T&I News Week 39 2015

T&I News Week 39 2015

We have quite a mixed bag this week – I’m trying to sweep up various bits of news and occurrences in one post!

One last shunt of the season

Below: The penultimate Power from the Past weekend was held last Saturday/Sunday, this being the last of the steam events (November will be centred around vintage road vehicles and Newcastle 114’s 114th birthday – more on this soon) for 2015 (though Rowley Station and the Waggonway continue to run until early January).  With the Colliery railways running, it was an opportunity to carry out some essential shunting, the primary objective of which was to liberate the ex GW Macaw bogie bolster (converted in its heritage life into a well wagon as a base for boiler repairs) which contains the ice rink chiller unit, and to shunt four of the running fleet of waggons into the engine shed for repainting before next season.  We also anticipate Locomotion No.1 moving to the Colliery shortly, for winter storage and for completion of its re-tubing.  Therefore No.1 and No.18 had some real work to do, as seen below.

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Below: The above shunting was carried out on Saturday, the following views being taken on Sunday – here the pair double-head the chiller unit to the loading point from where it will be collected and moved to its new location adjacent to the Fairground.


Below: Shunting completed, the pair carried out some running for the visitors to watch in warm autumn sunshine.

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Outside works

Below: Darren and Mark have a large job in hand to create a base for a new barn, which we’ll come back to.  Another job on their list is to extend the standard gauge Colliery track by 60 feet utilising some spare rail, then create a loading area for the standard gauge line which is free of any height restriction.  The pad will also serve the adjacent sewage plant enabling machinery to access this for servicing purposes.  Most of the area seen in the foreground of the views below will thus become level with the rails buried to enable road vehicles to access this space.

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Below: Annoyingly, just as we approach the Christmas season (November 14th!) the chimney of the ‘star grotto’ (we only have one, honest kids!) has been found to need repairs and so an urgent programme of scaffolding and repair will be undertaken very shortly as we chase the deadline.



Below: I’ve alluded to the new Fairground toilet block in these notes previously – here it is after trial assembly to enable Tony and Matt to construct the roof.  A suitable ventilator has been attached to assist with the ‘period’ effect of what is otherwise a very functional building.  If anyone has the 00 scale Wills toilet block kit, they may well recognise the overall design of this building!


Below: The tramway team is growing and after a major and impressive sort-out, the team have now acquired a new ladies changing ‘chalet’ and a new store on the depot mezzanine floor.  Jonathan and Rachael are seen assembling the storage hut – a garden shed destined for a very privileged indoor existence!


Below: I’ve referred to the essential nature of our JCB tele-handler previously and we were lost without it when it suffered a mechanical failure last week.  With plant hired in to cover it’s absence, Brian set about trying to find the fault and repair it – something it refuses to reveal under test but is quite happy to catch out operators with in service.  Here Brian contemplates life from within this aging but vital machine!


Dene Combination

Below: The restoration of the Mills Fulford sidecar is nearing completion, and the body has been assembled onto the previously completed chassis, itself attached to the Jap V-Twin engine Dene motorcycle.  Les Little has completed the upholstery, which sets of Ian and Jonathan’s restoration work beautifully.  A screen/wind shield remains to be made for it.  Rather nice isn’t it?!



London Transport Museum – Acton Storage Depot

Below: Last Saturday the LT Museum hosted a symposium on the subject of WW1 transportation.  This was held at their impressive Acton storage depot – a selection of photos of which appear in the gallery below.

Below: Its always nice to see a Leyland Cub!  LT’s variant was quite different in shape to our pair, most notably being swept in from the front bulkhead to the bonnet.


Below: The MET coach (restored on the Ffestiniog Railway) has become quite a celebrity, running on the MET lines as part of the railway’s 150th anniversary celebrations.  Here is a photo of its electric light fittings, disguised as gas lamps and not dissimilar to the proposed scheme that will be installed into 58A shortly, as its own restoration at Beamish nears completion.