As a bit of a bonus, here is an additional news update for this week, to be followed by one next week then an intermission for Christmas, resuming again at the beginning of January.
First heavy snow of the winter…
Below: Perhaps appropriately for the Christmas build-up, the snow came down in some quantity on Saturday, though all attractions carried on operating throughout. This gave the chance for a few photos taken in the ensuing white-out. Not idea to photograph in as it is like peering through dense dust, but atmospheric all the same! Here is Portbury on the Rowley shuttle.
Steam Operations Supervisor Jorden Sayer and driver Richy Haswell provided more images from the same day:
Below: Taking water behind the Town over lunch.
Below: The Rowley team – Jorden, Ron, Rob and John.
Below: And a similarly undeterred Waggonway team with Richy, Matty, Glyn and Jack.
Below: Friday evening brought a batch of images from Seb Marshall at Historic Vehicle Restoration showing the latest progress on the Cub (716) and Morris Commercial. We start with the Cub, which has had the bonnet completed and work started on the wings. It is now looking rather impressive as a vehicle and I’ll try and contrast these views in the end of year posting in a week or so to those showing its extraction from a Cheshire hedge…
Below: The work has involved restoring an appropriate ‘short’ radiator (the bus had ended up with a later long Cub radiator, which was restored before we obtained this one and will therefore be placed in store for the West Riding Cub), making new bonnet sides (complete with punched louvers) and a new top. Catches etc. are also new, and the installation of the wings and refurbished light fittings will really set off the ‘face’ of the vehicle well.
Below: The lower panels are now attached permanently and bonded/primed, with the rear corners more or less complete. This leave the offside front drivers panel to complete. The front and rear roof domes are the originals and require further repair and adjustment before the new centre panels can be finally attached. This will then largely complete the body shell, leaving doors and windows to be made and fitted. The interior seating is made but there is the interior trim and painting plus wiring and detailing still to be completed.
Below: The Morris has also seen further work this last week, with the bulkhead/firewall being stripped and painted whilst accessible, as seen here in these during and after photos. The final finish will be black.
Below: The engine has now been timed and the head fitted since we last saw it, and awaits final finishing and installation into the Morris. We hope to have the 33cwt truck back in January, for further work in the RHEC and a full repaint.
Below: Saturday (before it snowed!) saw some progress on the ongoing restoration of the Ffestiniog Railway granite waggon. As can be seen here, much work has centred on the reconstruction of the centre-spine, through which the train is pulled and therefore needs to have its structural integrity restored. Old metal has been cut away or trimmed back and new metal introduced and bolted in. A mixture of bolts and rivets will secure these parts before the frame is painted and the new floor installed (which we have in stock, along with the partially refurbished door for the end of the waggon).
Below: A familiar face (Ben, the Border Collie) in an unfamiliar sidecar – much photographed with owner Ian on the Museum’s Matchless combination, Ben is seen trying out the P&M to assess his future travel requirements once this machine is recommissioned next year!
Below: The slightly misty frame to these photos comes from taking photographs outside in the snow, and the subsequent internal condensation in the camera! However, it nicely frames the team working on the restoration of the James motorcycle, now dated to 1959 and in the closing stages of its return to the roads of Beamish…
Below: The horse tram, N&G 49, has now been glazed and the team are adding additional beading as and where required. The roof/top deck floor has also been made and secured with the end profiles cut to shape. This will be canvassed in the new year, whereupon focus on the dash panels, brake handles and manufacture of the staircases will be next on the list of things to complete before attention is turned to replicating the entire top deck (seating and railings).