T&I News 15 2020...

T&I News 15 2020…

The summer holidays are now drawing to a close and with school children anticipated to return to school next week, this weekend (a bank holiday here) is the last one of our first reopening phase. It has been a strange summer and we now look forward to the autumn and then winter with a renewed focus.

To start off this second phase, and following on from the comments made in the video (T&I News 14) regarding trading our way out of the effects of the prolonged lockdown and closure, we are now in a position to commence a limited bus operation. This is particularly gratifying to be able to do as the visitor feedback has demonstrated that the absence of transport around the site has been keenly felt, and the roads have certainly been quiet without it.

Above: At short notice, Russ has single handedly prepared three buses for service, with Darlington 4 to follow shortly. As well as their inspections, he has made any necessary adaptations to ensure they are COVID-19 Secure for the visitors (and crew). Here is 220 departing the depot apron this morning in the gloom of a damp day, the first bus in general service since we closed in March.
Above: Rotherham 220 arrives in the Town, with the first passengers (excluding the WAV, J2007) to use transport at Beamish since March.
Above: A reminder of some of the queue management in place within the Town area – the queue is formed within the ‘four-foot’ of the Tramway outer circle, and regularly fills this space – the front being managed by a member of staff who admits a limited number of visitors to the sweetshop at a time. Sweets are now pre-packed and this does speed up the sales process, whilst the manufacturing area to the rear of the shop forms the exit. We have several one-way systems in place and I am recording these for future posterity (if that is the right word for these times), as it is an important and defining moment in the museum’s history.
Above: The Daimler D-Type replica has also been prepared for operation and is seen in the workshop folliwing its exam last week. Its capacity is rather more limited than the other buses, doe to the longitudinal seats downstairs.
Above: An example of some of the signage in use on the buses.
Above: The screen around the compressor, bus wash and waste oil tank is now nearly complete, all of this being material salvaged from around the site.
Above: I felt the railways weren’t getting much of a look-in on the blog lately, so here is the latest weed-watch photo! The running chaldrons are seen on display, whilst the weeds expand their covering around the Colliery Railway sidings… It’s fairly appropriate on a recreated industrial railway, albeit less so for a colliery site I guess!