A mixed bag this week, catching up on various items that I haven’t posted for a fortnight or so…
Below: The market stalls are now complete, having been stained to protect and enhance the new wood used throughout their construction. They will debut at the Georgian Fair…
Below: Matt and I felt we really ought to push on with Glyder as we would like to get this project completed this year if we can and so make space for Edward Sholto to come up to the RHEC for retubing. Graham Morris (Glyder’s owner) has placed the engine on loan to us and we have an agreement over which bits of work are done by whom. As a result, the locomotive has been stripped down to enable the boiler to be examined and the wheels to be sent away for re-gauging to two-foot gauge.
Below: After a lengthy washout, the boiler has been revealed to be in very good condition. Studs need replacing, there is thinning in the smokebox bottom and a new set of tubes will be required, but it really does look very promising at this stage. A huge amount of muck was removed during the washout and the boiler left vented in order to dry out. The boiler inspector will be invited to examine it once the tubes are removed in the coming month or so…
Below: The image above was taken looking into the dome. The one below is the front tubeplate. The numbers are thickness readings following Graham’s initial survey (he is a boiler inspector by day, loco owner the rest of the time!).
Below: The various fittings and adornments have been removed for examination (as seen above). Below is the stamping – works number 1994 and build year of 1931 being evident.
Below: The brake gear was also removed on Saturday’s working day, the next job is to remove the axlebox underkeeps then lift the frames clear of the wheels so that these can go to a contractor for re-gauging. The aim is to keep Glyder in as close to Penrhyn condition as possible and this is aided by the apparently fair condition the locomotive survives in. Stripping and cleaning will be the bulk of the mechanical work undertaken though new pistons and rods are likely to be needed. We will know more once the wheels are removed and some time can be devoted to examining the cylinders. It is interesting to note the ashpan sides are formed by the frame plates, and that the remains of the last fire from 1965 is still sat in the ashpan (for now).
Below: Our so far brief operation of Samson has revealed a couple of things that would further improve it. One is a tender. Whilst a lead mine tub is being rebuilt and adapted to carry an additional water supply, somewhere to store items and put more coal was felt to be of potential use and so I suggested to Dave that we might consider the Horwich Works (Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway) 18 inch gauge tenders (adapted from waggons) as used behind the locomotives there – an example of which survives with Wren at the National Railway Museum. We had a trip to examine the tender and Dave made a survey with a view to producing drawings. The tender may have a secondary purpose – with a fixed coupling it could help ease the front end-lift that Samson exhibits (without, of course, causing the rear of the tender to lift in reaction to this!). More work is required but drawings are in hand and no doubt a pattern for the wheels too… The wheels rotate on the axles, which are fixed.
Training and Benchmarking
Below: From time to time trips are held to take members of staff away to other museums or heritage attractions in order to learn and gain some insight into the wider community of such organisations, see how they approach the same challenges we have here at Beamish and to see what ideas can be adapted for use here. Known as ‘benchmarking’ it is a fairly oft practised method across industry and so one equally applicable in museums. Four of us formed part of a larger group travelling around the West Midlands. Our group’s first stop was the Severn Valley Railway, with a particular aim to look at station gardens. This also included general study of period detailing and has already inspired some changes and improvements at Rowley. Here is Arley Station on the SVR, noting the use of period signs, station furniture, parcels and goods as well as the gardens and ‘green’ environs that are long-established and nicely maintained. We will come back to the project at Rowley to reinvigorate its horticultural appearance (it having been a prize winner under NER ownership) in a future blog posting…
Below: An idea for us – something to replace the milk churns and chain at Rowley.
Below: The Black Country Museum was also included on the trip, some of their smaller gardens being of particular interest in terms of what we might recreate at Rowley Station. First up is their rather nice restored ex West Bromwich Daimler bus (note the fluted radiator surround). This is followed by a shot up their street towards the more recent 1930s era developments ‘Birmingham Old Road’. This creates a sense of depth very satisfactorily, especially when vehicles pass along the road in the background.
Below: We also visited the Blists Hill site of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum as part of the same trip. Seen here are the Fairground (and blossom – we want to develop some tree screening on our own Fairground site) and also a nice cameo around a cobblers – again something we don’t have on show but have a lot of interior fittings for.
Below: The eastern end of the narrow gauge line has been completed with a short extension and installation of a bufferstop, seen here in the process of being planted and after completion. You now cannot see one end of the line from the other (just about!).