In this ‘Rolling Restorations’ I will review various roller related activities, starting with the restoration of Beamish’s D4 roller, R025.
Below: R025 came to us with what looked like a later-made fuel tank. It is quite unsuitable, the filler being located such that any spillage drips onto the potentially hot exhaust! To remedy this it seems a crude splash guard had been made to prevent a conflagration, but we thought we might go for something a little closer to original spec! To this end, the spare fuel tank from my own collection (originating from CC 002 – bought to donate its engine and other parts to the restoration of EE 067) has been donated to the project and, once the birds nest inside is removed, it will ensure an original B&P component is added to the sum total of R025 and also moves the fuel filler to a more logical location in relation to the bulkhead and engine.
Below: The engine block, still waiting on various parts from contractors, has been painted and also a pattern for the new head gasket made and supplied to a contractor. They have sent back a more substantial template, seen here (green) and this, once modified, will form the basis of a pair of new copper based gaskets (one is for spare) for the Albion engine. No expense spared! Hopefully the result of all of this attention will be a reliable and usable machine, capable of rolling our cricket pitch and dust roads. It is still some way off but completion in 2015 is mooted, and hopefully a debut at the Great North Steam Fair may be possible (no pressure Chris!) – an event at which we hope to have a strong road making and construction theme threaded through it.
Below: Attention has also turned to the panels that make up the bonnet. Of interest in particular are the brass bonnet catches – which we will need to clone and find new spring catches for – fortunately the latter are readily available from various autofactors. The handles will need to be cast however, and fitted with a turned spigot.
Below: I have been plodding along with the work on EE 067, cleaning up the radiator, freeing off the cap, replacing the drain tap and re-painting the red background on the header – I don’t know that these were painted, but this one was, so it I will perpetuate this. The spare radiator that I have, which will in time be fully restored with new core, will be left unpainted. This one has a lot of resin sealant – which does not polish! However, it is much improved in appearance and should at least hold water! I have a new casting for the ‘Pioneer’ badge that some A Series carried on the core, so this will also be fitted.
Below: These photos have appeared elsewhere on the blog, so are included here for completeness. This is the superb new smokebox door and ring that Vince Allen made from scratch using various spinnings and a lot of ingenuity. Shame to hide it behind the rolls really!
Below: The new tubes fitted and after the hydraulic took place, the boiler was drained to enable an inspection and a re-setting of the boiler cert to maximise the 14 month life we can get from this.
Below: By this week the front end was reassembled, with round headed bolts replacing rivets for the final fitting – so we can remove the smokebox in due course – and we know that the next 7/10 year anniversary will see a new front tubeplate being needed. A steam test looms, and I would hope to have the roller back in traffic for Power from the Past at the beginning of September, along with the Steam Mule and hopefully No.18 (Lewin).
Billy Etherington Auction
Below: The recent Cheffins Auction of Billy Etherington’s equipment saw a number of rollers for sale. Here a Greens DRM roller heads up a line-up also featuring two Aveling Barford GB rollers. I believe that the Greens roller was sold for scrap, for only around £700.
Below: This Marshall roller was purchased by Ian Craggs and will remain in Co Durham.
Below: This AB GB was sold for around £400, I believe for scrap. A great shame.
Below: We obtained this grader, for use at Beamish.
Below: We also purchased this 1953 GB roller, which should be an fairly quick restoration and will be turned out in full AB green livery.
More images of these rollers appear on the Roadmaking Gallery on this site – see Gallery heading at the top of the page.