Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Trip to the Carriage Sheds

On Sunday afternoon, a couple of us went for a trip around the carriage sheds expertly guided by Dave Clarke.  We say the progress on quite a few carriages including a couple that could be in the consist for the inaugural train for 27 as well as the 150th anniversary of the introduction of the terriers.  A very interesting tour, and if ever you get the opportunity do it, it is worthwhile!

Monday, 15 August 2016

Vintage Transport Weekend and work on the restoration

This weekends activities

We had a successful information and sales stand at the Bluebell Railway Vintage Transport Weekend. Based in the show field at Horsted Keynes we had plenty of passing trade and some long and in depth conversations with people who came as visitors and left as supporters. There was -plenty to see, even a car to exactly the same specification I once owned, a Vauxhall Victor 101 in two tone green!
Vauxhall Victor 101 (all pictures by Clive Emsley)
We had the cylinder models on display for people to inspect and comment on, together with a sales stand and donation pot, which was well fed by the end of the weekend!

Restoration activities

Following the removal of the side valances from the locomotive, it is now possible to easily see the condition of the rear portion of the frames. especially the top edge which looks like a set of waves on a choppy sea!

The joint between the rear buffer beam and frames showing the erosion to the frames especially at the top
The rust on this section is loose and some can be lifted off by hand, so it is very much in need of replacement.  This repair will be done in the not too distant future.  We will then be in the stage of putting the loco back together!

The right hand side frame following removal of the side valance
The removal of the side valances show that there are no major issues with the brackets that support the footplating and tanks  the frames apart from the rear section are also in reasonably good condition.

The Left hand frame following the removal of the side valance
Other works continued over the weekend and the jobs done included preparation for the weld repair on the right hand frame by Ian Collins.  This has involved placing a support beam between the frames to assist in keeping the frames square and arresting any twist during the welding operations.  This can be seen in the picture below.  The hole into which the pre shaped patch will be welded has also been cleaned up ready for the repair to take place shortly.
The hole ready to accept the repair piece also showing the frame spacing strut
Jim Turtle was busy on Sunday preparing a pair of guard irons for final painting.  This involved the application of filling primer followed by a lot of hard work to rub this down to get a smooth finish on them.  due to the shape and curvature of the irons, the rubbing down needs to be done by hand.  This certainly is hard work and can be fairly dusty too!
Jim Turtle rubbing down the filling primer on one of the guard irons
Clive D. Emsley
Chairman - The Fenchurch Fund
Project Manager - PROJECT 27
A Sub-Committee of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
Why not support us by making a donation at
Or for Text donations Simply text "FENC72 £10" to 70070 to donate £10
    - you can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10;
    - you can also elect to Gift Aid your donation;
    - your operator's standard text charge applies.

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Friday, 12 August 2016

A few dates for your diary

Some forthcoming dates

We will be attending the Bluebell Railway Vintage Weekend this weekend which only leaves 3 more events until the end of the year!   where has the time gone?

August 13th/14th
Bluebell Railway Horsted Keynes
Vintage Transport Weekend
Sales – Information

September 24th/25th
Durrington High School
Worthing Model Railway Club Annual Exhibition
Sales – Information – Display of models
October 29th/30th
Bluebell Railway Sheffield Park
Giants of Steam weekend
100th anniversary of the repatriation of 27 and 753 from Boulogne
Sales – Information – Display – Viewing of restoration

We would be pleased to offer talks on the life and restoration of the loco to groups who may be interested and we would also welcome invitations to put on a display at exhibitions. So far next year we are reasonably free!

If you would like a talk or a display at an exhibition please, in the first instance, E Mail thefenchurchfund@gmail.com and we will be pleased to respond.

Thank you

Clive D. Emsley
Chairman - The Fenchurch Fund
Project Manager - PROJECT 27
A Sub-Committee of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society
Why not support us by making a donation at
Or for Text donations Simply text "FENC72 £10" to 70070 to donate £10
    - you can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10;
    - you can also elect to Gift Aid your donation;
    - your operator's standard text charge applies.
Also now on Facebook

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

A busy weekend for Matt and Ben

Yet more stripping of the frames!

After much drilling and gas cutting the side valances are ready for removal (all pictures Matt Holloway)
Another weekend of drilling and gas cutting took place this week.  Matt was ably assisted by Ben during the weekend.  The side valances and footsteps have now been removed and set aside to be used as patterns for new parts to be made.

The countersunk holes in the footplating following removal of the rivets

The holes that were exposed following the removal of the rivets show the shape they should be!

The Right Hand side valance removed using the fork lift.
The two side valances were removed in quick succession using the fork lift to support and then lift them away from the frames following the removal of the temporary bolts.

The second (LH side) valance was removed shortly after the first
With the removal of the valances it is possible to get a better view of the severely corroded rear end of the frames

Once the valances were removed, it was easier to see the corrosion at the rear of the frames and the amount that will need to be removed and replaced with new material.

The two side valances on a small trolley prior to being stowed before use as a pattern for new parts
The corrosion on the inside faces of the valance is evident in this picture

This end of the vallance is quite evidently totally life expired!

The work continues, but it is only possible due to the volunteering of enthusiastic and skilled engineers and with support from donations and other income raised by the project.

If you would like to help in our aim of having this loco working in 2019 please make a donation to our funds. 

