With the key parts of the deck having received attention the ingress of water was much reduced. This allowed attention to turn to stemming corrosion and deterioration below decks, with particular attention to cleaning up and painting the bilge plates. 24V lighting had to be used. Not pleasant work. Outdoor maintenance tool place when weather permitted. The engine room team continued with the machinery overhaul.
On Saturday 3rd May the first visit to the ship was made by a team of youngsters from the Wildernesse School, Sevenoaks, together with their teacher Mr. AF Tullett. They were allowed to work under supervision of experienced volunteer work leaders, and a further visits were made on Sundays May 18th and June 8th. They continued to attend in varying numbers for about two years.
Restoration Log Book – Sunday 18 May 1975
- LP piston rod and cross head guide cleaned of rust, greased. LP cylinder cleaned: Sludge removed from gland side of piston – some corrosion where water was left by Ridetts. LP piston now ready to have rings re-fitted when junk ring machined. (Ian Watson)
- Engine and boiler casing: Prep and painting carried on form position reached on 3rd May. Lower vertical sides of E/R and boiler casing scraped clean of old rusted plate down to the galvanised steel and painted with Ferro Plumbate. Also FP applied to E/R doors and surrounding plate; also to underside of boiler hatch. All this steelwork in fairly good condition except for odd local areas where the galvanising had broken down.
- Port and Starboard coal bunkers: These were scraped around 2 sides only (galvanised sheet steel overlaying the actual boiler walls.) Also vertical stiffeners and some scaling of bunker deckhead and FP applied. Some lower areas of bunker lining in poor condition, particularly port bunker and will receive re-lining. Interior shell plating within bunkers not touched but inspected and noticed to be badly pitted as are frames and steering chain tubes. Plate and frame reinforcement and also new steering chain tubes probably required.
- Captains office: Interior shell plating scaled, scraped and painted FP.
- 24V transformer: Mains plug attached and 3 lead lamps wired up. Low voltage lighting must be used in bunkers, boiler bilged and other confined spaces.
- Wilderness School Volunteers: A tremendous help to the project and doing much to bring the work forward. (Lawrie Beal)
Footnote: Nick Knight’s tongue-in-cheek comment on the value of youngsters helping aboard: “A boy is a boy, two boys are half a boy and three boys are no boys at all!” But the Wildernesse group continued to make a valued contribution.
From Paddle Wheels No. 60
Work is still advancing on the engine and the difference in condition and finish is markedly better over just the last two or three months. The boiler has still not had its hydraulic test at the time of writing but this should not be too long. Bilges are still being prepared and painted and this takes quite a time to do properly where the bottom plates are in the way of the engine and boiler but we must get them finished ultimately for proper protection.
A large area of plating at port and starboard in the boiler space has been scaled and is being painted. Most of the interior plate surface throughout the ship is pretty good although some repairs will be needed in the bunkers. The fine weather demands that much of the exterior work be tackled while the going is good and teak work varnishing is going ahead, also remaining deck caulking of hull decks will recommence shortly.
The engine room skylight has been removed (June 14th) for easier glazing and decoration and the remaining plain aperture can be bridged easily with a strong beam and tackle for the present engine overhaul.