Covering the period up to and including Saturday 14th February 2015
As ever there is lots happening but not necessarily different enough in appearance to report on the blog! We also have a huge amount of planning and preparation for the Great North Steam Fair taking place, plus the ongoing projects that we hope to complete this year before embarking on the Remaking Beamish project construction in 2016.
One for the tramway enthusiast! March 7/8 will see the first of our monthly transport weekends (to be named ‘Power from the Past’ using our now deleted September title). Following the great success of the 2014 themed weekend which saw the whole service operated by ex Blackpool trams, we are repeating the idea of a dedicated tramway theme over these two days. Attractions include:
- Four tram service, running in both directions (for those passing-loop photograph opportunities!)
- Last weekend of Blackpool 280 in operation at Beamish before it returns to Heaton Park
- A chance to ride Gateshead 10 (as BR 26) – probably one of the last occasions it will operate before withdrawal for overhaul (to include extensive work on its bogies)
- Blackpool tram line-up outside the depot on each day – featuring 31, 280, 284 and 703 (101)
- Our newly acquired Brush Railcar No.284 on display outside the tram depot for inspection alongside 101 (the latter also on static display following its failure in January)
- A Saturday evening excursion – a fundraiser for 284’s restoration and limited to 40 participants. The evening will include a depot and workshop tour with me, trips around the circuit on 280 and 10 with photo opportunities in the Town Street and at Pockerley, free of the crowds! If participants can stand it (!) there may also be a talk following the depot tour, on the history of the Beamish Tramway, held in the lecture room at Foulbridge. We will be looking for about £20 per head donation (cash!) towards this and 684’s fund…
Details remain to be confirmed, but hopefully enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunity this presents for enhanced access to the tramway and tramcars over the weekend.
Below: A look back to 2014’s tramway weekend which starred Blackpool 167 from the National Tramway Museum.
More on our ‘first weekend of the month’ programme for 2015 will be announced in due course.
Below: We’ve become very attached already to Portbury, which is in superb condition and already a favourite for the crews. Here are some more views of it at work at Rowley Station, giving you an idea of what you will see here for the best part of the rest of the year…
Below: Dave Hewitt took these photos of Portbury in service over Valentine’s weekend. The engine is in steam all of this week for half-term, then again each weekend from late March. Looks very nice doesn’t it?!
Below: Ian is seen reconstructing the wooden porch on the signalbox. Once this is completed (the steps will be tackled later in the year when workshop capacity allows) then there are a few details to attend to and the sash windows to refit (these have gone to a contractor in order to speed up work).
Below: Over in the Colliery, installation of the turnout continues…
Below: The finishing of the Gallopers steps is occupying everyone’s time in the workshops at the moment, with the various components primed and undercoated before glossing and then assembly. Various parts have been test fitted to prove they fit!
Below: The red painted step supports can be seen in the background, whilst the purple undercoated steel sections are for the swing boat brake bar – the original was timber and was deemed beyond repair so we have substituted another of the box section with dressed-ends components.
Below: Work on the James motorcycle moves slowly along as and when the volunteer team can look at it.
Below: The Barford roller’s gearbox has been refitted, which in turn will enable further assembly work on the footplate area to take place.
Below: A close up of the flywheel, clutch linkage and flexible coupling on the roller.
Below: The seat box for R025 is also well advanced. The rebated section to the left contains the seat whilst the lidded section to the right is the toolbox.
Below: Half term week is focussed on a number of WW1 stories (more can be found on the main website). As part of this the 1904 thresh-disinfector has been horsed and displayed around the Colliery. More info on this can be found here: http://18.104.22.168/beamishtransportonline.co.uk/transport-stocklist/horse-drawn/1904-patent-thresh-disinfector-ref-1970-61/