3rd December 2009
After some months of work behind the scenes I am pleased to announce that we have let a contract for the conservation and restoration of the Londonderry chaldron waggon type. This will take a number of forms:
1) A conservation study of the remaining examples (amazingly parts of nearly 40 survive!)
2) The production of a full set of CAD drawings of the type, and the common variants.
3) The overhaul of four waggons from Beamish’s working collection.
4) The complete restoration of two waggons from Beamish’s collections.
I’ll publish more on this site as we progress, probably in the form of downloadable documents (in the manner of the recently posted stocklist).
Work will commence next Easter and will be carried out at Beamish by waggonwright Alan Milburn, who has rebuilt numerous waggons at the Bowes Railway. The rear of the colliery engine works will be the venue and it is hoped that visitors will appreciate being able to see the traditional skills at work.
Funding has come from the PRISM fund, Association for Industrial Archaeology, Ken Hoole Trust and staff/volunteer input. The objective is to produce two working rakes of four waggons each for use in the colliery. If we can do more, we will however!
Below: The four waggons below will be overhauled and repainted as part of the contract.
Below: These two waggons will be completely rebuilt once recorded – we intend to use the traditional colliery approach to dismantling them and this will be posted on these pages once this spectacular process is enacted…