T&I News 2 2018...

T&I News 2 2018…

Having promised to update the blog more frequently I find that I gave failed to post more than once so far in 2018!  Here we have an update from Rowley Station to make amends…

Rowley Station

We have long abandoned the sense of a ‘season’ at Beamish – some of our busiest days are over the winter Christmas festival now, and January into February (leading up to half-term) is busy in the pursuit of completing those jobs which require an extended shut-down or dedicated periods of staff time.  With the Remaking Beamish project very much in full swing now, its important to keep our eye on other projects and also the ongoing enhancements that the visitors will appreciate.  Jorden Sayer, our Railway and Steam Operations Team Leader, has embraced the curatorial elements of the areas in his charge and with his team has been carrying out numerous improvements to the NER station, Colliery Railway and Waggonway.  With half-term looming, and the station due to reopen, David Grindley has been busy preparing the locomotives across site, and Matt Ellis, the Keeper of Transport, has been procuring and commissioning new items of rolling stock for the year ahead.  I’ll report on Dunrobin in due course, there has been a further delay to the project but a resolution is now in hand and more will be revealed very soon.

Below: So, we begin with some of the enhancements at Rowley – which now has its own name adorning the oil lamps around the platform.  Additional lamps have been manufactured and will be installed upon posts shortly, the posts and brackets being made by the Friends of Beamish volunteers.

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Below: The station also has a full compliment of door plates now, these being laser cut then painted rather than enamelled – but what a difference they make (and you can’t tell the difference between original and replica unless submitting it to very close scrutiny).  These details make such a difference to the overall appearance of the exhibit and Jorden has a number of further enhancements planned for the station area in pursuit of making it the very best NER recreation that it can be.

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Below: The Peckett 1370 will be the main motive power at the start of this year, and it will now operate the ‘new’ passenger train, consisting of the Duke of Sutherland’s saloon 58A (seen here this morning running in its first train since its return to the UK, and possibly ever? It ran as an alternative to the Duke’s big saloon and no photograph exists as far as I know to show it running as anything other than a single vehicle with Dunrobin).  The GER saloon has also been exchanged for another Furness Railway Trust coach, their North London carriage, which has done duty at the NRM and MOSI in recent years.  Repainted and commissioned today, it forms the passenger accommodation within the train-set at Rowley.  We are examining the NER Luggage Comp and looking for a window of opportunity to carry out its overhaul in the next couple of years…

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Below: The deteriorating condition of the GER saloon had provoked comment from visitors – we hope this scene is altogether more inviting!  In time we will commission 58A as an accessible vehicle – though the station access itself requires attention in conjunction with this in order to make the most of the opportunity to enable all of our visitors to enjoy a ride from the station…

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Below: The FRT’s NLR coach…  More information can be found here: http://www.furnessrailwaytrust.org.uk/vintage.htm

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Below: 58A in all of its glory…  Rather lovely isn’t it?!!! There are jobs still to complete, but the restoration has largely been completed and it will be in service throughout 2018…

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In other news…

Below: The workshop within the Council Depot (adjacent to Rowley Station) has been subject to some enhancements – much of the work on items for the station is carried out here, and so new windows to improve the light and reduce the stark appearance of the building have been installed.

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Below: Rambler has also been in use filling some (!) of the potholes in the vicinity of the station area – as seen here.

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Below: I don’t think I’ve featured the Leyland Cub tipper in service – it is in daily use around the museum, used by the maintenance staff and wearing its livery of local haulier, E & N Ritchie, who also operated tippers as part of their Hetton Sand & Gravel Company business.

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I will try not to leave it a month before the next post on here and hopefully we will have additional contributors in order to maintain the news output as I know that is both popular and useful to readers and visitors.

We are also in the final planning stages of the Great North Steam Fair in April, with a very healthy invite list for the event which once again largely focusses on the pre-1930 period.  There is likely to be a ‘Power from the Past’ event in October (also covering the 30s and 40s) and the popular 1950s weekend will also take place this year - see the main website for details.