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Update - 3rd March 2011

posted 3 Mar 2011, 12:41 by Derek Pattenson
Some good progress made over half-term week with the assistance of a couple of good Sygnets working days. Also a bit of a hiccup...

It's a slow job, but paint is being stripped off the cabsides, right back to bare metal. This is time consuming but will give us a far better finish when it's all done. Inside the cab, around half the roof has had all paint stripped off, rubbed down and ferricon'ed, as has part of the cab interior panelling. 

I reported last time that we were missing a window-winding mechanism from one door. Well, a recent find suggests this winder has been missing a very long time. I had been thinking that in the absence of a replacement winder we could resort to an old-style leather strap; but then I found evidence this was the arrangement in use previously, probably from when May first came to Swanage. This was in the form of an old carriage door part, with a channel for the leather strap, a roller for the strap to exit the window and a hook to go through the hole in the strap. This timber was found squirrelled away in the cab, and interestingly, the metal plate that guides the strap has the initials "L S W R"... this was almost certainly fitted from a "scrap" LSWR coach on the SR at the time that May was brought into service in the 70s / 80s. 

We have just a few jobs to complete on the door that's away from Swanage, prior to re-assembly of the complete door. Also off-site now is the remaining works plate - we'll be using this to cast a couple of resin replica plates to fit on the loco, with the original going into safe storage or, hopefully, public display. 

On the downside, we've identified that the cloth padding over the rear buffers, originally used to elminate risk of sparks in the hazardous oil depot, is made of woven asbestos. This has not been disturbed whilst we've been working on May, but it must be properly removed and disposed of safely. We have a quote from the work and until this has been completed, we will for safety not be working on May on-site.