Fenchurch 150: Bluebell News Reports 2020

Report in Bluebell News, Spring 2020

The boiler from Fenchurch has been lifted so a thorough assessment of its condition can be made to allow a scheme of repair to be drawn up for agreement with the boiler inspector with the scope of these repair being extensive.

On the outer boiler shell: new foundation ring, new lower throatplate (effectively the section below where it flares out to join the boiler barrel), new outer firebox wrapper, ¾ new backhead, new front tubeplate & barrel extension. On the inner firebox: new sides,new door plate, new tubeplate & new firehole door.

The replacement steel inner firebox fitted in the 1970s had the corners butt-welded to each other. The replacement to be fitted this time will be of more traditional construction with the tubeplate and back plate flanged to form conventional lap seams. This form of construction is slightly less rigid, which should allow the firebox to flex slightly and reduce the likelihood of cracks appearing.

Quotes have been sought for all the pressings required for the repair. It is hoped to order the components in the spring so they are ready to work on once repairs are finished on Sir Archibald Sinclair. Economies of scale mean there may be an opportunity to buy further pressings of the same section that can be used for a future repair of Stepney’s boiler. A new smokebox saddle suitable for a ‘Terrier’ is also on order.

Report in Bluebell News, Autumn 2020

The inner firebox has been removed from the boiler. Costings have been obtained for all the components required for the boiler, which amount in essence to a complete new inner and outer firebox and front tube plate.

Fenchurch’s inner firebox, which has been removed prior to the loco’s restoration. The box is the stell example built & installed by Luggs of Billingshurst in the late 1970’s.

Report in Bluebell News, Winter 2020

Fenchurch’s boiler has now been completely stripped. A new outer wrapper has been rolled and delivered – on a small boiler like Fenchurch, a complete wrapper sheet is cheaper than buying the material for just the sides (which are wasted) and welding them to the upper part of the existing wrapper. The front tubeplate blank has been ordered; sponsored by a generous supporter. It requires the tube holes to be drilled.The parts for the inner firebox and foundation ring are on order, and the throatplate is also ready to order.

The newly formed firebox outer wrapper plate for Fenchurch’s boiler.

The boiler with the throatplatew & inner firebox removed.