Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Branch Line Weekend

This Weekend

Just a reminder that we will be having a sales and display stand on Platform 1 at Sheffield Park during the Branch Line Weekend on Saturday and Sunday this week.  We will be selling all the usual items and will have information available about the restoration progress.  We may need to close early on Saturday as we will be displaying at the BRPS AGM in Burgess Hill in the evening too!  Please pop along and say hello if you are at either event.


Tee Shirts

We have just ordered a limited number of Tee shirt, currently available in Large and Extra Large.  It will be possible to take orders for other sizes.  The tee shirt has been produced to commemorate the new frames for the loco and will be available shortly.  The picture below shows what it will look like.

These will be available shortly at a cost of £12 each with funds going directly to the restoration of Southern Railway locomotive No. A27.  The restoration of this Bluebell Railway locomotive is being carried out by the Small Engines Group supported by The Fenchurch Fund (Project 27) and is being funded entirely by public donations and support.





Please remember that this work can only continue with the donations, support and interest that is forthcoming from all of our supporters. 
 
If you would like to help us to continue this work with a donation, please go to our BT MyDonate page
 
 
 or use the QR code below.
























Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Working Day last Saturday


There was a working day last Saturday (5th May) and following this Ben Dingley has sent us some notes for a short update.  Photographs and a few more words will follow shortly.

Firstly we must welcome Matt to his lovely new house, which he moved into Saturday, and so was not present at the working day.  However his contribution behind the scenes is legend!.Sean Smeeth and Jim Turtle were present working with Ben who was also doubling up as running foreman in the loco yard.


We are delighted to announce that we have begun to assemble the up stand on the rear drag box.  This behaves as a frame stretcher and supports the bunker and cab floor.
Progress has been good on the erection of the rear buffer beam with only a few items left to make this a complete "sub-assembly".
The front buffer beam angle work is also progressing. All these angles and beams will be bolted up to ensure a good alignment and fit before riveting together can be carried out. Much of the machining of the angles that were delivered in October have been carried out and we are well on the way to completing this part of the restoration.Jim Turtle has been supporting Ben whilst he is recovering from an operation as he cannot do any lifting. Jim has assisted with measuring and drilling of drag box and buffer beam components as well as painting all of the parts in bonda primer before assembly.



Reuben and Sean have continued to support with the needle gunning and bead blasting of every item machined to remove mill scale to give a suitable surface for painting.  They have also assisted with some fitting up of the parts and drilling through the angle work.

Matt has tested the vacuum cylinder following a complete rebuild and this has been successful.  Matt is also continuing with bunker and tank drawings ready for then next stage of the rebuild.  Considerable progress has been made with the marking out of the new frames. The marking out will be independently checked  before any drilling takes place.  The old adage of measure 3 times and cut once is truly applicable here! A few more days of this glorious sunshine are required to compete the marking and checking, then we can start to drill.  Our next purchases are fitted rivets and white metal for the axleboxes.  Quotes have been obtained for these and they will be ordered later in the year, funds permitting. 



In his spare time (!) Matt is developing a website which will be launched later in the year. This will give information on the locos that the Little Engine Group will be supporting either directly or assisting and encouraging others who want to get involved in looking after the small locos.
We are also progressing with setting up a system where it will be possible to set up on line standing orders via PayPal.  More information regarding this will be forthcoming shortly.  
A Donation box has been placed on the platform adjacent to the ROD 27 tank.  we are just awaiting for another information board to be completed and fitted to give up to date information on it.



Thanks for your continued support and interest in the project, we are now seeing some really tangible progress on the restoration thanks to you, our supporters.

Please remember that this work can only continue with the donations, support and interest that is forthcoming from all of our supporters. 
 
If you would like to help us to continue this work with a donation, please go to our BT MyDonate page
 
 
 or use the QR code below.

--


Clive D. Emsley
Chairman - The Fenchurch Fund

A Sub-Committee of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
www.bluebell-railway.co.uk


Why not support us by making a donation at

Monday, 23 April 2018

A short round up

Just a short round up of the last 6 months or so of progress.

As you are probably aware we are now in possession of a new set of cylinders and a new set of frames for the locomotive.  The frames and associated parts are currently being carefully drilled and machined where required.  This is being done "in-house" under rather less than ideal circumstances at times by Matt, Ben and the usual suspects.  the smaller parts can be drilled inside the Villa, but the frames will need to be done outside.  This process will be dependant on the weather and temperature to enable accurate measurement and drilling.

