1980 saw the start of an intense period of activity. In part this was spurred on by the presence of contractors on the site, more often on weekdays. The realisation that steelwork repairs were going to get done motivated the volunteer team to make sure the contractor’s needs were met in terms of preparation of the work areas and follow up painting. With all the materials stored on the ship, clearing for internal frame repairs, for example, could involve shifting stores, removing flooring and cleaning. A presence on site was also needed to ensure work could proceed smoothly and carry out firewatching. The logbook shows many weekday’s activity with most of the ‘regulars’ giving what time they could.
Brian Waters attended many days in January, working on installation of electrical system, supported by engineering team welding in cable trays, junction boxes and brackets.
From Paddle Wheels No. 81
First and foremost the response by members to the fund raising appeal has enabled work to continue, and has provided a great impetus to the project.
The below water line repairs are now commenced. One third of this work is completed with frames repaired in the forward part of the ship including the forward saloon. Repairs are being made to the engine room bulkhead where a section has to be replaced. This will not be a doubling repair. The wasted part will be cut away and a new section let in.
Up above decks work is actively progressing on the sponson brackets and paddle box frames. With the port side complete, action is now centred on the starboard where the forward brackets are now all tacked in position ready for final welding up. The ones aft of the paddle box have been commenced. Scaling and painting is now in hand on the port side brackets.
Painting has also started on the bottom of the hull and by the time these notes are read, most of the hull should be painted with the upper part finished in black.
High on the agenda now is completion of the plating in the stern, rudder repairs and paddle wheel assembly. As reported in the appeal message, the ship has to move from the slipway soon with these repairs complete so if you can lend a hand – even if only for one day. We need you!