Overhaul Update

December 2020 Update & New Year Message

We’ve not seen any snow here in Northamptonshire but looking out over the garden above the laptop the grass is white with frost this morning. My thoughts are with all the enginemen working New Year services this week on our heritage railways. It looks very warm on the footplate in the station with the Firehole doors open but at 25mph with the doors shut and looking out for signals it’s definitely cold!

45305 Heading South towards Leicester North on the Great Central Railway on a cold December morning.

It’s been a very busy month at Loughborough on Sir Lamiel. We now have a regular gang of volunteers working on the locomotive, so some real progress has been made. I reported last month that we had split the engine from the tender. Since then, we have removed all brake rigging on the tender and engine. This has all been cleaned and marked up and where possible, a start has been made on painting. Several bushes require replacement. Each bush needs carefully measuring, pressing out and a replacement machined. If we have any machinist in among our members who would like to get more involved the overhaul, please contact us – there’s loads of jobs like this that will need doing.

On the boiler, all tubes and flues are out. The dome and majority of the regulator components have been removed to facilitate getting someone into the boiler to start cleaning off the scale before we can get on with the boiler examination. All the flues and boiler tubes will require replacement. We shall be launching a boiler tube appeal in the New Year.

A dizzying array of some, but not all, parts removed from Sir Lamiel so far.

All motion has been removed from the engine, as well as the valves and pistons have been removed. The crossheads will require whitemetalling and machine. We plan to make a start on this in the New Year. The back covers of the cylinders will be removed in early January to enable the cylinder boring to take place. This will create a true machined bore. After more careful measuring a pair of liners will be cast and machined. The expected costs of the relining including fitting is estimated to be £16k. Your contributions to these costs will be a great help in getting these jobs done.

Our Black Five 45305 and the Peak D123 have been a mainstay of the GCR Christmas and New Year running. I hope you’ve seen the pictures of the Steam in Lights trains on social media.

Testing of the Winter Lights setup

As the overhaul continues, we move in to the renew and refurbish phase. Components are carefully checked measured and examined. Most parts are cleaned painted and stored. Some, however, require repairs, renewal and Pins and bushes replaced. This is where the real costs of the overhaul are incurred. We still need your help to move forward with this work.  There are a few ways you can help us.

The news of the approval of the vaccines hopefully means to return to normal volunteering and a Heritage train services in 2021.  As 2020 closes we are looking forward to an exciting new year for our Association. The five, Class 33 and the Peak will all be in traffic in 2021. With your help and support we shall push forward with the overhaul of Sir Lamiel

We have continued to make progress on the overhaul of Sir Lamiel despite the Covid restrictions. Thanks for your support with Sir Lamiel.

Happy New Year

Alan Berck-May


5305 Locomotive Association

Overhaul Update

November 2020 Update

Slow progress this month due to lack of volunteers caused by the Covid Lockdown restrictions but progress has still been made none the less.

A major step forward has been the splitting of the engine from the tender. On the tender, the wooden platform and tender sand boxes have been removed and the area cleaned out. All the steel work cleaned up and painted with the 1st coat of protective paint applied.  See the before and after pictures.

Rotting wood of the tender platform
Tender all cleaned up. After this photo, the metal was cleaned down and a number of layers of bitumen have now been applied.

Work on stripping the tender brake gear has also started prior to lifting the tender to release the bogies. The original tender water gauge has been located and a start on its repair and restoration commenced over the last weekend. The bottom flange of the gauge has a piece missing and a new section will have to be made and welded to the remaining part of the flange. This could be expensive as the whole assembly is made of cast iron. Any help with sponsorship of this work would be gratefully appreciated.

On the boiler nearly all of the small tubes have now been removed and this work will progress over the next few weeks. The dome cover, dome and regulator valve still need to be removed before further boiler work can continue.

More tubes pulled out by volunteers Chris and Rob one evening last week.

As you might imagine, as more parts of Sir Lamiel are stripped down, we soon have removed parts cluttering up the space around the engine. This makes it difficult to work and move around as they can become tripping hazards. We are in the process of obtaining a couple of shipping containers to store loco parts. Good quality shipping containers cost around £3,000 so again if you are able to help with sponsorship please do get in touch. Not very glamourous but they will be essential to securely store parts as they are removed and refurbished prior to reassembly.

Our volunteers continue to help with the overhaul of Oliver Cromwell’s tender. Recent work has involved descaling and painting the tender frames and tank bottom. Removing, cleaning up and painting all the brake gear.

