A short piece written by Mum for the Gilling news letter.
Maiden Steaming of Rob’s 9F.
My final attempt at supporting Rob throughout his building of his 9F, was lighting the fire for the maiden steaming. The weather forecast was not good and we had several false starts. Eventually it was a ‘now or never’ moment, we packed up picnic ( we may be some time) , warm, waterproof clothes (forecast still dodgy) oh and Rob packed the van with everything he might possibly need. Not quite the kitchen sink but nearly. Our trip to Gilling was uneventful, bright blue sky and sun, promise of things to come we hoped.
Engine unloaded and kit spread out, job sorted. Photo opportunity for a pre fire cab.
Well pride comes before a fire, Gilling micro climate let us down big time. A bitter wind whipped up and we needed to light the match and this is when our problems really started. My carefully packed, back up box of matches, succumbed to the damp and would not strike. Rob got the gas lighter out and the flame kept blowing out. In the end Rob nestled the fire lighter inside his coat and proceeded to try and light it. I had my instructions regarding shovels, swift movements and where to position the lighted fire-lighter in the fire box.
In an idle moment I had a thought, what if he set his coat on fire! I decided my first priority was to throw a cover over the engine and then a bucket of water over Rob. He was proud of my decision, you have to get your priorities right!!!!!!!!
No need for these musings, mission accomplished.
All went well, pressure rising to 50 psi. Whilst Rob supervised proceedings I walked the track, counted the sheep and filled in time admiring the scenery and just thinking what a wonderful place Gilling is.
Then the heavens opened, we were getting a drenching, the wind had a bitter edge, Rob decided we had achieved our objective. Time to pack up and call it a day.
All the moving equipment was fantastic and we carefully stowed the engine and kit back in the van. Time to head home. A successful day out as regards the first firing and a planned meal at the pub to celebrate.
Rob has a few mods which will keep him gainfully occupied for a brief time. Now here’s the big question, how on earth will he fill his time? No research to do, no plans to follow, no dropping into his workshop at 11pm ‘just to check on something ‘ and no days spent happily in his own world just ‘doing’ and the satisfaction of a job well done. Help, he is going to drive me nuts!!!!!!!!