Discussion in 'Steam Traction' started by Orion, Nov 14, 2011.
Now that work on 80151 is under way, is there a target for completing it?
Thank you Tom
Picked up a copy of Alan Bloom's book Steam Engines at Bressingham (from about 1975) to have a little look. He talked about them taking in Solomon (which was Sharpthorn I believe), but also says they restored it to working order. I'm reading that with a pinch of salt, as I know it's pretty knackered! Anybody know anything either way?
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I think I'd want some pretty strong evidence to demonstrate that!
Klaus Marx, in "An illustrated history of the Lewes and East Grinstead Railway" discusses the early history of the locomotive before and during the construction of the railway, including renaming from Solomon to Sharpthorn, and then continues:
"Firbank [the contractor] later sold it to William Rigby of Duffield, who renamed it yet again, Jessie. It's fourth owner was C.D. Phillips of Newport, during whose ownership the name may have lapsed. In 1888 it was purchased as one of a batch of four locomotives by Samuel Williams & Sons and became No. 4 in its locomotive stock book. For the next 70 years it hauled coal trains over the Dagenham Dock Estate to the main line railway sidings. It was fitted with a radio telephone in 1954 and remained in service until 1958, when it was retired after 81 years in service, but remained on the site in a preserved state sporting the company's blue and white livery. It was later transferred to Alan Bloom's new steam museum at Bressingham, where it was repainted in a dark green and placed out in the open at the end of a quiet siding, for youngsters to climb over. In the spring of 1981 Samuel Williams recalled the locomotive to its Wiltshire depot at Braydon Hill, Minety, from where it travelled the following April by road to Sheffield Park to take part (being hauled out of steam) in the centenary cavalcade of the line it helped to construct over a century previously. That year, while still on LEGR metals, its owners went into receivership and it was purchased by the Bluebell Railway. No locomotive on the latter's books has a closer link with the line than the old Sharpthorn. It even had the distinction of being presented to Her Majesty the Queen in June 1984, at an exhibition in Olympia!"
So if it did steam at Bressingham, it must have done so quietly! Personally, I hope space can be found for her undercover in the new storage museum, since as Klaus notes above, she is perhaps our most historically significant loco and deserves conserving.
I was just looking back through recent loco reports - I can't see that we have ever stated a specific date. Mechanical work on the loco has proceeded apace, but last time I spoke to the workshop manager (admittedly some weeks ago, so things may have developed since), I don't think there was a final scope of what boiler work would be needed. Clearly it will be a useful and economical loco so having it in traffic would lessen the pressure on the others, particularly 541 and Camelot.
Although I quite see the attraction of the standard tank from the operational point of view, and indeed they are splendid engines and most handsome, I have to say that personally the risk of two standards running on the Bluebell makes me rather worried that the number of days running real oldies only will reduce... More Victoriana and Edwardiana please!
If it gets too standard they could always borrow a proper pre- grouping product as a stopgap , the L&Y class 27 from the ELR should suffice and could show up that SECR rubbish, come on bluebell motive power department, you know it makes sense
They had this and the GA set on Sunday afternoon, two locos and eight coaches made a pretty long train for a change!
It was certainly an exciting train to be firing! I was on 592; 263 was being run gently due to the amount of motion and bearing work that has just been undertaken on her. The fireman of 263 informed me that she was being a bit sulky to steam (unusual for that particular locomotive) with the exception of every time we stopped in a station when she "woke up". 'Head down, a*se up, shovel!' was the order of the day on 592!
It looked good from West Hoathly crossing, not a good looking train as the stock was too mixed but it added interest as we don't see much double heading. The H was leaking a fair bit from the drains by the look of it.
Really interesting, thanks Tom. Must find a copy of KM's book! Think that supports the 'read with a pinch of salt' which I originally figured.
Having said that, from the book it seems that Bloom was a bit of a 'put a fire in anything to see how it goes' chap, whatever state it was in. No worrying about testing or anything like that.
