Another busy couple of weeks have flown by, so here are some news items to keep abreast of work taking place within the transport department at Beamish…
Below: Work on the Leyland Cub which is being restored and adapted to become our second accessible bus is making good progress, with the body framing and skinning nearing completion. The view below shows that the bus is taking shape nicely, with the first primer coats also in place. Glazing is on order (to be fitted once the body is painted) and attention is focused on completing the rear end of the vehicle and installing the wiring. The new lift will be ordered in the new year, in order to maximise the warranty period available for it.
Below: Having tried various attempts to update WordPress and look for a solution to being unable to rotate images, I’ve given up! So forbearance is requested with some of these images! This view shows the rear of the bus, with the large double doors, through which wheelchair passengers will board, clearly evident. Beneath these is a panel which will be trimmed to accommodate the powered lift (as fitted to the present accessible bus). A great deal of consideration has been given to the rear end of the bus, which was all but lost to the many years it spent as a derelict hulk in a collapsed barn. Early thoughts had been to provide a ramp, but this proved to be far too steep. The height of the rear of the bus (which originally had an emergency door in the centre of the rear panel) has also been considered, and as most users are fairly tall, the decision was taken to have the doors to the same maximum height as the saloon. Some will question this I am sure, but the work to install the doors has followed the same design principle as the rest of the Cub’s bodywork, and it should also be remembered that we purchased this vehicle as a wreck, so that it would provide a blank canvass for adaptations necessary to suit its new role as an accessible bus at Beamish.
Below: With both doors open, a spacious entry into the saloon is created.
Below: An internal view of the rear doors. The roof has been re-profiled in this area, to give a continuous height through to the top of the door frame. Originally the rear dome swept downwards in this area.
Below: Wiring of the Cub is underway at present, with the saloon light pattresses being seen here.
Below: With snagging remediation underway and a handover to the museum imminent, Paul Bennett, the Remaking Beamish Construction Manager, took these drone photographs of the depot and environs, showing clearly its location in relation to the tram depot and other buildings in the Foulbridge complex.
Narrow Gauge Shunt…
Below: To maximise winter undercover storage of the narrow gauge rolling stock, a shunt was carried out last week to place items into various sheds for the winter…
The Pew coach (seen below) will be coming back to the RHEC over winter for some remedial attention to the finish on the woodwork, the original varnish on the pine not having endured particularly well once exposed to the weather. Glyder and Samson were both used during the shunt.
Below: The paving slabs stored in the cutting have now all been removed, which has tidied up access to the railway considerably (this route being used for accessing one of the water treatment plants as well).
A plan is being developed it increase public access within the area the narrow gauge railway operates, to open up views and engagement opportunities in a number of areas of the site.
Below: One of the views we hope to open up is of the top yard and water tower area. Glyder is seen with the Ffestiniog Railway coal waggon, and behind one of the tipping waggons sits inside the shed. Both of these will be returning to the FR next month.
Below: Samson raises steam ahead of its turn in the shunt. Modifications to the slide valve (to reduce its length by 1/16 of an inch) have transformed Samson, from something of a reluctant performer, to a stronger and far more controllable locomotive – this being its second steaming in ‘improved’ form.
Below: Some challenging rail-head conditions!
Below: These images recently came to light within a batch of images taken by a local photographer. The collection includes many interesting views of life in Co Durham, with the two below being of particular interest…
After appearing on Facebook, the following information has been gathered about ‘The Rover’, which has a very relevant local history…
The engine shown is Burrell No.3471 – a 6nhp showmans road engine built in 1913 and supplied to the Newsome family to work with their gallopers in the north east. It has a Durham prefix on the registration number, with its works number forming the rest of the registration.
It was requisitioned for war work in 1914 – 15, working along with gallopers packing trucks. The photos here show that the dynamo bracket above the smokebox has been cut down (close examination shows the rough finish this has created) and the engine has been adapted for operating machinery via a belt from the flywheel. The canopy has also been shortened in the process.
In the late 1950s the engine was purchased by George Flynn of Durham City and restored back to its showmans specification – photos show it carrying his name on the offside toolbox. It was later sold to Tom Hunt, of the Griffin Foundry, Oldbury, later passing to his son, Bill Hunt. The engine was rallied from the late 1950s to the mid 1970s, before being overhauled and reappearing in the mid 1990s. It appeared at the Great Dorset Steam Fair in 2018. One for a future Beamish event perhaps…