RHEC and Roll (er)...

RHEC and Roll (er)…

With all of the news about the future developments to the forefront of our minds, here is a look around at the projects that continue to make progress in the RHEC and around the Museum (as ever, looking specifically at transport and industry matters)…


Below: Work on the living van continues with Tony focusing on rebuilding the clerestory whilst Phil has been preparing the body panels for etch priming.  Extensive filling and sanding has taken place in order to ensure a high-class finish.  A new aluminium end panel has been made, new beading purchased to fit onto this and I am looking to source new steel mudguards – which if we are lucky will be available ‘off the shelf’ – an unusual occurrence in restoration, so fingers crossed on this front!

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Below: Rambler’s canopy reconstruction is entering the final stages, seen here inverted in order for the bolts to be shortened, primed and painted.  The timber canopy has now been fitted and awaits detailing, but the next step will be to fit and paint the canvas covering.


Below: The RAC box is now on the home straight – see photo in another posting of a similar example at the Brooklands Museum.  We will probably look at restoring a whole suite of 1950s era street furniture as part of our HLF funded programme, and have plenty in store that can be given a similar treatment to this project.


Below: Shaun and Daniel have been working full-time on the production of windows for St Helens Church (ex Eston and now rebuilt in our Georgian landscape).  Their hard work is now in the Erecting Shop for David to paint, before being taken down to the church for fitting, part of the gradual progress on its completion, the stonework etc. having been finished last year.


Below: A couple of shots showing the Y7 lifted in order for the rear driving wheelset to be moved to the Tanfield Railway for some attention to the tyre profile on one of the wheels.

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Below: Whilst large lumps of the engine are away with contractors, numerous fittings, levers and sets of linkage have been overhauled in readiness for painting and then fitting to the roller once the full reassembly stage is reached.IMG_2507

Below: Here is the overhauled transmission brake (rollers being required to have two forms of brake by this stage).  The other is a friction brake with wooden block acting on the rear rolls and applied by a rotary handle on the footplate.


Below: The band for the brake, with renewed steel strip and the old fittings riveted in place, ready for sending to a contractor for lining.


Below: The main bulkhead seen in place.  The nearer end of the bonnet is supported by the radiator.  Numerous holes enable rods, wires and fittings to pass through or be attached to this.


Below: The fuel tank on the left is that received with the roller, but is not original and is in need of repair.  On the right is the spare obtained with CC 002 (see ‘Rolling Restorations for more on this).  This will be used on R025, adding an additional (and sound!) genuine Barford & Perkins component to the restoration.


Below: The main engine block, complete with a template for the head gasket – this is provided by the manufacturer as a cheaper means of testing the fit, before a rather more expensive (very expensive!) copper based gasket is made (plus one spare).



An interesting feature on one of the drawings in the National Collection here:


We now take a rare look at the personnel aspect of the team:

Keeper of Industry

Things at Beamish seldom stand still and so it is great to announce that Jonathan Kindleysides is now officially the Keeper of Industry, taking on elements of his previous role as Assistant Keeper, working on mining life subjects here and expanding these to include the Fairground, Printshop and Garage.  Jonathan still has plans aplenty for the Colliery area and brings a great advantage to the T&I management team of having worked for many years out on site as a member of the engagement team.  He also brings a great deal of knowledge about mining in the north east and is a great example of a member of staff working their way up through the team.

Keeper of Transport

We are very pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Ellis as the new Keeper of Transport at Beamish.  Matt comes to us with an excellent pedigree in operational and curatorial elements of transport, being formerly the Operations Coordinator at the National Railway Museum and a fireman on the Ffestiniog Railway.  His work on the various major events held at the NRM set him up well for working on our own events and ensuring that we keep delighting the visitors, so they keep coming back!