Our operational U class, 31806 proved that she could be a bit of a fire starter during the hot weather in July. The cause was quickly traced to hot cinders falling through the dampers with the occasional one finding a bit of dry grass in the cess. The loco was quickly withdrawn for fitting with an ash-pan spay, usually standard equipment on all Swanage locos.
A new valve fitted to the fireman’s side feed water injector means the spray can be run when whilst putting water in the boiler. Its very effective and dumps a considerable flow of water in to the ash pan to keep it damped down. It was up and running just in time for rainy August. One can only try!