Its been a while since I posted, in part this is due to all of the various projects underway but in the main because, as readers will no doubt be aware, the Museum has been awarded a multi-million pound grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the ‘Remaking Beamish’ programme which we are now actively engaged upon.
It is probably not worth going over the award in detail here as this information is readily available elsewhere, but in brief it includes the 1950s town and urban developments, a 1.5 mile trolleybus route, a new bus depot and workshop, a Georgian Inn, several other buildings connected with the 1820s period plus a major infrastructure overhaul and renewal (such as new waste treatment plant, underground services etc. etc.). The work that goes on to secure such funding cannot be underestimated and has occupied a lot of people over a number of years and the bid submitted is detailed and very specific. Therefore what we build will be what is in the bid – there being plenty of suggestions for what we ‘should’ do online! The plan we have is actually 20+ years, this HLF funded phase being the first part of this, and rest assured that there are plenty of other projects waiting on the shelves, including the trams, railways, road transport and industry collections…
Below: A recent online purchase – this image shows Dunrobin at New Romney during its years in Kent between 1950 and 1965. The coach is just visible in she shed behind, presumably the locomotive was occasionally pulled outside for display purposes (it is also known to have steamed on occasions). By this time the white paint has appeared – the awful white-walling of tyres being a particular sin!
Below: Dunrobin’s smokebox and one of the ‘picnic’ lockers have arrived at Beamish – a new smokebox will be procured directly by us, along with side tanks (already on order) and other items in order to assist in accelerating the rate of progress on the project. Hiring locomotives is expensive and not always entirely reliable, so we are now very keen to have Dunrobin completed. Most of the boiler fittings have also been via Beamish for onward dispatch to contractors for overhaul or renewal as required, before return to the Severn Valley Railway in readiness for fitting in due course.
Below: Darren, Mark and Callum have been spot-resleepering around the Colliery Railway, replacing some of the crossing timbers in the main yard area.
Below: Tony is seen applying primer to the second of the two new pairs of crossing gates for Rowley Station…
Below: … whilst the first two completed gates have now been installed at Rowley.
Below: The Waggonway coach ‘Experiment’ has arrived at the RHEC for steam cleaning pending dismantling. It is hoped to retain the body, which is sound in the main, as something to be used as a hut at the Waggonway, whilst the chassis will be replaced, utilising the existing ironwork, wheels and brakegear.
Below: This is what we are aiming for with the finished rebuild – to the same proportions as the Waggonway coach rebuild last winter. This design originates from the same batch as that one, being of the those constructed for the Stockton & Darlington in the early 1830s as the company formalised its ad-hoc passenger carrying arrangements. The livery is rather novel and should make for an attractive completed coach!
Below: The B Bus has had a number of issues recently, which are currently being attended to as and when the parts arrive to enable work to progress. Russell has dismantled and removed the clutch, which was renewed, whilst Chris has been repairing and renewing linkage and re-bushing as necessary (some parts no longer being available).
Below: Refurbishing the clutch mechanism linkage for the above.
Below: The clutch housing is seen on the boring machine to enable Chris to bore and bush the linkage for the clutch itself.
Below: Chris manufactured new body strengthening plates and with Russell fitted these to the Daimler replica bus, which had reports of excessive body roll arise. The body is now nearly 30 years old, and has somewhat outperformed most of the originals upon which it is based! In due course it will be lifted for a more thorough refurbishment, something we can consider once we have the new bus depot and workshop constructed in the next few years…
Below: Chris also manufactured a new clack valve for Vulcan, the valve seat seen below being refaced.
Below: The old and the new… This is the valve itself, which was prone to sticking frequently such that the locomotive was withdrawn from service until this work was completed.
Below: An unusual job for the RHEC has been the manufacture of this childrens theatre. One of the regular midweek volunteers, Peter, has constructed this superb assembly, which flatpacks too. Sarah Jarman has painted the figures and is currently working on the proscenium arch and backdrops that will complete this. The Learning team will have this in use throughout the Christmas season.
Below: Another Road Roller Association motor roller has arrived at the Museum, in the shape of this Greens machine, used in a school in Yorkshire. It is a runner but the Museum has no plans to use it other than display it for now. It might be handy for the 1950s area and the recreation ground there in the future however!
Below: Progress continues on R025, with the bonnets being completed and now fitted. Note the sprung catches.
Below: The controls are now fitted and the gearbox guard is also back in place, largely completing this area of the restoration. The canopy is still to be made, this being from scratch using original Barford & Perkins drawings.
Vintage and Veteran Vehicles
Below: One for the future, the Excelsior motorcycle, seen on the blog recently when lined up with all of the restored machines, has now been placed in the workshop to allow some mulling over of its forthcoming restoration…
Below: Dave has been working on bits and pieces of various jobs, that shown here being the brake cross-shaft (one sided) for Samson’s tender.
Below: As has been mentioned before, Oporto 196 was withdrawn to allow tyre turning and motor overhauls to take place plus the fitting of the second ‘Newcastle’ type of life tray (it may be recalled that it was running with a non-matched pair). The roof has also had repairs and has been resealed and repainted and the floors inside have also been deep cleaned and repainted. It will be back in service next week, having operated under test conditions this week. We are very pleased with the speed of this overhaul and the way the team has worked together with contractors to turn this around in time for the Christmas season rush.
There will be some disruption on this site next week, as it is planned to move it to a new and more capacious host. This will ensure we can still post large numbers of photographs plus expand the site content. It is perhaps growing out of being solely a blog and becoming a website in its own right, which might well be something we can build upon…