Two weeks have rolled by since the last posting of T&I news, the weeks seemingly passing at an ever-quickening rate! The team are currently assisting with a variety of events on site, including the Festival of the Fifties – a growing event that includes two large marquees of activity (and a lot of temporary power supplies to be installed and inspected), a small car show and a whole host of other activities on the events field. No.18 has been subject to repairs (see below) that have inhibited progress on the Morris Commercial’s new body, further complicated by work needed on the 50s caravan as that was required at a number of events. We operate an internal job-request system for a lot of the projects not originated within the Transport & Industry team, and whilst most of these don’t make the blog as they are fairly routine, they are a major part of the team’s work on a day to day basis – supporting set up of events being a good example of this. So, busy times as always and so to the news…
Below: The restoration of the NER C&W (Carriage and Wagon) examiner’s hut continues, since this photograph the replacement boards have been prepared and the existing timberwork has been stripped and sanded.
Below: There has been some discussion as to what colour the hut should be. Tony explored his own archive and came up with this image of Constable Burton station (on the Wensleydale Railway) which clearly shows wooden clad buildings in the two tones of cream and chocolate, as used by the NER. We use modern equivalents (known as ‘biscuit’ and ‘chocolate’ or sometimes ‘chestnut’) at Rowley, which also seem better resistant to fading. This view is full of detail – note the oil lamps on wooden posts, style of station notieces, staff ‘caught in the act’ of working and the overall tidiness of the scene, even though the buildings have weathered and the gardens are modest. Photo from the Tony Vollans collection.
Below: The caravan has had work carried out on the chassis and tow-bar pending a programme of summer appearances at events around the region. The brakes have also been serviced. Chris welded on a new steel front cross-member, seen here in the red oxide primer.
Below: Dave Young is continuing the refurbishment of the Brightside stationary engine – here are the cylinder drain cocks, before and after overhaul.
Model T Programme
Below: The Tourer has been removed from the railway waggon and moved to the workshops where, once the Crewe Tractor is completed, it will be assessed for a return to operation, essentially completing a restoration begun in the 1990s. Close examination in daylight reveals that it has certainly had a mixed bag of work carried out in the past, with some fairly dubious paintwork hiding all manner of sins on the bodywork! This actually eases our minds in deciding to attempt to make it a runner again. It had new wheels and a new radiator in the 90s and mechanically appears to have had some attention. We will probably use some of the spare components from the Crewe Tractor donor (the van) on the Tourer, such as the windscreen (which isn’t its original in any case) as these are in better condition. It should be an interesting project. One thing it will want, given the summer so far, is a hood!
Below: The Crewe Tractor is receiving further work to bring it to running order. The back end was lifted to enable it to be placed onto stands so that painting of the underside could be completed. The bonnet lettering is also nearing completion.
Below: In discussion with some of the volunteer team, it became apparent that the motorcycle collection at Beamish had never all appeared in the same place at the same time. Now that the Triumph and Royal Enfield have joined the running fleet (for the first time since they were restored then placed on static display) and the James has been completed, the opportunity was taken to gather all of the motorcycles in the collection for a photograph or two plus individual shots that will one day assist in the compilation of a stockbook (before I retire eh?!) – a long-promised project that has moved forward in parts but as yet not in a whole. All of these cycles are operable, with only one waiting to be restored (the Excelsior), which will soon be started by the same team.
Below: A trio of combinations – P&M, Matchless and Dene.
Below: The James – seen on this site for the first time in daylight.
Below: The 1921 Excelsior – a machine only used for a few years before being stored and with a superb local history. More on this little motorcycle in the months to come. As can be seen, the petrol tank has been tackled and other components are in store pending restoration. This will be a challenging job but we are extremely lucky to have a small group of very experienced veteran and vintage motorcycle owners/restorers within the Friends of Beamish team who volunteer here, so before long I am sure this project will soon be added to the line-up – then we will have to think of something else for them (Black Prince…??????).
There are more images of the motorcycle collection on the relevant stocklist page on this site.
More Leyland Cub spares
Below: We’ve added yet more Leyland Cub spares to the collection, with this former horsebox, which was built on a bus chassis. This has already donated several parts to the Cub restoration project and will be retained as it will undoubtedly yield more in the future. The cab will probably be dismantled to aid storage. When we began this project we perhaps did not realise how many spares, in varying guises and conditions, would become available – all to the good when we will in the fullness of time operate two buses and up to two lorries of this marque.
We are expecting the imminent arrival of Vulcan, returning to Beamish to provide some of the Rowley station cover from this month onwards. Two additional locomotives are arriving on hire, one of which will go to Rowley and one to the Colliery in the first instance to support No.18 (whilst Coffee Pot No.1 is being re-tubed). More on these in due course, but meanwhile a few shots of Vulcan to remind you what it looks like…