It’s been a busy week so far… We have seen the return to steam of Glyder, No.18’s trip to Tanfield and the arrival of 813 from the Severn Valley Railway (via the Tanfield gala). In the workshop, progress has been made with the Fairground packing truck and some other odds and ends (see below). Work on the bus depot is also striding forward, with the concrete works for the inspection pit being created, whilst the bricklayers are flying along erecting the walls on the outside of the building. We are told it will be ready in late summer – we have everything crossed it will be as it will transform the working environment for vehicle inspection and maintenance, hugely enhance the space for visitors and staff around the depot at Foulbridge, and provide, for the first time, a window (quite literally) through which some of the background work can be observed.
However, back to where I started – No.18’s trip to Tanfield…
No.18 at the Tanfield Railway
Below: No.18 performed well over the three day Legends of Industry gala at the Tanfield Railway last weekend. It operated at Marley Hill, shunt releasing the coal train each time it arrived – a process that took around an hour as the train had to be broken down into several sections to fit the various sidings and headshunt available for the shunt. This kept 18 busy and provided entertainment for the visitors to the event. It also provided an opportunity to contrast 18 with the descendants of the wooden chaldron waggon – in the form of the steel coal hoppers that run in Tanfield’s coal train. Some photographs of 18 show that it was occasionally partnered with such stock (one at a time!) at Seaham, and so this was a chance to see just how small it is when compared to the capacious hoppers – it really is tiny!
Below: Though both will operate at Beamish over coming months, often simultaneously, they won’t actually meet! So this is an opportunity to compare the two saddle tanks and observe their extremes of size (and 813 is not a large locomotive!).
We very much enjoyed seeing 18 at Tanfield and thank them for the invite to attend the gala and for the locomotive to be seen in different environs and with very different rolling stock to usual!
813 arrives at Rowley
As seen above, another visitor to the Tanfield gala was Great Western 0-6-0ST No.813 (built 1901) from the Severn Valley Railway and owned by the 813 fund. It has come to us for the summer, and will enable the steamings booked for Peckett No.2000 to be spread out over the rest of the year. The locomotive arrived on Monday 17th June and will not immediately enter service as a fitness to run exam is pending. However, it is an ‘actual’ main line locomotive – something not seen at Rowley for many years! The 813 fund summarised it’s latter history thus:
813 itself was placed on the GWR Sales List in March 1933 and eventually sold direct from Duffryn to Robert Stephenson & Company on 25th January 1934 for £360. After a few modifications, which included the fitting of Ross Pop valves in place of the GWR safety valves and brass bonnet, Stephenson in turn sold the locomotive to Backworth Collieries Ltd. near Newcastle-on-Tyne. There it was re-numbered 12 and put to work on the Backworth system which extended from the pits owned by the Company to coal shipping staithes on the River Tyne. In 1947 the locomotive passed to the newly formed National Coal Board, becoming NCB 11 in 1950. In the same year a new boiler was supplied by Hudswell Clarke followed by a replacement firebox in 1962. The latter was, undoubtedly, a contributing factor to the survival of the locomotive into the preservation era.
By 1966, with the contraction of the coal industry and availability of more modern locomotives, NCB11 was relegated to the status of spare engine at Backworth and in the following year was offered for sale to the newly formed GWR 813 Preservation Fund for the sum of £320 (£40 less than the amount realised by the GWR in 1934!).Following hectic fund raising activities, purchase was eventually completed and the engine moved to the fledgling Severn Valley Railway on 25th November 1967.
You can read more about 813’s history on the very comprehensive 813 fund website here: http://www.gwr813.org/loco813.html
Below: Ian Thompson moved 813 for the short journey from the Tanfield Railway to Beamish on Monday morning, the locomotive being seen in the process of unloading here…
Below: Peckett 2000 was in steam to collect 813, and the pair are seen together in the lush-green surroundings at Rowley Station (lush on account of the heavy rainfall we’ve ‘enjoyed’ recently!).
We are very excited to have 813 here (I do not hide my allegiance to the initials GWR!) and thank the Severn Valley Railway and the GWR 813 Preservation Fund for enabling us to hire their locomotive for the summer.
Below: Today (Friday) 813 had its fitness to run exam, some trials with our coaching stock and a quick run around the railway. David Watchman took these photographs of 813 on test…
Below: We are a little short of staff at present, following two departures and also an increased workload! Therefore some volunteer input is assisting with the completion of the Savage centre engine as Don, our Machinist/Fitter is, with Matt E, having to cover the fitness to run examinations on the working fleet. Chris is focused on the Austin 10, which continues to absorb Mig wire in large quantities. A new interior trim for this has been ordered, to fit once the car has been re-sprayed (black again). A member of staff from the farming team has also left the organisation, and his own tractor arrived for repairs pending departure (it having been used by him as part of his job and apparently subject to some form of repair agreement of which we weren’t aware!).
In the RHEC, Rebecca has completed the signwriting on the fairground packing truck, which now looks very smart. as seen here
Below: Rebecca has been working on the Northern depot noticeboard frames as well as the Wellington coach, which is progressing towards completion.
Below: New the blog – a very old itch to scratch… Following their work on Glyder, the Friends mechanical volunteers are tackling something very different, but which has been on the ‘to do’ list for many many years. It is a bolt making oliver, ex Brancepeth COlliery in County Durha, and it has been stored in various compounds since 1966 – one of the Museum’s older exhibits! It is being stripped with a view to overhauling it for further and future use in the Colliery at Beamish… In 1966 it was thought to be between 80 and 100 years of age (according to those working in Brancepeth) – so it can be seen that it is an important object for us to do something with…
Below: Gable cladding is being fitted to the bus depot – revealing the depot colour scheme for the first time. The brickwork is also making excellent progress and, as can be seen, the reinforcing mesh has been installed ahead of casting the concrete floors.
Another look at Glyder…
Below: We had such a good day on Wedneday, marking Glyder’s return as an operational locomotive, that I thought a few more images might be of interest! There are some films in preparation too…