My apologies to those who have missed the blog for the last week or so. The completion of a manuscript for a book detailing Samson’s history and the construction of the replica plus the need to complete the Road Roller Association winter magazine (which I edit) left no time for blogging! However, we resume this week with a look over the last two weeks both at Beamish and elsewhere…
Below: Volunteers Peter and Bill have been busy in the RHEC stripping some of the rounding board components from the Gallopers and re-fitting them onto new boards, the original plywood boards fitted in the ride’s distant past now being life expired.
Below: Tony and Matt B have been machining wood for making the roof structure and rebuilt end frames for the Waggonway coach.
Below: They are also fitting a new floor into the Access Bus. The original stripped, the relative lack of structure supporting the floor can be seen here. Chris will weld in new braces and brackets, the floor itself being ‘Buffalo’ board, as used on modern buses (and lorry decks) which should be far more durable and resistant to rot as well as less flexible – especially with the reinforced floor supports.
Below: The footbridge at Rowley has been scaffolded and encapsulated pending stripping, shot-blasting and re-painting. It will also have a structural survey at this stage.
Below: Chris has been manufacturing a new stainless steel ashpan for No.18 (Lewin) – the aim being to make it easier to prepare/dispose and more suitable to increased operation around the Colliery in the future – one of our medium term goals.
Below: Trial assembly of the ends and roof supports for the Waggonway coach.
Below: The Friends team have very nearly completed the overhaul of the James motorcycle, seen here nearing the stage when a test start-up of the engine is now being considered.
Below: Chris has also completed reconstructing the radiator header and base tank for the Barford & Perkins motor roller R025. The core is away with a specialist, who will require these parts for a test fitting and pressure testing. This work had been done elsewhere but the standard proved unsatisfactory and so the work was brought in-house.
Below: Each year the transport team attend a ‘Mutual Improvement Class’ and this year saw the team split into steam and tramway/bus staff. Various topics are covered and one part of the tramway session was for drivers to try towing a ‘failed’ tramcar as a rehearsal for having to do so during the season should the need arise. Blackpool 31 and Sunderland 16 were coupled together for this part of the training to take place.
Below: Tramway Supervisor Stuart Jennings addresses the group.
Below: Tram & Bus Technician Russell Walker also addressed the group to explain new inspection methods to apply to the buses on site, as both first and last users. The B-Type was used as a host for this session which was repeated for several groups during the day.
Below: A classroom session was also a feature of the activity, which has also been repeated (with differing themes) for all of the steam operations staff.
Leyland Cub 716
Below: A few photos from Seb Marshall showing progress on 716, complete with its new wings and completed lower body panelling. He is currently progressing assembly of the engine and gearbox.
Below: The overhaul, which became rather more involved than any of us could have anticipated, of the Morris Commercial is nearing completion. Here is the refurbished carburettor.
Below: A new flexible coupling was procured (with some difficulty) and fitted.
Below: The flexible coupling is seen as fitted, this being one of the last components that was being waited on for this project’s mechanical phase.
Below: The seat of the Morris has always been unsatisfactory and so a the backrest has been re-upholstered and a new base made, which fits properly onto its support and will also (thankfully!) improve the leg-room and allow reverse gear to be more comfortably selected.
Below: After many delays and upsets, Dunrobin’s new cylinder block has finally been completed and hydraulically tested. David Elliott witnessed the test and supplied this photograph. It will now be delivered to the Severn Valley Railway where it will enable the mechanical works on the frames to make more vigorous progress.
Below: 264 has received its first coats of blue paint to the dash and waist panels – and very nice it looks too! Here are some ‘in progress’ views showing how the livery is now starting to come together as the finishing details are applied to the top deck bulkheads.