Since February 2012, work on the removal of the last remaining item to be dismantled – the inner firebox – has been underway. This has resulted in more than fifty rivets being removed by grinding off the heads, drilling out some of the remaining metal and then punching out the rest – a very hard and time-consuming exercise.
After all these rivets around the foundation ring were removed, it would have been usual to cut through the stays with oxy-acetylene and jack out the inner firebox from the top.
However, in this instance, this will not be possible since major deterioration of the inner box caused by it being exposed to the elements for a very long time has thinned it such that there is not enough strength in it to enable this to happen and it will therefore have to be cut out in small pieces.
When this has happened, the Trust’s boiler inspector, Ian Vinton, who was appointed in early 2012, will be called to assess the condition of the water space of the outer firebox and a procedure agreed for its repair. This surface cannot be effectively seen until the inner (scrap) firebox is removed.
Funds presently available are expected to cover the costs associated with this repair – but there is insufficient in the kitty to fund the provision of a new firebox.
With the firebox on its back, the foundation ring rivets are being burnt out. This also illustrates the condition of the extremely corroded inner firebox, one surface of which has large holes in it.