Having started to number the weekly news posts, it is clear that something went awry and we are a little short on numbers – I blame starting the numbering mid-year! Meanwhile, as before we have been engaged on a great deal of maintenance work, planning and workshop moves, so here are some photos showing the more photogenic activity over the last seven days…
Below: 58A has now reached the end of 2014 in aluminium primer and with extensive preparatory work having been carried out to the bodywork pending the commencement of painting next spring. Tony is still restoring internal panelling and the external steps are still to complete, which will be re-fitted once the solebars have been painted. A job for the new year is to inspect then overhaul/replace the drawgear. Still a lot of work to do but it will enter service in 2015, offering wheelchair carrying capacity on our running line at Rowley for the first time.
Road menders depot/council depot
Below: It feels like I’ve been talking about this project for years (I have!), so it is very pleasing to see the planning come to fruition as the road menders yard construction began this week. The intention is to open this new display at the start of the 2015 season, as a new period area and putting at least 15 of the larger exhibits on display. The restored trusses are seen here in place atop new uprights. The lean-to section of the shed is still to be assembled.
Below: A close up of the trusses, showing their slender form and traditional shape. Worth saving!
Below: A wider view – we have just acquired a gallows crane which may be reassembled on the coaling platform (to the right) to add a further period feature to this area. The construction of the pit will commence in January.
Below: The shed will be clad in the new year, with corrugated sheeting throughout. A wooden fence and gate (recovered from the corner building site in the Town) will be fitted across the space to the right of the main shed, creating a courtyard. The steam roller, Rambler, will reside here, as a working base for (hopefully) regular operation in the 2015 season. Numerous other road mending and construction exhibits will be included in the display, which I hope will become an important display of this equipment in a UK and European museum, especially as it will be a working yard!
The aforementioned gallows crane, of a type seen on NER coal platforms and which originates (I believe) from a Caledonian Railway goods shed. It has come from the museum at Summerlee and is in generally sound condition and certainly suitable for static display. We have a number of these cranes in store so don’t be surprised to see further examples appear around Beamish in the future! After some puzzling over this one in the gloom this evening, it would appear that the large wheel is mounted high up either on the jib or on at the top of the vertical post, and this drives the chain drum which lifts and lowers the hook. The wheel is connected, by rope probably, to a smaller winch drum at the base of the vertical pillar, and is fitted with a simple band brake and squared shaft for a windlass type handle.
The latest progress reports from Historic Vehicle Restoration show the team there have been as busy as ever with the restoration of the Crosville Cub. Here are some of the pictures along with notes on what they show…
Below: The Cub now has a full set of appropriate wheels, complete with new tyres (and a spare).
Below: The finished front cross member and starting handle connection.
Below: The area around the pedal box.
Below: The rear diff and worm drive – the worm wheel is worn but felt to have some life in it yet, so this is now being overhauled ready for refitting to the rear axle assembly.
Below: The Solex carburettor has been taken from as-found to fully overhauled state…
Below: The original Leyland plate has been reinstated on the bulkhead – identifying the chassis as a KP2 once again. The outriggers for the wings and bonnet, which are replicas of the originals, have also been fitted.
Below: At the rear end the steel flitch plates that strengthen the floor beams can clearly be seen, along with sections of the curved cantrail being prepared for fitting above the rear door.
Below: With the curved cantrail sections grafted in place, a good idea of the rear end shape can be seen here. The rear wheel arch casing has also been made and trial fitted.
Below: The short pillars on the side panels are being made, the nearside front section being shown in this view. Also visible are the stiffening angles and the new front step box.
Below: The front roof hoop after recovery and repair.
Below: A low view of the offside showing the curve of the body profile and steel inserts on the waist rail.
The cover photo for this post shows Gateshead 10 (as BR 26) and Sunderland 16 reversing after exiting the depot and preparing to depart ‘the long way round’ for the Entrance at the start of this year’s last Christmas Evening event. This is probably one of the last time this combination will be seen as 10 will re-enter its slumber after tonight, pending its next planned overhaul (though it remains operational until such a time as that work will commence). Whilst there will be at least one more post this year, as this is the last of the regular series for 2014, it remains to thank everyone for following our progress, musings and work and wish you all a very happy Christmas and the very best for 2015 – when I hope you will be able to join us at Beamish and see some of the work we are doing and maybe attend one or two of our transport themed events, on which more will be announced next year…