The team have had a busy week, not helped by a fairly widespread dose of COVID-19 resulting in several members having to isolate. Trams and buses have been at the forefront of our minds and so here is a summary of the events and occurrences of the last week or so…
Below: Sheffield 264 failed on Sunday afternoon, coming to a stand then refusing to move any further. Fortunately, Tram Technician Ian was driving, so saddled himself and Brian with the task of effecting a repair. The tram was recovered on Monday, after the drive pinion was removed, enabling it to limp home using the other motor. Here is a view of the offending item, once the floor boards were lifted back at the depot.
Below: The diagnosis was a disintegrated cast motor cooling fan, which has caused damage to both itself and the adjacent armature. The motor is being removed and will be sent to our preferred contractor for assessment and repair.
Below: The old S&N Fleur de lis van has returned to the museum with its modified bonnet arrangement complete. This will now be painted and the van fitted out as a static shop/food outlet. With no engine or running gear (or even drivers seat!) it is no longer a vehicle, rather a disguised pop-up catering outlet – which at least buys it some more years of life at the museum. See previous posts for the reasons why this decision was taken.
Below: When the Albion Chieftan arrived, it was able to operate but the restoration work by its previous owner had not extended to installing the electrical system – therefore it only had sufficient wiring to start it! We understood this when accepting it, and have since been able to commission an auto-electrician to install all of the wiring necessary to safely operate the lorry (and use the lights). Also included is our standard battery isolator, something that virtually all of our vehicles have, in order to ensure they are electrically inert at night, and cannot be tampered with by visitors during the day.
Below: The Landrover TD5 is undergoing an extensive overhaul, having been somewhat run into the ground before being take out of use before the pandemic. Its use will be more limited in the future, to ensure it lasts longer and is rather nicer to drive than it had become. It will be used by the engineering team, though will also be available for winter gritting duties as and when required.
Queens Platinum Jubilee – Go North East visit
Below: Last weekend Go North East brought several hundred visitors to the museum, along with a number of their buses. The two Routemasters are familiar to us, and both saw service over the weekend, whilst the modern buses were displayed around the depot yard.
Below: Alexander-Dennis ADL enviro400 6337 has been painted in platinum livery to mark the Queen’s 70th anniversary as monarch. The striking livery sits well on the bus, which is seen outside the bus depot at Beamish. In the second photo, the retro-liveried rainbow scheme on 6050 can be seen – read more here: https://www.gonortheast.co.uk/go-north-east-unveils-multi-coloured-bus-celebrate-work-its-team-bringing-communities-together
Below: A variety of buses stands ready for service on Saturday morning, which alongside the tramway ensured an impressive service level was operating over the weekend.
Warden Law Engine
Below: Here is an update to the post featuring the Warden Law winding engine – showing the components positioned on the Pickfords trailer in readiness for display at a number of events this summer.
Capital of Culture 2025 Watch party
Below: In connection with the Capital of Culture announcement, Beamish hosted the Durham ‘watch-party’ for the announcement (unsuccessful as it happened, Bradford taking the prize). To move the visiting guests, the museum placed Darlington 4, Rotherham 220, Crosville 716 and Sunderland 16 into service for the evening, the vehicles seen here awaiting the result, along with one of Go North East’s vehicles, liveried for the campaign. They were then very effective at moving the 200-300 guests back to the Entrance at the close of proceedings – a respite from the rain!