Due to tedious IT problems, the previous bulletin was rather shorter than it was suppose to be – as I have to send images to my phone to process, then home to place online – but then our home broadband packed up and my work computer decided to take up a part time occupation as a desk ornament rather than functioning hardware. So, while I wait (with everything crossed!) for a computer that might enable a blog posting to be carried out at work in one simple action (!), here are some additional images missing from the previous update… (and apologies to colleagues who have to listen to my descriptive sermons directed at my computer during the day!).
Below: Unencumbered by any form of microprocessor, R025 engine components are now being brought back together following various bits of contract work. The main one has been the regrinding of the crankshaft and re-metalling the connecting rod bearings. The crankcase is seen here (left), the bearings in this also having received attention by a specialist in Darlington. The cylinder block can be seen to the right. Chris and John are now working on the reassembly of the myriad components that go into the engine.
Below: A close up of one of the crankshaft bearings, showing the newly metalled shell.
Below: The crankshaft, all shiny and re-ground ready for fitting. This sort of work is not cheap unfortunately and this alone has worked out at over £1400 to have dealt with.
Below: A box of connecting rods, again with the bearings restored and one replaced.
Below: Meanwhile the footplating has been rotated to enable the topside to be painted.
Below: Alongside, Phil is lining the showmans living van – a process that is transforming its appearance.
Power from the Past
As readers may know, our annual Power from the Past will be kicking off the Festival of Agriculture, from the 4 – 7th September. This is basically a working event, and centres around the transport collections at the Museum, so with this in mind, and the scarce link with agriculture, this will be the last event in this format for a while, with 2015 moving to a new theme centred around WW2 and Home Farm (plus transport of appropriate age!) to start the festival. From our point of view in organising the event, it us useful as it enables a clear demarcation between this event and the Great North Steam Fair, which will grow unabated with big plans for 2015’s event. However, we have an event to plan and for this year we are looking forward to welcoming some special visitors as usual.
Below: Making the most of Matt’s Ffestiniog Railway connections, Hunslet 0-4-0ST ‘Britomart’ will be travelling across to join Edward Sholto on the narrow gauge line. It is seen here in the company of Graham Lee’s ‘Fiji’, a stunning Hudswell Clarke recently restored and currently based on the FR/WHR.
Currently based at the Ffestiniog Railway.
Britomart was built for the Pen-yr-Oresedd Quarry by the Hunslet Engine Company (works number 707) in 1899. It was delivered to the Pen-yr-Oresedd Quarry in January 1900 and spent its entire working life there. The quarry maintained Britomart in working order until the early 1960’s. Britomart along with a similar locomotive Una were both out of work by June 1964, both were stored securely at the quarry.
A consortium of Ffestiniog Railway staff and volunteers purchased Britomart and moved the locomotive to the FR in June 1965. Britomart was overhauled at the FR and entered service there in July 1966. Apart from the fitting of vacuum brakes and FR standard chopper couplings to allow it to haul passenger trains, the locomotive is largely original. The new firebox fitted at the most recent overhaul being a spare purchased with the locomotive.
Britomart is often seen at the Ffestiniog on special and light workings and has travelled widely to other railways for events. It will now be able to add the North East to its list of places visited.
Below: To give the two Hunslets something to shunt, a selection of vehicles are also coming from Wales, with examples of FR rolling stock attending – seen below are Van 154, the open Beer wagon and the Mk2 Quarryman’s coach. Taliesin and Palmerston are not included in the loan! An ex Penrhyn Fullersite wagon is also visiting to give us a nice selection of rolling stock to demonstrate with the two locomotives. Matt has long sleeves and quite a number of plans up them, so as ever watch this space for future initiatives involving the FR and Beamish…