Though the day to day demands of the summer holidays places the support teams under a great deal of pressure (not least due to the number of water leaks that have occupied a great deal of the Site Support and Track & Plant team’s time lately), work is still progressing around the Museum, not least the extraordinary amount of painting that is being undertaken largely by one handyman, one painter, one seasonal painter and an apprentice painter. You only have to look around the Town to see the difference, with work now concentrating on Rowley Station – with plenty more programmed as long as the weather remains favourable!
Below: As mentioned above, Rowley is now receiving some long overdue maintenance to buildings and paintwork. The main station building is now more or less complete, with the exception of the ventilator and work to the guttering.
Below: The various noticeboards are being refreshed and will receive period posters and timetables in due course – replacing the awful plasticised ones that were previously a feature here.
Below: There are numerous new boards (including the Whistle ones) to install, and also this one for the entrance to the goods yard. There is nothing there to indicate what area you are entering and whilst I searched hard, I could not find a suitable example that had been photographed from outside of the railway environs, so this one is rather cobbled together from various NER sources as well as including desirable information for our visitors. Signwritten by Sarah it is now ready for installation. The black panels will include operational/timetable information in a North Eastern Railway style.
Below: The hook-a-duck stall is back! Previously restored by volunteers then damaged by wind, it is being strengthened and repainted for installation at the Fairground this autumn as part of a number of additions in that area, of which more in due course.
Below: The new water tower is starting to blend in, with a ladder found and to be fitted plus plenty of ash to soften the scene. In due course the rope and rail fencing will be removed (once the standard gauge is fenced) and so this vista will be further improved – a common complaint by photographers is that it gets in the way of their photos, and from crews that it can render climbing of the locomotive painful if the aim isn’t quite right…!!!
Below: Having had a Penrhyn overdose the previous weekend, I found I needed a fix this weekend, so Edward Sholto was steamed, cleaned and the much repaired smokebox door tested under working conditions. Here are two Leeds products, as Rambler was also in steam (Tuesday, Wednesday and Sunday each week usually) over the weekend, which saw a display of tractors and the Humber Quad also out in on the roads.
Below: In the Erecting Shop Matt Beddard is making good progress on Samson’s tender – the London Lead Co waggon that is being rebuilt from a number of unpromising piles of bits! We have enough bits for another, and maybe one more – any takers to sponsor the wheels though?!
Below: A modification to the waggon is to extend the solebars so that they buffer – the originals do this through the top rail on the body (I don’t know why they have buffers therefore but that is how they were!). Iron plates line the waggon and provide a door at the base for discharge of lead ore. The ironwork will be recovered from those dug out of the undergrowth here.
Below: Samson is also progressing with many little jobs being completed and work progressed on the boiler to enable riveting later this month. The front buffer beam has also been made and test-fitted.
Below: Dave has made the gear guard and this is seen in the workshop awaiting manufacture of a number of brackets that locate it both off the frames and onto the boiler (as well as the left hand bunker). Something else to paint!
The work on the Morris continues to reveal how poorly it is, but parts are now at least gathering to enable assembly – the aim being a mechanically sound and reliable vehicle that we can tidy up cosmetically once back at Beamish.
Below: The gearbox is overhauled and awaits re-fitting once the engine is completed.
Below: The overhauled and painted engine block.
Below: A great deal of work has been carried out on the engine to ensure its reliability and improve its rather lack-lustre previous performance.
Below: More bits of the engine awaiting assembly.
Below: The restored camshaft.
Below: Repaired manifolds for the engine.
Below: New wheel bearings are being fitted throughout – this being an original, with clear signs of a hard life.