was decided to remove Sholto's name from the loco some years ago. But we did get to run it at the Ffestiniog. What a drive that was. Phil will remember it Im sure.
    As for the cab, very nice, but having driven a number of Hunslets I still prefer an open top. It good to know that dear old Sholto has its right name again.
    Whilst Im glad to see that Bronllwyd is close by to me now, I do wonder what Alan would have said in selling the engine that was known as the old mans engine?
    I now drive at the Blists Hill Victorian Museum having spent 16 years at Bala Lake
    Eric Tarrant


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