We have a mixture of news this week, looking outside at some contract work, preparations for next week’s Power from the Past and a day at a hugely impressive narrow gauge railway in Staffordshire.
Leyland Cub 716
Seb at Historic Vehicle Restoration continues to submit his regular reports showing the dramatic progress being made on the restoration of our Leyland Cub. The key components have been shot-blasted and primed and the chassis has already been reassembled. Each item requires further work to attend to the ravages of time, corrosion plus wear and tear and quite a few of those components can be seen in these images, with thanks to Seb Marshall for supplying them. Timber has also been ordered to enable a start to be made on the restoration of the bodywork and the inventory of work completed makes impressive reading!
We have also benefited from being able to purchase a substantial quantity of Cub spares, on which I will report in due course…
Below: We start with some photographs showing the restoration of 716’s chassis. Of note is the bolted assembly of the chassis, rather than being riveted – though this has aided the total dismantling of the chassis.
Below: The front ends of the chassis rails require renewal work as can be seen here, work currently in hand. It is also reported that the front axle is distorted, the likely cause being an accident during the Cub’s working life for Crosville. This is also being attended to at the moment.
Below: Numerous other mechanical components have also been blast cleaned and painted, receiving attention as necessary to enable reassembly onto the chassis.
Power from the Past – first arrivals
Below: Today the first four waggons from the Ffestiniog Welsh Highland Railway arrived at Beamish, with more vehicles to follow next week along with the well known Quarry Hunslet ‘Britomart’. Here the new arrivals bask in the evening sunshine with an altogether unfamiliar backdrop for them!
Below: Two of the arrivals are ex slate waggons converted, by the application of internal boarding, for the carriage of granite in 1919. These (number 177 and 181) are destined to stay at Beamish for a few years where they will be overhauled by a small team of volunteers for operation here and later on the FR itself. They are presently unable to run on FR rails due to the condition of their running gear and style of coupling – this not being an issue on our low-speed industrial system.
Below: Again, joining us for a few years, is this ex Penrhyn Fullersite (slate dust – bagged and used in construction) waggon. Restored on the FR by the Lilla group, it will match nicely with Edward Sholto during its loan to Beamish.
Below: Here just for the event is the FR’s low sided general goods waggon (better known as the beer waggon, on account of photographic evidence of it carrying such a cargo!). It was completed in 2012. Note the unusual inside bearings and deep purple colour scheme.
Below: Meanwhile the challenge is on to prepare the railway for operation…!!!
A trip to Staffordshire
On Tuesday the launch of Hudswell Clarke No.1238 took place at Statfold Barn Farm in Staffordshire. It was a private gathering to celebrate the remarkable life of this engine, built in 1916 for use on the narrow gauge War Department Light Railways on the Western Front, but diverted (with sister 1239) to Ghana to work at a magnesium mine, a vital resource for the war effort. It lived on through the war, the next war until in 1948 it was involved in an accident that sadly killed its driver and left 1238 upside down in a swamp for 48 years. It was recovered by a British mining engineer working in the area, and displayed at the mine before being donated (after lengthy negotiation) to the Moseley Railway Trust in 2008. It was repatriated to the MRT for display, later moving to a private site where a comprehensive reconstruction took place. It was such a thorough rebuild that it really goes beyond restoration and a book, published by the MRT, will shortly be available revealing just how extensive the work required was. The frame plates, cylinders, wheel centres and some other components are original, but most of the rest is new. So not dissimilar to our own No.18 and certainly an ambitious project that has now come to fruition with the debut of 1238 in steam for the first time. It will appear in public for the first time at the MRT’s ‘Tracks to the Trenches’ event in mid September, at their Apedale Valley Railway near Stoke on Trent. See http://www.ww1-event.org/ for more information – an event not to miss!
Below: GP39 (left) a previous visitor to Beamish is seen alongside 1238 during the official launch. Also in steam was Hudswell Clarke No.19 (seen in last year’s Threlkeld post on this site). The trio worked passenger trains together over Statfolds running line, which is in the process of being doubled in width as an additional line has been laid alongside (in concrete, tramway style) to increase capacity and provide a dedicated two foot gauge line, the original being dual gauge. New coaches have been built to a traditional style to operate on the lines and plans for expansion are being developed. The line includes some impressive gradients, a return loop and an intermediate station.
Below: Statfold is home to a large collection of narrow gauge locomotives, the majority of which are now in working order. A large museum building with turntable in the centre has been built in order to display them and other artifacts, and further expansion of the displays is planned in coming years.
Below: In recent years Graham’s collection has been greatly strengthened by the repatriation of a number of locomotives previously ‘lost’ to UK enthusiasts. The mid 1960s saw a large (ish) number of ex Penrhyn and Dinorwic Quarry locomotives sold to dealers and collectors in the USA and Canada. ‘Michael’ and ‘King of the Scarlets’ (both ex Dinorwic) fall into this category. Neither has been touched whilst away and as a result both are in very original condition and thus present an interesting restoration vs conservation challenge for their owner.
Below: Another repatriation is this Peckett ‘Liassic’, seen in its original paintwork, as last seen at Southam Cement Works where a number of these engines worked. In front of it is ‘Triassic’, of the same class and origin.
Below: Blog readers may recall the transfer of McEwen Pratt 0-4-0PM ‘Jacob’ to Statfold Barn from Beamish a few years back – here is the finished project, seen resplendent in Jacobs Biscuits livery and on display in one of the exhibition halls of Statfold’s developing Museum. Looks rather good doesn’t it?!
Below: Another recent restoration for display is the oldest surviving standard gauge Hunslet, ‘Hodbarrow’ which has been recovered from a pile of dismantled components and given an extensive (and expensive) programme of work in Statfold’s workshops in readiness for display in the Museum. Whilst further work would be required before it can steam, it is now in one piece after decades dismantled and looks superb in lined green livery complete with the name ‘Hodbarrow’ on the saddle tank – this linking it to the hematite mines in Cumbria where it worked and where our restored side tipping waggon also originated. It is very nice to see two engines that had little chance of restoration receiving the attention they deserve and being on display for the public in a rather better form than had previously been the case!