The frames being cut at Tata Steel
The cylinders were cast from poly patterns and were delivered to Sheffield Park in the autumn of last year.  these have had around 6 months of seasoning in the outside atmosphere of Sheffield Park and are currently at Statfold Engineering for machining into useable items.  We are hopeful that the cylinders will be returned to us around June/July of this year.
Cylinders loaded up for dispatch to Statfold Engineering
We are also having all of the fitted bolts and a few other items machined at the same time, thus saving valuable machine shop time and volunteer resources at Sheffield Park. Once returned and the frames are drilled, it will be possible to plan the erection of the frames, currently planned to be carried out in the open air on the concrete area adjacent to the Villa.

This progress has not been cheap, but it has been necessary to progress the restoration.  Indeed this work has cost the Fenchurch Fund just under £20,000 and this has created a hole in the bank account, of course, this is money well spent.
One of the tanks that need replacement being tidied up for display on Platform 1

Our next expenditure will be the tanks and bunker plus repairs to the cab, though this cost will be mainly for materials.  As The Fenchurch Fund is entirely self funded, to allow work to continue, we must keep the funds rolling in!

Of course there is a big item we will need to fund in the not too distant future, the boiler!  This will include a full survey of the two P class boilers that are not in the working locos to see what can be used from these.  Additionally it is already known that there will need to be a fair amount of new boiler plate required to make sure we have a good boiler that will last many years.  It is likely that the boiler work will cost somewhere in the region of £100,000. 
A P class boiler (Currently in  No.178) The ones in store are not so good.
We will need to be able to pay for this when the time comes and currently we will fall short by a considerable sum.

So, how will we go about raising this money? I hear you ask.

Well, we will shortly be commencing a new monthly donation scheme by standing order directly to the Fenchurch Fund's account, or via the Bluebell Railway Trust if gift aid is appropriate.

If you are interested in helping us in this way, please send us an E mail (thefenchurchfund@gmail.com) and we will let you have the correct form as soon as the final loose end have been tied up, hopefully we will be launching the scheme in time for the BRPS AGM next month.

You can also donate via the link to the BT MyDonate page as shown below.

We need to especially those who have made donations large and small recently, it really does make a difference.

Thanks for your continued support and interest in the project, we are now seeing some really tangible progress on the restoration thanks to you, our supporters.

Please remember that this work can only continue with the donations, support and interest that is forthcoming from all of our supporters. 
 
If you would like to help us to continue this work with a donation, please go to our BT MyDonate page
 
 
 or use the QR code below.

Monday, 9 April 2018

Dates for your Diary

Just a quick note to give you some dates for your diary.  There should be an update shortly, and certainly after the next "official" working day at the weekend. 


The Project team headed by Matt Holloway and Ben Dingley are holding monthly working days throughout the year, the next being next Saturday (14th April).  the working days are held at Sheffield Park and are centred on the Villa workshop just by the main works.  The dates for the rest of the year are:
April 14th, May 5th, June 16th, July 28th, August 18th, September 8th October 20th, November 10th and December 9th.
If you would like to join the group, Please email us first on thefenchurchfund@gmail.com so that we can let Matt and Ben know and make sure they know you are coming and have the right job for you.


We are also running a few sales stands this year and these are expected to be as follows:

19th & 20th May
Branch Line Weekend
Sheffield Park Platform 1
 
19th May
BRPS AGM (members only)
The Burgess Hill Academy
 
23rd & 24th June
Model Railway Weekend
Sheffield Park Birch Grove Suite
 
11th & 12th August
Steaming through the ages
Sheffield Park Platform 1
 
1st September
Burgess Hill Model Railway Show
Burgess Hill School for Girls

22nd & 23rd September
Worthing Model Railway Show
Durrington High School
13th & 14th October
Autumn Steam Gala
Sheffield Park Platform 1
 
3rd & 4th November
West Sussex N Gauge Group Model Railway Show
Angmering School
 
It is possible that there will be a few more dates, but this is a good idea of what we are doing.  For further information on the external model railway exhibitions please click on the links.


Please remember that this work can only continue with the donations, support and interest that is forthcoming from all of our supporters. 
 
If you would like to help us to continue this work with a donation, please go to our BT MyDonate page
 
 
 or use the QR code below.
 
To contact us please E Mail us on thefenchurchfund@gmail.com


Thanks for you interest
Clive D. Emsley
Chairman

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

A few pictures from this week

A flying visit was made to Sheffield Park yesterday (27th march) during which photos were taken of the work carried out over the last few weeks.
The fantastic finish that is being applied to the wheelsets (all pictures Clive Emsley)
The finish on the wheelset that has been painted over the winter is something incredible, an probably better than original!  All of the dimples that were in the wheels have been filled and rubbed down giving a first class base on which the gloss has been applied to.  A splendid finish and a credit to Matt for the initial work and Jim for the paint finish. A credit for both of them.
An overall impression of the wheelset.
Below are a few pictures of the heavily corroded back end of the frames being removed.  This shows just how corroded it really was. Matt, Ben and the team have been buy with the gas axe!
 
