Friday, 22 November 2013


Its been a bit slow on the blog but things have been progressing nicely. The trust has held its Annual General Meeting and so we begin to work towards the next. Graham has been working away on the lister deep well and it certainly has grown! The pictures tell all...

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Mirror Finish!

Well Bill has done it, the boiler cladding is all but finished. The stainless steel bands look fantastic and we must now finish the building around it to keep up the quality appearance! He must be thanked for the single handed effort he has put into this project. 

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Trimming + Appeal

Well today was at times a wet one but between the showers the volunteers managed to get a few jobs done! John was busy cutting the edge of the bank where the reeds had begun to creep towards the grass. This was then later loaded onto empty railway wagons and sent down the line to be dumped. 

Graham has made further progress with his pump putting the main pulley wheel and drive gears in place. It turns beautifully and will I am sure be a great exhibit when finished. 

Bill has been busy with the paint brush, the boiler is now finished in a fine deep red! It looks stunning and will now be fitted with mirror finish stainless securing bands.

Elsewhere some new signs have appeared on the Westonzoyland Light Railway! With Jason's vinyl cutter all those little sign jobs are slowly being completed. A stop, look, listen sign has been added to the level crossing and one whistle sign installed on the approach to it. This will of course be followed with others as time goes on.

The truss roof has also been delivered, this was supplied by Crendon Timber Engineering for a very good price. Hopefully we can get this up soon however.... We are I'm desperate need of scafolding! Do you know anyone who might be able to lend the Trust scafolding to do 3 x 7m runs with one lift. It would need to be for a few months over the winter in order for us to get the roof on, water tight, tiled and all timber work completed. If you can help please contact me at

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Wash Out!

This Sunday saw a less productive day! The committee of the Trust had a meeting all afternoon to discuss end of year items. John cleaned the boiler tubes, Adrian did some weeding and Bill continued work on the boiler. All looked rather wet by end of play and most were gone by 4pm! Hopefully more news later in the week when the truss roof turns up! 

Friday, 11 October 2013

Hayward Society Visit

Today we had a private steaming for a prestigious society that was formed in 1976 with the aim of furthering the association of those involved in miniature railways from 7 1/4" to 21" gauge. The Hayward Society is limited to 100 members so it was with great pleasure that we entertained 70 of them today. With an 11am visit, members were up bright and early starting on site at 8am, lighting the boiler at 9am in order to give the two hours required to get up to full working pressure. Our guests were shown around and were also fed and watered by the amazing all lady team in the tea room. The Trust is very grateful for the help they put in. Some pictures of the visit are below, perhaps you are part of a group or society that goes out on trips? We have very favourable non-steam and steaming prices and these can be found on the website.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


So many different jobs being worked on at the moment! It's difficult to know where to start. Bill has been busy working on preparing the boiler cladding for final paintwork. The galvanised steel has been coated with an etching primer. A section of final top coat has been applied with a very nice shade of gloss red. Around the back of the boiler he has been putting efforts into provide a safe working platform for maintaining the various fixtures and fittings on the boiler. Utilising an old industrial metal ladder we had from our old vertical boiler you can now climb up onto a timber planked section running the length of the Marshall. We await to see the paintwork finished and when a surprise might be in store for Bill... However you will have to keep your eyes peeled on the blog for an update on this later.

With a hydraulic test of the air receiver discussed in the last post completed, it was lifted off its cradle and placed on its side work will now begin on cleaning all the old paint from it taking it back to bare metal and then re coating in a zinc rich primer and a top coat. We can then get the fittings cleaned up and where nessesary replaced before having an inspection from our qualified pressure vessel man!

The pair of railway points in the courtyard have become rather imbedded with soil and gravel so Alan had a good clean out and got the mechanism clear to ensure smooth operation, this is last place we want a derailment... Most embarrassing with hoards of visitors watching your every move!

Utilising the new steel sleepers we have partly put together a 6m panel of 30lb rail as a test. The rail will need drilling for fish plates and some will need to be trimmed to tidy up the flame cut ends. These components are a lot heavier than we are used to! These will then be used to replace existing 14lb rail to allow larger visiting locos and future public operation. 

