LOCKDOWN SPECIAL – KEEP CALM AND RELISH LIFE
Since scribbling the opening words of the Spring Newsletter, it has become apparent that Covid 19 and its consequences are not going away any time soon. Even if (when) the lockdown restrictions are gradually eased, the social distancing and self-isolation principles will still be central elements of controlling the further spread of infection until either widespread testing or vaccination become available. It remains to be seen what will happen with regard to resuming TSMEE activities, but it’s likely that may now be many months away for much of the membership.
Meanwhile, there are other ways for us all to keep in touch, and this is but one. It may not have the immediacy of on-line social media but does reach those without internet access. It also keeps my typing finger supple.
Mechanical Lubricator for Locomotives
Dave Henderson has provided some information relating to the lubricator fitted to his “Angkor Thom”. It was designed and made by Harold Pearson, who is offering to manufacture to order for anyone requiring such a device. Price would be a few pounds cheaper than similar commercial products, and for that you get a bespoke item.
Harold adds They are for 3.5” and 5” gauge engines. The ram size for 3.5” is 3/32” which will supply all the smaller engines, and possibly too much for the likes of a “Titch” or “Juliet”. A 1/8” ram will supply just about anything in 5” gauge. Even on “Angkor Thom” (7 ¼” gauge) the ram size is only 3/16” and there don’t seem to be any problems with insufficient oil to the cylinders.”
If you are interested, please contact Dave email@example.com in the first instance for further information and to establish liaison with Harold.
Junior Engineer Robert Hopper (when not attending diligently to his home schooling !) has been using his time productively. He says I’ve been working on a new model railway for my bedroom. The first project on it was the railway itself. It took many attempts to get the track right, but I’m happy now.
John Rowley, our Webmaster and Master Bricklayer, sent this rather comprehensive piece …
At this end we are fit and fighting most of the time so not much change there. These days we seem to have settled into a regular routine – early morning dog walk followed by 2-3 hours food bank stuff. Sheila looks after the admin and me the accounting which bizarrely I quite enjoy [Sheila has this theory that accountants and engineers are similarly weird ?????]
Even though we are home working, food bank stuff has kept us quite busy since lock down. Demand over the past 4 weeks has more than doubled and at the same time at least 30% of our volunteer base has had to self isolate. This might seem problematic but as I mentioned to Peter N recently the silver lining is that it’s given us an opportunity to change our operating model which otherwise would have been quite a prolonged effort and may well have ruffled a few precious feathers along the way.
Most amazingly though is the generosity of so many. Since lock-down my regular donor base has risen from a respectable 43 to something like +235 and I have banked circa £35K in that time which eases one major concern for now. No doubt when compassion fatigue kicks in, donations are going to significantly “tail off” whilst demand will inevitably continue, however we should be able to comfortably keep going until they get this virus thing sorted.
So, if nothing else, we are not bored and it helps us remember which day of the week it is [which always tends to be a little problematic for me.]
One thing Sheila and I decided early-on is that we would have something tangible to show after lock-down. Outside we have taken advantage of the glorious weather and the garden has been thoroughly tidied up and the little green b#####s have been given a major headache for the time being! This is a major Rowley achievement for this time of year.
In the workshop I decided that 20 years was long enough and this time the “beast” is definitely going to get done and finished! However, I’ve discovered like in all my major projects how much work gets actually get lumped into the category “finishing off” – but I’m getting there!
All the plumbing associated with injectors and water pump is now complete and I am well pleased. I guess a couple of lubricators and the blast nozzle are about the only things on the list left to do. The nozzle might well wait until I raise steam.
So the plan for this week are the lubricators – final assembly – take a few pictures before tackling the feared strip-down – catalogue – and prep for paint. In that respect, I’d thought along the way of producing a video/picture gallery of this complete undertaking [I’ve been inspired by Eddie G]. This would by my alternative to Christopher Vine’s copious note taking and may be of interest to others but if nothing else it might also remind me of how to put it all together again.
Alongside all this I have recently turned my hand once more to the TMEE website. You will appreciate it’s been maintenance only for a little while but this week I completed some outstanding software updates and spent most of yesterday sorting Eddie’s photo gallery. I will be uploading his new material soon. Again [weirdly] this is something I actually enjoy doing.
Given the latest government Corvid statements it seems most of our club members are going to be isolated for some time which I guess sets the seal on the TSMEE operation for the rest of 2020. In this respect, I too had been thinking of a “lock down” e-bulletin of sorts and more input on the TSMEE website.
I’m giving that some thought and I’m available for whatever else is needed but past experience tells me the biggest challenge is to get some decent copy material and that can only come from the members. However, when it comes to “power of persuasion” it is to know your (he means Linda, Ed) reputation knows no bounds so I have every confidence!
Think that’s the latest from the Rowley household for now …
At least three of our members are working on the healthcare front-line. We all know and appreciate what an invaluable and potentially hazardous service they provide to those they serve.
Nicola Oliver is a Radiographer
Helen Yeeles is a Pharmacist
Tim Macdonald is a Paramedic
So much for the Club not generating enough news (see Postamble, Spring Newsletter) ! Thanks and credit as ever to all the contributors, to Peter Newby for the original idea and Linda Nicholls for acting as “clearing house” for material and spurring me to action. If you like what you see, keep stuff coming for another issue in June. Meanwhile, be safe and keep well.
Contact info …
- Newsletter/Bulletin Editor – Mike Maguire – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Club Secretary – Linda Nicholls – email@example.com – 01 670 816072
- Website – www.tsmee.co.uk Webmaster – John Rowley – firstname.lastname@example.org
Ian Spencer, Treasurer and one of our longest-serving members, has dipped into the archives – these are from 1963. He laments Yes, it really was fifty-seven years ago …