Favourite story was him trying out a traction engine he'd just bought, no restoration to speak of. Realised that it was 20lbs above the working pressure and the safety valves weren't lifting. He decided not to do anything so he could see how high the pressure would go. At least he was safety conscious, he 'hid behind the back wheels of the roller behind, as that would give some protection if the boiler was to explode...'!
That's not the words I would use to describe it. "Utter stupidity" springs to mind...
Think you missed the [irony] tags.
[irony]of course in those days we didn't need health and safety, we used common sense[/irony]
Even more ironic is that in those days, Health and Safety legislation was just as onerous, though it was called The Factories Act (Other acts also legislated workplaces) and a deal more proscriptive.
Doesn't the factories act cover just that? On private property you can blow yourself to Kingdom-Come without a man in an HV and hard hat popping up! I can steam my Garrett Agricultural engine quite happily without a current boiler test at home but not take it to a show.
I read that book about Bressingham as well. Free the flywheel, oil the valve gear, change the packings in the glands and bearings and have a quick peer in the boiler to make sure its all there or thereabouts and give it a go!
He did cop-it once though. He decided to undo the mudhole door to wash his original (and subsequently scrapped) engine's boiler out and it still had 5psi on the clock. He ended up getting quite badly scalded and didn't do that again! Fascinating book and fascinating man.
I believe it covered anywhere where people were employed.
My tongue was very firmly and decidedly in cheek, Keith!
I guess that's a way of learning a lesson you won't forget in a hurry. Think I read in Fred Rich's book about Brighton shed about somebody doing the same and the mudhole door eventually turning up in Dyke Road (a good 1/2 mile away)...
From the Bluebell e-Newsletter:
ASH PROJECT CHOOSES THE "YANKEE TANK" FOR THE ROLLING ROAD EXHIBIT
The loco selected by the Project Steering Group to be used in the Accessible Steam Heritage (ASH) Rolling Road Exhibit is Southern Railway USA class No. 30064, affectionately known as the "Yankee Tank".
Originally built for the United Sates Transportation Corp for use in Europe following "D Day" in 1944, No. 30064 landed in England from America during 1943. After Word War II engines like this one were bought by the Southern Railway. The Railway's preserved tank was used for shunting in Southampton Docks. She was one of the last steam locos to see service on the national railway. Coming to our Railway in 1971, she ran until 1983.
Since then the loco has been stored in the open, currently on a siding at Horsted Keynes. No. 30064 has been selected for its size and because there is interesting running gear visible to see on the outside. These features make it ideal for a static rolling road exhibit. In addition, the valve gear is easily accessible for oiling, which will be required during operation of the exhibit.
After so many years in the open, the "Yankee Tank" will require a considerable amount of work to restore the body work so that she is suitable for viewing. That work that will be funded by the ASH Project. The livery still has to be decided, but it will either be Southern Railway or WWII livery (as it is now).
Cash for ASH
The "Cash for ASH" Project Appeal is ongoing and now stands at an impressive £158,000. Thank you to those who have donated so far, but there is still a fair way to go to reach the £210,000 target.
To see the current total and make a donation visit the Just Giving website page or download a Gift Aid form and send in a cheque. All contributions are greatly appreciated by the project team!
By Roger Kelly, Funding Director
And not from the e-Newsletter, but on display at the AGM were 1:8 and 1:10 scale 3D-printed models of P class cylinders, produced from the CAD drawings. Next step is to produce full-size 3D-printed patterns from which actual cylinders can be cast; the cost for casting, transport and machining is expected to be in the region of £15k.
If you want to see them up close, the Fenchurch Fund team will have them on display, adjacent to the frames of the loco, at the Model Railway Weekend, 25/26 June - http://www.bluebell-railway.com/event/model-railway-weekend/. I suspect Atlantic House will also be open that weekend to see the latest progress there.
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