Covering the period up to and including Saturday 8th March 2015
Its slightly alarming to find we are now well into March and still feel some way off being ready for the new season which starts at the end of this month! Assuming there isn’t some magical time accelerator, it is perhaps a reflection of how much is going on across the Museum and how busy the transport & industry/site support/volunteer teams are. At least the weather is starting to show an inclination towards double figure temperatures on occasions now… Here, as ever, is a review of some of the evident changes over the last week.
Below: Chris has been busy fabricating a water tank for the narrow gauge, which will sit within a cast iron base and be placed atop the timber tower already installed in the Colliery. It will be fitted with a wooden lid and is aimed to be in pace for the GNSF event in a months time.
Below: The Friends volunteers have completed manufacture of the replica seat/tool box for R025. It now awaits painting. We were pondering on whether, as I have been building a new A Series seat/tool box in the same room, this is the first time multiple B&P roller boxes for B&P machines have been in production in the same place since 1934 when B&P was merged with Aveling & Porter? The makers plate is a replica, cast from one of my own roller’s plates, whilst the serial number (R025) was cast from the one which survived on the chassis.
Below: A large number of signs are in, or about to be in, production – this is one of three signs for the new council depot – in house colours of Union Blue (and which will have cream lettering). New signs for the Town tramway shelter, entrance and station are also in hand.
Below: We now have the backead for the boiler, and Dave is seen here setting up for tapping the gauge glass cock holes, using the radial arm drill to apply pressure centrally to the tap and ensure it is a true.
Below: This view shows the backhead marked up for drilling of pilot holes using the mag-drill (which clamps, using a magnet, to the surface). These holes will be used to spot holes on the angle ring and inner firebox, so won’t be opened out at this stage. In the background is the circular template that David made, and also the L shaped centre line locator, which has been used on both this component and the boiler barrel.
Below: The turnout in the Colliery is now levelled and ballasted, with work to complete the tie-rod and lever to follow. The team will next work on laying track on the pit at Rowley before focussing on the narrow gauge line ahead of the GNSF in April.
Beamish Rural District Council Depot
Below: We have taken delivery of two ex council tip-carts which will be overhauled and used in the 1950s area for refuse collection – note the pneumatic tyres rather than traditional cart wheels. The bodies tip and are also fitted with ‘greedy’ boards, to increase the capacity of the cart.
Below: A new roller in my small fleet is U092 – another B&P A Series roller and actually one of the first that I tried to buy. It originates from 1926 and was viewed as ‘spares’ but is rather better than that and has readily become operational. It needs some work, not least a new seat/toolbox (another one!) and brake blocks. I suspect it has been rebuilt, probably by Aveling Barford, as the radiator is of a later pattern and some castings have had the ‘Perkins’ removed from them, perhaps through modified patterns and undertaken at Grantham. One to research… There should be four ‘A’ types in the GNSF line up, as well as at least three other B&P machines.
Below: This roller has yet another style of seat, which as can be seen here is in pretty terrible condition! Sadly the serial number plate is missing, though I did photograph it on this roller two years ago, so a replica will be able to be made. It is possible that the spare seat/toolbox I have (from CC002) might be retrievable for use on this roller. Something to determine in the week ahead…