February has seen significant steps forward in our winter maintenance and improvement programme.
Works by Trevor and Martyn to the onboard pump have resulted in the fuel pump being removed and dispatched for a much needed overhaul. It had become clear that this was the cause of the pump not firing when the start button was pushed. The dashboard has been completely removed and sent away for refurbishment as several of the gauges were not working and the surround needed painting.
Colin has started the first phase of the reattaching of the communications cable, between the head of the ladder and the operator consul. The cable is now loosely attached along its full length and connected to the refitted operator speaker and microphone box which is fitted at the head of the ladder. However, 3 specialist springs are required to keep the tension on the cable so these are being made " in house". Once made the whole system can finally be permanently attached and tested.
2 "new old stock" headlamps have been sourced and fitted by John Lewis as the silvering on the originals had started to fail.
In the crew cab, the radio, handset and speaker have now been fitted and immediately this has brought the cab back to life. The intention now is to install a small "bluetooth" system, played through the original speaker, to run original radio soundtracks appropriate to the service period. Also, in the cab (and pump bay) the replacement interior lights have been installed and are fully functioning.
Graham has finished the painting on the remaining ladder section at the foot of the main ladder and also given the steering column a much needed lick of paint, Trevor has also managed to get the " High Wind warning" pennant bracket at the head of the top extension painted in silver which is far better than the rust colour we had been looking at!
The foot mount for the Francis searchlight is now back on the roof ready for the light itself although this is currently being rewired and the hunt is on for an original " Niphan" bullet connector to complete the period look.
Finally, when the original interior cab lights, and the pump bay light, were removed for restoration, it quickly became apparent that they were beyond redemption!. It was fortunate that the identical " cage" lamps are still produced so with 3 new ones on site they were immediately fitted and connected, all 3 work perfectly!