T&I News 19 2020...

T&I News 19 2020…

Once again it has been a bit tricky finding news to report on this blog, as the transport situation remains static, with the two Daimlers operating in turns on the circular route and the WAV operating on-call as and when it is required. However, by way of some images and extended captions, here is an attempt at a news update!

Above: Russell has been working on the Leyland Cub tipper, to repair and improve the exhaust pipe and carry out some other small jobs to ready it for use as a driver-training and familiarisation vehicle ahead of the arrival of Crosville 716 (which shares the same basic layout of controls). Behind it can be seen the B-Type bus, which had its gearbox removed before lockdown in March and awaits the return of the team to enable the overhauled clutch to be refitted so that the bus can become both mobile and return to service again.
Above: A glance out of the window last week… Horses being exercised and visitors enjoying the scene. I must admit I’m not sure about the origin of the dray/rolley – it isn’t one that I recognise so it isn’t one of Beamish’s. It makes an appealing scene in the street and I think was out in connection with some filming.
Above: Whilst doing some short films on ‘favourite’ objects in the museum, I covered Coffee Pot No.1 – and whilst one side has been kept clean for visitors to view, the other side reflects a prolonged period of lock down – as moving this spanner revealed!
Above: There is always work to find, and more mundane jobs keep Russell busy – here is one of our more modern vehicles, which arrived with a broken spring and then revealed that the exhaust wasn’t far behind joining the spring on the scrap pile. Russell has carried out the repairs and replacements in between work on the buses, and whilst these vans are not in any way exciting, they are vital to the smooth operation of the museum.
Above: A closeup of the broken spring after the new one was fitted.

Crosville 716

I’m trying to keep the updates flowing for work on Crosville 716, aware that it is probably the most interesting thing on the blog at the moment, and also hoping that it has appeal to railway enthusiasts by way of its LMS connections and the area of Wales it once served (full of narrow and standard gauge railway interest!).

The bus was varnished over the weekend, following completion of painting and signwriting. Here are some views, courtesy of John Sullivan, showing the work in progress within his firm’s new paintshop, and after, with the varnish drying.

Above: With the paintwork flatted back, the bus is waiting varnishing in these views. The absence of the bonnet top and sides reveals just how much space there is at the front of the bus!
Above: Here is your first view of the completed and adapted rear of the bus, which has sought to retain as much original material as possible and create a practical solution to the challenge of assisting passengers board via the powered lift. As readers will recall, the rear dome survived and whilst we tried some different heights for access, full-height doors were really the only viable option available, so these have been incorporated into the rear shape of the bus, with the top of them projecting upwards into a section mirroring a destination box. This has enabled the corners of the original roof to be retained. I know some will comment on this non-original feature (in fact, some already have), but it should be remembered that without the funding for creating an additional Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle for the museum, this bus was unlikely to have ever been restored, let alone to a condition allowing what will be near-daily operation once again. The views from the front do not reveal the additional rear door arrangement and so, curatorially and operationally, I feel we have achieved a solution that works for the passengers and the bus itself.
With signwriting complete, the Crosville- inspired rear crest can be seen to good effect, labelling the bus clearly as a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle.
We may see if the lift side panels can be painted black to reduce the modern silver appearance of the unit underneath the rear of the bus. This is the same unit as that fitted to our other WAV, J2007, and both are under contract for maintenance and also LOLER (Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998) inspections, as required for lifting equipment such as this.
Above: Around 716 can be seen other components, including the bonnet top and sides (in front) and the rear wings (on the blue bin in the foreground). The missing dog-rails on the nearside will be fitted once the petrol tank assembly is refitted. There are a large number of parts still to fit to the bus, and the brake and fuel systems also require final piping and testing. This work will be completed once the bus can access the vehicle lift at Gardiners.
Above and below: By this Monday the varnishing had been completed – here are some photos showing the superb appearance of the bus (above and below). There remains the not inconsiderable task now of completing the rest of the work on the bus, but completion this year is certainly possible…
Above and below: A reminder of what was collected in July 2014…