A more intense pattern of work is becoming apparent, centred on a group of about a dozen regulars, all of whom are at the ship frequently enough to know exactly what needs doing. The interaction is building into a KC support team, working together is building friendships and a real sense of belonging. At the same time, no one is excluded and volunteers who can only make it occasionally are quickly absorbed into the group. In a blog like this it’s not practical to deal with all the tasks accomplished, but the PW report abstracts help to give an overview.
From Paddle Wheels No. 90
The main deck over the forward saloon has been completely lifted and replaced with new timber. Planking for a large part of the sponson deck, where water tightness is less important, was obtained by re-using the good parts of the timber which had been lifted. This is the first major part of the deckwork which has been tackled and all has gone very smoothly — a tribute to the volunteer team which has obviously now developed a good bit of expertise. Before the new timber was laid, the steel deck beams were generally cleaned and painted. In some places new sections had to be welded in. but with the welder standing by, this was all completed quite quickly. There is some caulking to complete, but this is_ progressing here is plenty of activity to Engine Room:
The new boiler cradles, fusible plug and the new manhole doors were approved by the inspector on 14th August. The final stage is the steam test. Pipework is progressing well with a new steam supply line along the port side for the Weir and Mumford pumps, and for the new steam generator. The steam generator, incidentally, has been transported from Stevenage, where it has been completely overhauled by a Society member. It is now in the engine room on the new fabricated steel base constructed for it. KC did not have a generator originally and
as far as we can make out, light in the engine room was provided by acetylene lamps, two rusty specimens of which were found in the early days.
Pipe and fittings have been supplied free of charge by BSS Industrial Heating and Pipeline Supplies of Leicester. Acknowledgement is also due to Fibreglass Ltd. for supply of pipe insulation at cost price, and to Abbey Heat Treatments Ltd who transported and annealed the main copper steam lines for a nominal charge. All the main steam lines are now back in position and have been subjected to hydraulic test.
The main engine bearings have been dismantled and overhauled, and all the engine brightwork components are cleaned and polished. The engine driven pumps have also received attention. Lining up of the main crankshaft with the two paddle shafts is now in hand and when everything is back together, it should be possible to turn the main engines.
Funding: the Deck Timber Appeal has now reached over £1,800, and in addition to this KC has received support from the Rochester upon Medway City Council with a £500 grant from the lottery fund towards deck renewal. The timber, when machined and ready to lay, is working out at nearer £1 per foot than the 50p originally estimated. The afterdeck and raised coach deck will have to be lifted soon to permit essential steelwork repair and replacement, and new timber will have to be used when the deck are put back. An estimated £3,000 over the last year. Many PSPS members are supporting KC very generously, and the Branches are helping by raising funds. Without this finance the progress we are seeing would not be possible.