In addition, we have also removed the radiator grills on the Class 33. These were scrapped due to their poor condition and new grills have been made up and painted ready for refitting.

Grills removed and the exposed metal below is being cleaned and primed for the new grills to be fitted.

We are very grateful to the Great Central Railway over the past couple of years for their support for the overhaul of Sir Lamiel. The latest news from the Government on the lifting of Covid restrictions looks likely to enable the GCR Christmas services to operate. Please do support the railway by using the Christmas services. A bit of insider info – 5305 is being fitted up in preparation for the “Steam in Lights” services.

We are continuing to make progress on the overhaul of Sir Lamiel despite the Covid restrictions. Thanks for your support with Sir Lamiel.

Alan Berck-May


5305 Locomotive Association

Overhaul Update

September 2020 Update

Some good progress this month, although still at the beginning of the long period where parts are being removed. Work on the boiler continues with tube removal underway. There are 193 tubes in Sir Lamiel’s boiler which need the ends cutting with gas cutting gear prior to removal. 73 tubes still require the ends cutting in the firebox end to enable removal. We have found what we think will be an interesting use for the old tubes after removal. Watch out for more news on this.

The ends of the tubes in the firebox are being cut out ready for the tubes to be removed.

The boiler is almost ready for removal with a few bolts remaining on the front mounting bracket. A move to a pit road is required to access these bolts.

Cylinder and valve covers were removed so that the valves and pistons can be accessed for removal.

All the cladding has been removed and the metal of the cylinders is exposed. The drain valves and mountings are by the front bogie axles before moved to storage.

The next month will see work continuing on the preparation for the boiler lift with the removal of the dome cover and lid followed by the regulator valve. Once all the tubes have been removed, we shall have a team inside the boiler cleaning the barrel prior to the initial boiler inspection.

All the nuts and bolts removed are carefully cleaned ready for storage. A growing number of parts are accumulating in the shed. We intend to purchase a couple of containers to store these parts in the next weeks.

Nuts and bolts being cleaned in an oil solution to remove rust and grime.
The cleaned nuts and bolts are re threaded and assessed for reuse.

As I’ve said before, none of this would be possible without your financial support and the work of our working members. We’re still interested in hearing from anyone who wants to take a more active part in the overhaul. There is work at all skill levels and getting involved in a loco overhaul is a great way to learn about how steam loco’s work.

Can I also apologise to all our Knights awaiting their membership cards. We have commissioned some new artwork. Unfortunately, our artist has had to deal with some family issues not helped by the Covid restrictions. He’s now back on the case and is hoping to get something to us in the next few weeks. I’m very sorry for the delay.

Thanks to you all

Alan Berck-May

Chairman 5305 LA.

Overhaul Update

July/August 2020 Update

During the overhaul for Sir Lamiel, we intend to do monthly updates about the progress we have made.

We’ve had a great start with our Knight’s of the Round Table Appeal with just over £10,000 pledge so far. There’s still a long way to go, so please spread the word far and wide.

Over the past month and a bit since we were able to share the good news, our team of volunteers have managed to complete quite a bit.

Sir Lamiel inside Loughborough Shed. Photo courtesy of Mark Atkins

All the superheater elements have been removed. As they were only put in around 2-3 years ago, they should still be in good condition. They will be assessed and hydraulically tested to see if we can use them again.

The concrete floor in the smokebox has been removed to allow access to the blastpipe bolts. This took a number of weekends to remove as it included back breaking work with a hammer and chisel.

Removal of smokebox floor. Photo courtesy of Pete Hackney

With the concrete floor removed, this meant that the blastpipe bolts could be warmed and removed. Warming one side of the nut causes it to expand and hopefully make it easier to remove. Failing that more heat can be applied to cut or melt the nut or bolt free.

Volunteers having a break while removing the concrete floor. As per any shed work a good cup of tea is required. Photo courtesy of Mark Atkins

The petticoat that sits directly above the blastpipe has been removed and inspected. It is well below the required minimal thickness and a new one will need to be bought. We suspect that this petticoat may well be the one fitted when it was last serviced by British Railways. The new petticoat will cost us around £2,000.

With the blastpipe, main steam pipes and the superheater elements removed, the boiler tubes are next on the list to come out. By the time you read this, a number of them may well already be out of the boiler.

The main aim and push so far has been to get to a stage where we can lift the boiler off of the frames. This will allow the boiler to be inspected and a number of work streams to begin simultaneously.