On 1st May, Derek's photo shows that the lettering and lining had been swiftly completed. Final testing ensued, and then on 17th May, as seen in Richard Clark's photo, Stepney was ready for the re-enactment 50 years to the day after it originally arrived on the Bluebell line. The livery carried is that which it sported in its first season on the Bluebell, back in 1960.
These two photos taken on 11 April show that the painting of the wheels and frames is well advanced, and that the side tanks, which are covered by external sheeting, were none the less receiving a protective coat of paint.
By the 17th April (above) the boiler is seen as prepared for its hyraulic test, with the orifices blanked off. The out-of-frames steam test would then follow.
The frames were, on the same date, positioned outside the works, ready for...
... reassembly - as seen on the right, by 28th April the loco was largely back together.
The boiler repairs were undertaken over the next couple of months, and this photo taken on 26th March shows the boiler tubes in place.
The main work undertaken in January was on the boiler, seen here in the loco works on 24th January. By 30th January the frames had been pressure-washed and cleaned ready for painting.
With the price of boiler tubes quite low at present, we have the opportunity to give 'Stepney' a quick cost-effective boiler overhaul, so that it can be available for our 50th Anniversary celebrations this year. Only the minimum work required will be done. Once overhauled the loco will remain available, limited to very light duties, for as long as is feasible, but this might not be much longer than just the remainder of the year, depending on how it performs mechanically. We have a new set of cylinder castings in stock for this loco, but it is not feasible to fit these within the time and budget available, so this and other major mechanical work will have to await the loco's next major overhaul.
Derek Hayward's photo shows that, following its availability for footplate visits whilst posed in the dock at Sheffield Park during the Santa Special season, no time has been wasted in starting to dismantle the loco for the boiler lift. Some preparatory work had already taken place last year, but now the outer tank covers have been removed.
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