We can receive donations via a number of means including via the Bluebell Railway Trust, using one our forms. These can be obtained by e mailing us at thefenchurchfund@gmail.com  or seeing us on one of our information stands.

We can take cash or cheque donations (with or without gift aid)  Or you can donate via our just giving page or by text giving.

Or for Text donations Simply text "FENC72 £10" to 70070 to donate £10
    - you can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10;
    - you can also elect to Gift Aid your donation;
    - your operator's standard text charge applies.

Please keep popping back for updates which are made on a fairly frequent basis.

Thank you for your support

Clive D. Emsley

Monday, 8 August 2016

VIntage Transport Weekend

Sales and Information stand next weekend

We will be attending the Bluebell Railway Vintage Weekend on Saturday and Sunday coming.
The scale models of the cylinders will be on show together with the drawings they were constructed from.  The 7mm scale model of the loco will also be on display.  There will be plenty of information and please ask if the information you require is not on the display, if we don't know directly we will find out for you.

We will be selling tee shirts, sweat shirts and baseball caps with the P27 logo on.  There will be a selection of  pickles and preserves for sale along with other goodies.  Hopefully we will also be able to offer some "free range" vegetables too!

Unfortunately Stuart (our Project Engineer) has been out of action with a cricket injury recently, but Matt Holloway has carried on regardless and is busy beavering away on the loco.

We are also attending the Worthing Model Railway Exhibition in September with the information and sales stand and a display of relevent models.  I will post more details nearer the time.

Hopefully we will see many of you at the weekend.

Monday, 18 July 2016

More drilling and grinding on the frames

Matt has been hard at it with the grinder and drill again!

A large number of rivets on the frames have been ground flush and blow holes drilled to enable the rivets to be removed.  The rivets that need to be removed include the ones holding the footplating to the valance frames, those holding the valance on and those which hold the foot steps in position.
This is all to allow us to remove the existing bent and distorted valance plates in preparation for new ones being cut to size and installed.
Holes drilled through the rivets holding the footplating to the valance framing (all pictures Matt Holloway)
The new valence plates will be cut using the CAD model produced by Matt and shown on a previous post. The reason for grinding them flush and drilling through is to reduce the risk of a blow back of hot material when the burning out of the rivets takes place. the holes allow the moulten material to pass through and make a tidier job all round.
The drilled and ground rivets following cleaning
The valances, it has been decided, require replacement due to the amount of distortion present in the existing ones. this is due to a long active life and a couple of shunting incidents following withdrawal from service in 1974.

The rivets holding the steps to the valance have been drilled and ground flush
When the old valances have been removed, they will be kept to confirm the design of the new set before being sent for recycling. The steps will be refurbished and new cast treads will be cast to allow them to be further used.

The rear part of the valance drilled and ground ready for burning
The work continues apace and hopefully this will be the last few bits to be removed from the frames before they start to have things put back on to them!

We are currently fund raising for a new set of cylinders for the loco ( a second set will be cast at the same time for loco No.178).  The cost of the casting will be in the region of £7,000 with the cost of machining and transport adding another £7,000 to £8,000 to the cost making a total of around £15,000. If you should happen to know anyone who has recently won the lottery, please point them in our direction!

We are a totally self funding sub committee of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society, so every penny spent on the loco needs to be raised by receiving donations, selling gifts and items of interest or taking more valuable donated items to auction.

For more information on how you can donate or help in any way, please E Mail us at thefenchurchfund@gmail.com you can also now find our newly evolving Facebook page, just search for Project 27.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Another update from Matt

Frame Drawings

As well as a full time job, driving steam engines, looking after his partner and having a social life, Matt has continued with the production of CAD drawings for the locomotive!

His latest offering is an advance copy of a 3D CAD model of then frames (complete with cylinders and stretcher bars installed!

The right hand frame view. 
ll pictures are from CAD files produced by Matt Holloway

The plan now is to use these drawings to produce water or laser cutting templates for the frames and stretchers, especially the section at the rear of the loco which was eaten away by the corrosive action of the coal dust mixing with rain water.  There is a probability that the drawings will need to be modified slightly to allow for the modern metric plate, but that will not cause any great problems.

An oblique view from the front RH corner clearly showing the frames, valance, cab and bunker floor buffer beams and even lamp brackets!
Once we are happy that the current frames can be welded (aka the hole repair Stuart (skid) Marks is attending to) Matt will finalize the rear of the frame cut lines and CAD models for the rear frame sections ready for water or laser cutting.

We are going into some exciting times in the not too distant future!

We are hoping to be able to set up a PROJECT 27 Facebook page so please watch this space for further details!

Of course our current fund raising push is for a set of cylinders to be cast and to this end we will be next at the Railway with our fund raising stand at the Vintage Transport Weekend in the Field at Horsted Keynes.  We are having this month off active fund raising, but will always welcome passive funds!

Thank you for your continued interest and support for the project 

Clive D. Emsley
Chairman - The Fenchurch FundProject Manager - PROJECT 27
A Sub-Committee of the Bluebell Railway Preservation Society


Why not support us by making a donation at

Or for Text donations Simply text "FENC72 £10" to 70070 to donate £10
    - you can donate £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10;
    - you can also elect to Gift Aid your donation;
    - your operator's standard text charge applies.