We have received some good news regarding the boiler certificate. Our boiler insurers have agreed to allow the certificate start date to be reset. This means that we can recover the year lost since the steam test in Bury. The insurers requirement is that the boiler must be subject to a hydraulic test which will set the new start date, with an ‘in the frames’steam test to follow when we are ready.
Unfortunately, when tested, the new copper firebox tubeplate to (old) side sheets lap joints were insufficiently water-tight meaning the boiler would not maintain the required hydraulic pressure. We fully expected these joints to give some trouble during the initial period of steaming so, whilst a problem at this time is disappointing, it is not a major upset.
The lap most likely requires some straightforward caulking work to seal it once more. This would have already happened (Riley’s are ready to come to Minehead) if it were not for COVID-19. Being located in a Tier 3 area temporarily ruled out a visit from Riley’s. As frustrating as this is for us all there is little we can do about it.
On a positive note, the delay in repairs does work in our favour as, until it is completed, the boiler cannot be recertified. We stand to gain several more months than we might otherwise have done, especially if COVID-19 restrictions remain strict into the first few months of 2021, as they seem likely to do and thus further delaying repairs.