Following on from Jonathan’s post showing the work undertaken more or less behind the scenes at Beamish, here is a taster of what is ongoing, off site, as well as a quick look back at progress on the trams here.
Below: On Wednesday we had a group visit to Historic Vehicle Restoration to view the Leyland Cub and also discuss progress on our Morris Commercial. More of the latter further on, but we start with a view of 716 standing on its own wheels, with panelling starting to be fitted and with the seat arrangement clearly visible internally.
Below: Inside the saloon, two long bench seats extend from the rear of the saloon forwards over the wheel arches. These are so designed as to allow maximum width between the arches for the passage of wheelchairs. The cushions for these seats are extremely comfortable – a leap forward in comfort compared to the present buses (and trams) at Beamish.
Below: In the forward section of the saloon are eight tip-up seats (four on each side), to give a cumulative total of 16 in full seated guise (against 20 of the original). These are Optare seats, re-covered and with enhancements to match the interior but also durable, proven and available off the shelf – useful for the longevity of the bus in operation. The floor will be covered in linoleum, onto which anchors for wheelchairs (max four) will be fitted.
Below: The new fuel tank in its cradle.
Morris Commercial overhaul
Below: The work on the Morris has, perhaps predictably, become far more extensive than was outwardly apparent. The engine is receiving a comprehensive rebuild whilst the running gear, drive train, suspension, brakes, wheels, electrics, fuel system and sundry details area also being worked on.
Below: Correct pattern dome-headed pistons are being fitted – a military specification having been (incorrectly) fitted previously. Fortunately, HVR employ an expert on the marque and this has led to an availability of spare parts we might not otherwise enjoyed.
Below: The crankshaft is in sound condition and is being fitted with new bearings/brasses throughout.
Below: New tyres of more accurate profile are also being installed, the wheel hubs being stripped and repainted to enable this.
The engine block of the Morris is now receiving contract attention, whilst work continues on the rest of the lorry. When back at Beamish, probably in July, it will receive a period style container body and a full repaint before it starts its regular and busy role with the period food team on delivery work around the Museum.
Below: In order to create more space within the tram depot, Sunderland 101 is to be traversed sideways onto the non-railed Road 5. With one tyre removed it is awkward to shunt and its move will enable us some breathing space to commence the assembly of Sheffield 264 shortly.
Below: New vertical alignment pins for Sheffield 264 are seen here after delivery.
Below: The pins pass through the truck frame and then the axlebox pendulum keeps – seen here. These have been welded up and re-centred for the pins to pass through. Once painted, these components will be reassembled onto the truck, the wheels for which are expected back from Boston Lodge any day now. This will give us a rolling truck once again, onto which the overhauled motors can be re-fitted and then the bottom and top decks attached – enabling reassembly and painting to be completed – sounds easy when you say it quickly!
Out and about
Below: While in Byfleet, we were treated to a trip across to the nearby London Bus Museum at Brooklands, aboard this rather fine Tilling Stevens petrol-electric bus which was on test. The bus museum focusses on London’s buses, predominantly London Transport but also its predecessors where examples can be displayed – including three horse buses, to of which are on display at Beamish at present following the Horses at Work weekend in April.
Below: The restoration of this 1917 AEC Y Type has just been completed and it is on display in the museum courtesy of its owner to reflect such vehicles later use carrying passengers to obviate post-war transport vehicle shortages. Rather nice isn’t it?! More on these here: http://hmvf.co.uk/forumvb/showthread.php?20053-Ex-WD-Lorry-Buses