December 2022 Update
A busy month to recap on, starting with the great news that 7812 Erlestoke Manor moved under its under power first time following full overhaul at Tyseley Locomotive Works on 9th November! Also, news on our Big Large Prairie Appeal to overhaul 5164 and an update on 7802 Bradley Manor.
7812 Erlestoke Manor basks in the sunshine back on the rock siding at Bewdley for the first time since 2017 while being prepared for her second test steaming day on 8th December [Photo: Paul Fathers]:
7812 Erlestoke Manor Returns to Steam & the SVR!
Following 7812’s first steaming on 9th November, a second steaming took place a week later for the boiler insurance inspection, at which the insurance inspector pronounced that he was happy. Aside from the usual snags ensuring that fittings and pipework were fully steamtight, there was also an issue identified with the bogie that would lead to the axleboxes soon running hot in service. A great team effort involving EMF volunteers and Tyseley staff, saw the bogie was removed, stripped down, rectified and reassembled over a couple of long days, to enable the SVR Engineering acceptance inspection to take successfully place on 22nd November.
On 8th November, EMF volunteers Bill Hall and Terry Jenkins are seen lighting the first warming fire in 7812 [Photo: Dave Giddins]:
On 15th November, 7812 was steamed again for its boiler insurance exam and is seen here at Tyseley with the safety valves correctly lifting [Photo: Paul Fathers]:
Following the two previous test steamings, 7812 is seen with the bogie removed using the Tyseley Works wheel drop to lower it down and then draw the locomotive back clear of it to allow easy access. The actual work required could then be done quite quickly and the bogie was replaced under 7812 later the same day, showing the value of having such facilities to hand [Photo: Paul Fathers]:
With the above accomplished, there was little more that we could achieve with 7812 within the confines of Tyseley Works, so transportation of locomotive and tender to the SVR was booked for 1st December for the next stages of recommissioning and testing to take place. Early on 2nd December 7812 touched down on SVR rails at Kidderminster for the first time since 2018. With thanks to Dan Shorthouse and the SVR, an excellent short YouTube video of the return and unloading of 7812 has been made which can be viewed below.
Late in the evening of 1st December, 7812 is seen having arrived in the car park at Kidderminster courtesy of S.A. Smith Haulage [Photo: Kenny Felstead]:
At first murk on 2nd December, 7812 was gently unloaded back onto SVR rails. Tender 2334 was unloaded shortly after. [Photo: Paul Spence]
The remaining tasks requiring completion before testing could commence were finished on 6th December with light engine testing starting on 7th December between Kidderminster and Highley in glorious, but freezing cold, winter weather! 7812 accumulated just over 60 miles of running over the next two days, with 7812 finishing at Bridgnorth on the second day for undercover storage pending sorting out a couple of axle bearings which were running warmer than we would like at the end of the first day’s running. Although these were running cooler on the second day’s running, we have decided to investigate now to ensure trouble free service in 2023 and beyond. Aside from the two bearings, 7812 performed well on test, steams freely and is clearly still strong!
Overall, we are delighted that Erlestoke Manor has returned home to the SVR and the warm welcome received – it’s great to be back!
On the morning of 7th December, 7812 is seen on arrival at Highley after its first test run from Kidderminster. EMF Engineers Terry Jenkins and Gary Meadows, along with Will Marsh of SVR Engineering Services examine the locomotive prior the next movement [Photo: Adrian Hassell]
Large Prairie 5164 Update
While fundraising progresses, further planning and component purchases continue to be made, recently including material for axle box crowns. We are investigating options for the bunker, which subject to confirmation, is expected to need replacement.
Our ‘Big Large Prairie Appeal’ continues and our new leaflet can be downloaded here.
If you are able to support in anyway to help see this lovely locomotive return to steam in a few years’ time, this will also have the added advantage that it the Fund will have locomotive that could be expected to be in traffic providing valuable steaming presence and income during the mid-2030s period when both 7812 and 7802 will fall due for overhaul in fairly quick succession. (Yes, we really are planning for the next overhauls of our Manor class locomotives while amid the midst of the current ones….)
During its last period in service, 5164 is seen leaving Bewdley towards Arley [Photo: Tim Hargest]:
7802 Bradley Manor Update
This locomotive has now moved up to become our primary project for 2023, both through the services of Tyseley’s professional engineers and our volunteer engineering team. On the chassis, the new racking plate which will sit underneath the new cylinder blocks has been trial fitted and we are cleaning and preparing the inside of the fames for a full repaint.
Meanwhile, the boiler has had non-destructive and thickness testing undertaken, which haven’t thrown up any unpleasant surprises as we seek to recertify the boiler insurance for a further ten year period (subject to annual inspections).
The new racking place seen being trial fitted to 7802 Bradley Manor’s front extension frames on 2nd November [Photo: Paul Fathers]:
Bewdley Station EMF Sales Coach
Until Christmas, our Fund at Bewdley Station shop is generally open on Saturdays between 11am and 2pm.
From Boxing Day until the end of the SVR running season on January 2nd 2023, we will extend hours to cover service running days depending on volunteer availability. If further information is needed on opening times, etc., please call Dave Kilner on 0771 365 6363.
A present we have a particularly good selection of model GWR locos, coaches and wagons in stock!
We also offer an online sales service using eBay, so if there a particular model, kit or book that you are interested in, please contact Dave Kilner on the number above and we’ll advise if we have it in stock.
Further details on our Sales Coach and services are available on our website.
From The Archives
As 7812 is at the completion of its third preservation era overhaul, it is appropriate that this month’s archive photo is of 7812 at Bewdley on 22nd May 1979 at an early test steaming following initial restoration from Barry scrapyard condition. Left to right is John Hancock, EMF President and one of the Fund’s founding ‘Gang of Four’, the late Gilbert Cooke, John Giles and Joe Rosagro in the cab:
That’s all for this month, so it just remains to thank you after another busy year and pass on our festive greetings to all of you in which ever way that you support the EMF.