Below: A sample of the removed tubes showing localised blisters, which have perforated the tube wall. All of our steam engines are subject to a rigorous water treatment regime which is independently and regularly monitored, so why these tubes have oxidised in this way is something we are currently investigating. The white chalk mark circles one of the holes.
Below: Whilst the big lumps of Dunrobin are subject to the attentions of various specialists, there are some smaller jobs that we can progress from the Beamish end, and Dave Young has set himself the challenge of making the replacement cylinder lubricator. In the photo below the surviving original, from the drivers side on the front of the smokebox, can be seen following refurbishment. There was one on the fireman’s side, which was removed when the air pump was mounted on the front running plate. After a search following our purchase of Dunrobin it failed to materialise so Dave has produced the pattern also seen in the photo below (three patterns plus one core box – this produces the sand mould that fits inside the body pattern to leave a hollow void). These will shortly be cast and Dave will machine the parts to his usual high standards. This also leaves a very nice pattern to join the collection of Victorian locomotive fittings. I hope to one day photograph and catalogue all of the patterns we hold and place the inventory online for anyone else who may have need of them – any volunteers for this work would be very welcome (it would be useful if they are familiar with pattern design and steam locomotive construction in order to identify them, though many are labelled and some tie in with our drawings collection).
Below: Puffing Billy suffered three blow tubes on the return passage over the summer. These have been replaced and the engine is seen receiving a hydraulic test at the NRM York. Our boiler inspector, Joe Moore looks on (left), whilst Matt Ellis (right) pumps the boiler up to twice working pressure for the test.