25th November 2009
Today is a day of deliveries! And something of a red letter day for Beamish as two significant new acquisitions have arrived…
Firstly, we have agreed to purchase Fowler steam roller ‘Rambler’ – a regular attendee at Beamish over the past two years. Michael Davison delivered the engine last night and it is hoped that it will be in steam this coming Sunday, along with the Michael’s Marshall, Guy Rutter’s Wallis and the resident T3 roller ‘Fiddler’.
Below: A photograph of Rambler earlier this year when visiting Beamish to take part in a number of summer steamings.
Below: Rambler at the May ‘Power from the Past’ event – see blog archive.
Below: Rambler stops for fuel! The service station at Coxoe receives an unusual visitor last night!
Secondly, and something we are still pinching ourselves about, Beamish has purchased the 1893 built Savage 3-abreast steam roundabout from the Ayers family. This is the famous Sally Beach set and is in remarkably original condition. We have been told it is probably one of the best sets in the UK in terms of this, and is complete with centre and organ engine (though both require work before the ride can be operated under steam – it is currently electrically powered).
It is planned to have the gallopers up and running from Saturday, and they will be in action every weekend through to Christmas when we will dismantle it in order to overhaul the centre engine. Once this work is complete it will be re-erected on a new fairground site adjacent to the town… We are thrilled to have secured the ride and hope the museum’s visitors will appreciate it too! A common comment from visitors recently has been the lack of a fairground at the museum since the previous operator retired. This ride should make ammends!
Below: A photo of the ride in built up form. It is still fitted with the original (as far as we can ascertain) 87 key Gavioli organ.
Below: Two views of the Savage centre engine ‘May Queen’ (Savage, 1895/627) and organ engine (mounted on top of the smokebox).
Below: The set as arrived today. Here are the lorries:
Below: One of the first jobs was to tune the organ, work carried out by an aknowledged expert in the field, which was done in the tram depot using the supplied generator – some impressive smoke effects resulted!
Needless to day I will update the blog this weekend with more photos of the exciting activities in action! We have also bought the accompanying living van, built in 1891 by Orton and Spooners – this travelled with these gallopers throughout owner Sally Beach’s life, and is one of the best and most original in the UK. Also included in the sale is the original Savage water cart, coal cart and centre truck. These are incomplete and will be subject of a longer term restoration plan.
Below: A reminder that we are generally steaming every Sunday at the moment with one or more of the road engines – the 1889 Marshall approaches the car park at the Resource Centre whilst navigating around the site and heading for the open road.
Below: Shaun has completed the re-skinning of the Tarmac living van and is currently working on the window frames and doors. He will then raise the body in order to replace the cross members of the chassis, before we repaint the van and Kate, the Keeper of Social History, stocks it with appropriate furniture and chattels!