Saturday, 20 February 2010

Snow in the Forest

A complete change of weather on Thursday morning as I headed west on the M4. As I crossed the Severn Bridge, I couldn't see the river for fog, and as I left Chepstow for the Forest of Dean, the snow began to fall and roads quickly became atrocious. Nevertheless, I eventually made it to the Flour Mill workshops at Bream, there to look at the NRM's LSWR T9 loco, number 120, or 30120 as it will be after restoration to British Railways livery. Geoff Phelps gave me a welcome cup of tea - these have been a feature of the last 3 blogs I know! Out in the snow was 120's boiler, having had a new foundation ring, lower portion of backplate and numerous other repairs, including patch screws. Tubing will await warmer weather! Meanwhile alongside 120 was this Hunslet Austerity boiler with a makeshift shelter over the firebox where stay work was progressing.
Inside the workshop were the frames and wheels of 120, almost complete apart from brakes and a very nice job it looks too.
Elsewhere in the works is this former Swindon Works wheel lathe, on loan from the NRM to the Flour Mill and still earning its keep.
Finally, I was able to indulge my narrow gauge interest by seeing this 2' 6" gauge Manning Wardle "Chevallier" in the last stages of overhaul. Formerly used on the Chattenden & Upnor and Bowaters systems, it is privately owned and should run later this year.

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