This week we have a more varied collection of news snippets, as various projects progress, some new ones appear and others draw (I really hope!) to a conclusion…
Below: A few years ago we acquired a Caledonian Railway goods shed gallows crane from the Summerlee Museum of Industrial Life near Glasgow. This was a freebie, arriving in dismantled form with a number of other items and one of those things I couldn’t bare to see lost! Rated at 1.5 tons, it was made by G. Anderson & Co of Carnoustie, Scotland. It consists of a vertical pillar, horizontal jib and diagonal supporting brace. The ironwork consists of the brackets to assemble it plus most of the winch mechanism. The plan was, and is, to clean it up, assemble it then install it on the coal end of the Rowley water tower platform, suggesting a means by which locomotives were coaled (though it will be non-operational). We have a number of similar items in store, including a superb hydraulic crane (from a warehouse) that might one day be attached to the RMS, again in a non-operational role, but to both improve the building’s look and to conserve this particular equipment. That one is on the long-term list however!
The crane is being prepared for display by the RHEC team, including volunteer input from Bill, an example of how the small but committed team of volunteers in the RHEC can make a great impact on the Museum’s collections and appearance, work that might not otherwise be able to be prioritised for the paid staff.
Below: On the subject of Rowley I thought I’d share some summer images to show how the gardens and allotment are establishing here. The allotment in particular is coming along in leaps and bounds.
Below: A blurry phone view of the flower bed, a recreation of the original station’s prizewinning form, seen here during tidying up (whence the cut grass edges to the border).
Below: Bon Accord and 1370 rest during warming/cooling before the weekend operations. The Peckett has been in steam during this week for running-in of the overhauled axlebox. The industrial theme is beginning to establish itself here. The crane referred to elsewhere in this post will be located on the right hand water tower column in this view.
Below: A recent unpleasant discovery was that the soakaway drain for the Town Kiosk was blocked, largely as a result of the hand-wash sink being used for other purposes – despite all instructions to the contrary! Accepting the inevitable and that sometimes it is easier to give up trying to change behaviour, the Site Maintenance team (mainly Ian and Danny) have dug a drain to connect with the existing system in the Town, to take the foul water into the current disposal circuit – complicated by the need to have a fall sufficient to carry the water away. This has also entailed lifting setts, as seen here, to establish a new route for the drainage run. It is also a vivid reminder that parts of the site are over 40 years old now and that such maintenance and amendment will be an increasing part of future work in these non-glamorous areas…
Below: The painters are engaged with sprucing up the south facing shop fronts in the Town, these being subject to considerably more wear than elsewhere in this location. Hopefully by maintaining them we can avoid wholesale renewal and repainting experienced in the past.
Below: The S&N van continues to reveal it’s hard life – with the new wheel arches being made but the removal of the original revealing the poor state of the floor frame. As a result Chris is renewing this, to be topped off by a new Buffalo-Board floor to be fitted by Tony – this being durable and easy to clean; important attributes given the hard life this vehicle will experience once back in operation. Brian is covering the roof as I write this, and the painter is on standby…
Below: As part of a mega-shunt of stored road vehicles, the second Leyland Cub bus, proposed as a future accessible vehicle, was wrapped and moved to alternative storage on site. The shunt will mean that all of the operational passenger vehicles can be kept undercover at all times plus enabled some sorting of spare parts for the Cub project to be carried out. It also increases the storage area for the site’s handymen, part of the Site Maintenance team.
Below: With the clearance of the storage barn reaching full-swing, the racking was removed to be replaced by better quality and rated racking that we can safely use for both bus spares and a new base for the Handymen to work from and in the future, park the Seddon lorry (saving them having to unload it each night). This mountain is virtually all Leyland Cub spares, gathered onto pallets in some sort of order in readiness for placing onto the new racking in stillages as well as shelves. We have more than this elsewhere too, including a horsebox in derelict form, to be dismantled to add to the spares and used, eventually, to keep our two buses (the horsebox utilises a bus chassis) and the tipper on the road for many years to come.
Below: The Brightside engine has been temporarily mounted onto a spare wagon chassis to enable it to be worked on, the flywheel to be mounted and to make it transportable by forklift. Work on the design for its base and installation is also actively progressing. It will be nice to have this local engine installed and in steam – as far as we know the first time in its time with Beamish so probably the first time in half a century at least.
Below: Edward Sholto is seen being stripped for a boiler-lift to enable this to be retubed. The paintwork will also be re-varnished but no other work is presently anticipated, as we want to turn this project around quickly and restore the engine to operation on the narrow gauge railway.
Below: Following removal, Edward Sholto’s boiler arrives at Foulbridge aboard the Seddon, pending washout, re-tubing and repainting.
Below: Gateshead 10 has been receiving the attentions of a contract welder to carry out a varying programme of repairs to the bogie frames, making good decades of wear, a number of ‘bodges’ and to fill numerous bolt holes that will be jig-drilled to give us a consistent standard. Matt and the tram group have identified a number of areas for standardisation, and a large number of the brake components are with a local contractor for reconstruction or renewal with the same objectives in mind. It would be fair to say that 10 is a well-sweated asset, with Gateshead, British Rail and Beamish all having extracted considerable use from this tram whilst under their varied ownership. This work is to ensure it can endure for many decades to come – the contracting element being to accelerate the process and give us capacity where we don’t have it within the team as it stands.
Below: Here is a daylight view of the body for the Morris Commercial during priming and following fitting of the canvas roof and the beading and body trimming that secures the edges of this.
More on the Access Bus
Below: The large ‘Venture’ crests have now been added to the Access Bus – these are impressive vinyls, created from scratch by a local firm called Spot-On. We would normally avoid using vinyl wherever possible (though some crests are produced in this way already) but as the Access Bus is needed every day a quick solution was needed – and how good do they look?! They are formed in layers, to create the striking crest for this particular company, nicely breaking up the large yellow side this livery presents. Some signwriting is still to come – to state that this is a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) to use the present nomenclature and aid identification by our visitors who require its adapted access and lift.