Construction continues – Work on the locomotive’s main frames continued to progress rapidly at Tyseley Locomotive Works (TLW), Birmingham: A delivery of round and hexagonal steel bars from long-term sponsor Macreadys was put to a variety of uses in the manufacture of fitted bolts for the star stay, drag box, hornblocks, hornstays and rear frames. Lloyds of Burton-upon-Trent completed the casting of the drag box, bogie bottom centre and inside motion plate, with the former at Brookside Engineering, Tutbury for machining.   A considerable number of frame stretchers and other components, including the spring hanger brackets, front and rear firebox support brackets, bogie top centre and bogie frame stays had been dispatched to Brookside Engineering, Tutbury for machining and many were already completed and returned to TLW.  The star stay, manufactured by Mercia Fabrications of Dudley, had been machined by Ufone Engineering of Rowley Regis and returned to Tyseley where it was fitted to the frames.


The frames from the cab end at Tyseley


Mercia delivered further fabrications including the footplate supports and engine steps which were now in position on the frames. TLW staff fitted the hornblocks and hornstays, firebox support bracket (back and front), rear side rubbing plates and cross stay to the mainframes and completed the bufferbeam and gussets. TM Engineers of Kingswinford, Dudley welded the stiffeners to the bogie frame plates, stress relieved and fully machined them. They had been returned to TLW and were awaiting the delivery of the bogie frame stays and bottom centre before the assembly of the bogie could commence.  The initial platework of the cab floor was under manufacture. In addition, British Steel Engineering of Renishaw had started the production process of the outside pair of cylinder castings and Lloyds had started the process to cast the rear truck and front bogie wheels.

The three cylinders were unveiled at Tyseley on 25th May and by late summer a selection of patterns, including those for some of the smaller components required to complete the frames, had been delivered by Coxill Patterns to TLW where tenders were being issued for their casting and machining.  All three cylinders were sent to Ufone Engineering for machining, with the middle cylinder being worked on first. All three were due to be returned to the Trust by early 1997 for fitting to the frames.  The locomotive’s six 6’8″ driving wheels arrived at TLW from Lloyds of Burton-upon-Trent to await machining and assembly.


Dorothy Mather and David Champion with the cylinders