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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
or use the QR code below.