The rear buffer beam having been removed from the frames
 
The drag box beam removed fro the frames
  
The frames at the rear showing the corrosion
 
the rear stretcher removed for more restoration work


Both buffer beams and strengthening plate now machined in the Villa
 
A close up of the holes
 
one of the plates that are to be positioned behind the buffers
We are looking forward to being on the platform at Sheffield Park during the Branch Line weekend, where we will be able to answer questions and sell you marmalade and other delightful items. Also on display will be a collection of the new Hatton's P Class models (which may
still be available from the Bluebell Shop)
 
We are also confirmed to be at the Model Railway Weekend, so hopefully we will be able to see you at one of the events.
 
Please remember that this work can only continue with the donations, support and interest that is forthcoming from all of our supporters. 
 
If you would like to help us to continue this work with a donation, please go to our BT MyDonate page
 
 
 or use the QR code below.
 
To contact us please E Mail us on thefenchurchfund@gmail.com
 
 

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

February and March Update

Firstly an apology for the long gap since the last report. Unfortunately I have been in hospital and then on daily visits to the surgery due to a foot infection which has resulted in me loosing a toe. Unfortunately this has resulted in us not attending our first model railway exhibition of the year and also we will be missing the Diesel Gala this weekend.
 
So on with the report!
 
On the 2nd March the cylinders were taken for machining by Matt and Ben.  The work is being carried out by Statfold Engineering (statfoldengineeringltd.co.uk).  The following pictures show the cylinders ready to depart Sheffield Park and some of the machines available at the factory.
 
The cylinders loaded and ready for departure from Sheffield Park (Matt Holloway)
 
A close up of the cylinders on the Bluebell Railway's truck
 
Just time for a PN then off!

The horizontal boring machine that will be used for much of the work at Statfold Engineering

Matt and Ben took the opportunity to drop off the cylinders at Statfold Engineering for machining on and also to have a catch-up and nose around! Their workshop is amazing, as is the narrow gauge railway there! It is hoped that we will return to collect the cylinders in June.  We will also be collecting a heap of fitted bolts for the cylinders and frame reconstruction.
 
On the home front we've been busy marking up and drilling the various plate work which can be machined in the villa's.  The parts being machined will hopefully help us to meet our aim of frame erection commencing in the summer.
Buffer Beams and Drag Box plates being drilled
Buffer beams before and after machining
The valance end pieces have also been drilled ready
Three of the valance end pieces in red oxide
 

There has been plenty of painting carried out by Matt and Jim.  This includes the wheels as well as many other items. the photos following show a flavour of what is involved.
 
Jim Turtle painting the leading wheel set (Martin Lawrence)

The wheels in top coat
The driving and trailing wheelsets waiting their turn for painting (David Morris)
Vacuum brake cylinder and cover in red oxide (Matt Holloway)
Vacuum brake piston in final grey 
The underside of the brake cylinder lid.
 
We have plans for the next year or so and a basic outline of our activities are shown below.  This programme can only succeeded with the support of many people, both in financial and practical. 
 
During 2018 we aim, with your assistance, to carry out the following tasks:

  • Mark out and drill the replacement frames and associated plate work;
  • Machine the horn openings in the frames;
  • Build up the rear dragbox;
  • Dismantle the Original Frames;
  • After June, erect the new frames and install the cylinder block; 
  • Continue with painting the wheels and new frames
  • Towards the end of the year, re-metal and machine the axle boxes.
Then within the first 6 to 9 months of 2019 the plan becomes a little more flexible but the aim is to:
  • Drill and fit running plates, side valances, and associated items;
  • Fit the horns and setup so that they are ready to accept the axleboxes;
  • Return the frames to the wheel sets to make a rolling chassis;
  • explore costs and practicalities of having SECR bottle buffers manufactured;
  • start the process of installing the pipe work, for example the Vacuum brake pipes / Steam heat and other pipes that need to be installed between the frames
  • Then work can start on the motion work and springing of the loco. 
 
Of course the programme is money and staff dependent so any support will be welcome.  The work outlined above is likely to cost somewhere in the region of £15,000 and the programme will slip if we cannot afford to pay for the work.
 
The monthly "Official" working days will continue throughout the year with the next few dates being: March 24th and April 14th. If you are interested in helping with the physical work, or publicity and sales, please e mail us at the address below.
 
Thank you

Clive

Please remember that this work can only continue with the donations, support and interest that is forthcoming from all of our supporters. 
 
If you would like to help us to continue this work with a donation, please go to our BT MyDonate page
 
 
 or use the QR code below.
 
To contact us please E Mail us on thefenchurchfund@gmail.com
 
Thank you for your continued support and interest, it is much appreciated. With your help we should have a rolling chassis by the end of the near and hopefully a working loco in around 4 years.