Here is a smattering of news from the Transport & Industry department at Beamish. The main focus at the moment is getting ready for the new season and putting plans in place for the forthcoming Great North Festival of Transport -so not much happening then! More on the festival to come, meanwhile, here is a quick look around the site at what we are doing…
Below: Good progress is now being made on the new Colliery engine shed with the brick walls progressing rapidly and the building being clad. The doors will have a wooden finish once hung, though are steel in frame and cladding internally.
Below: Chris and Peter are making progress on the spring tester, to be used on Sunderland 16 and other projects and enabling the deflection to be tested and compared to the paperwork we hold for each spring per its original specification.
Below: 16’s truck frame is now in undercoat and awaits some welding work to the hornplates before a final coat of gloss can be applied. Internally, the tram has received repairs to water ingress including one new ceiling panel in the upper deck saloon.
Below: In between track grinding in various places, Darren and Mark have prepared the foundations for a new Colliery outlet, based on the Navvy Mission Halls of the Victorian era, this wooden building will replace the existing Pitman’s Pantry and ice-cream outlet in the Colliery and hopefully add further to the depth of the street and roofscape in this area.
Below: The Anderson Shelter is now completed and assembled – it awaits burial and landscaping…
Below: A remarkable discovery on Sheffield 264 – LNER? Surely not?! Perhaps an indication of Mr Vollans railway company allegiances… Rumour has it that a GWR shirt button roundel has been found beneath the paintwork on the other side – something I can neither confirm nor deny…!!!
Below: Just playing now!
Below: Tony is progressing the preparation of the lower saloon for painting, to follow later in the programme. It is also now planned to bring the upper deck into the Erecting Shop for re-skinning and other repairs. The truck awaits 16’s to be completed and vacate the workshop before being dismantled for overhaul.
Below: Its steam test season – Coffee Pot No.1 is seen with safety valve lifting for its live steam inspection with the boiler inspector. David Grindley, weary from a long winter of preparation for these tests (10 boilers!) looks on. Off site, the Fowler steam roller ‘Rambler’ is receiving some boilerwork, identified by the new RSA inspector, including welding of grooving and some work on the tubeplate. It will also receive its new chimney base and a new smokebox door ring, inline valve from the mechanical lubricator and a new set of tubes. The firebars are pretty weary so will also need attention. It is planned to refresh the paintwork upon its return, and attend to the canopy. So a decent ten-yearly then! The Steam Mule is being retubed as it required no other work. It will be good to have this pair back in action again.
You will also find a new stocklist for 2014 on this site – available via the menus at the top of the page. Andy Martin, who is responsible for the smooth running of the blog has left Beamish for new opportunities, but good sport that he is, he has agreed to assist with the blog and resolving the results of my clumsy and ill-informed attempts at design or web development! The intention is to continue to develop the content and I will continue to scan interesting literature and create galleries that I think will appeal to readers looking for information about Beamish’s transport collections…
Below: Jonathan Hill is working on the restoration of the Mills Fulford side car, to attach to the big V-twin Dene motorcycle. It is making great progress in his own workshop and the body has now been reunited with the chassis as seen in these photographs. In his own words, work has included:
Work on re-skinning the body with beech ply, following repairs to the wood frame are complete and the cane beading has been applied. The paintwork has reached the undercoat stages and awaits the top coat after careful matching with original paintwork in hidden areas around the door frame. The original transfer survived on the door and is a remarkable survivor.
The chassis has required extensive work on the shackles and body mounting points, which were very worn. A new wheel bearing assembly and axle have been made to rectify a bent axle and bearings, which had been repaired over the years with pieces of tin,etc. The sidecar mounts have been completed following a preliminary fitting last year. Various parts are now awaiting polishing and nickel plating. The chassis will soon be ready for enamelling, using is a wet stove process, which will retain the correct appearance for the metalwork.
Once complete, the chassis and body will return to the RHEC for trimming at the museum and fitting to the motorcycle. I will shortly be adding the comprehensive article which appeared in Old Glory recently to the archive of articles on Dene and its motorcycles.
And finally… I’m sure Jonathan will post on the subject, but the Colliery Stables are now nearing completion in readiness for their formal opening on the 29th March – on the Saturday of ‘Old King Coal’, the first segment of the Great North Festival of Transport.