Graham's has been busy putting his lister deep well pump back together now it is all fixed down on its base! the piston and rod has been installed as has the main body with a fair bit of effort. The next step is to assemble all the remaining components and then look at mounting the electric motor to drive it! Nearly there so watch this space a video will be uploaded to youtube! 

And finally, the old Crossley air receiver has now become a sign! A suitably official parking sign vinyl has been added to the outside of the tank directing our visitors across the level crossing into the car park!

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Busy Day!

Today has been one of the busiest working days in a long time! 

The chimney in the cottage kitchen was cleared of 3ft of twigs, brushed clean last week. This week saw some temporary repairs to the Belle Stove which allowed it to be lit. This willbe a welcome sight with the colder opening days coming up. It might also tempt some of our volunteers to spend some time informing our interested visitors on the social aspects of the pumping station.

The Crossley Diesel engine has been non-operational for nearly a year now due to it's air receiver being condemned. An alternative tank has been on site for many year but lots of experiments were being carried out to start the engine on 150psi (garage equipment pressure). No luck has been had so it will be back to its factory starting pressure of 250psi. This green vessel is rated to 300psi working pressure with a test pressure of 600psi! In reality the tank needs to be hydraulically tested to 1.5 times working. So today it was pumped up to a but more than this and it held 400psi for ten minutes. It will now have to be inspected by our pressure vessel inspector and passed out for use. 

The deep well pump has had its temporary wooden shims replaced for metal ones, all that is required is for holes to be drilled into the block work below and bolts to be chemical anchored in! A nice crescent brickwork surround will form the water return in front... Watch this space and all will become clearer! 

One end of the boiler building had been completed earlier in the year, so we have now begun working on the other end, frame work has been fixed to take cladding above the doors, a new door frame will be built and the doors on the existing cabin will be removed and put on this new framework. The doors will then be cladded in something a bit nicer. A small window might feature above to allow some natural light in.

Now the boiler is covered further work goes on with the boiler cladding. The smoke box has received a coat of gloss black and the galvanised cladding has been coated with an etching primer. The final colour is to be a deep gloss red finished with stainless steel bands. 

And with all this rain and warm temperatures the grass has been on steroids, so a good session with the mower sees it all cut into shape!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Oiling Up

Things are still progressing amongst the raft of steamings over these pleasant summer months. Over a year ago the Trust had the opportunity to buy a Castrol Oiling Station commonly seen in old fuel forecourts when cars required continuos supplies and in farm yards to keep machinery operating. After purchasing it, the oil reservoirs were found to be in bad condition and had rusted through from the outside. Plans were put on hold until a member decided to sort it out. He got so fed up with never finding any oil cans or any oil in them it was time to take action!

The results as can be seen are stunning. The three tanks were taken out, replaced with three 25litre oil tubs. A frame was made to keep these in place and the front cover when in the lowered position covers them up. One tank supplies 20/50 engine oil, the other a steam compound bearing oil and the other a thick grade steam oil. Push the levers up and down and out comes the oil into the can! A collection of new and restored oil cans have been labeled up in there respective oils. Another member has used some artistic licence to alter an old Castrol logo from 'motor oil' to 'steam oil' and cut it on a vinyl cutter. The old butter churn had also seen a coat of paint and a label. This is used as a 'chamber' for collecting old oil. When the engines with sumps find the oil has too much water in it and it has gone very thick, it doesn't want to come out of the drain tap so a vacuum cleaner is attached to the milk churn and the hose is then put in the oil. The vacuum supplies the suck and the churn the place to dump the old oil. 

The large lister deep well has seen its base frame and pump tube fitted over the tank previously cast in concrete in the ground. Work will now see this frame fixed down and the rest of the pump assembled. Once this is completed the electric drive motor will be sorted out and connected up!

Other work has been going on replacing rotting timber work. A new frame and door has been made to replace the old coal shute door in the pump room. This is in kit form and will now be fitted. The new shutters on the forge have been primed awaiting a top coat of Buckingham green.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Heritage Open Day 15/09/2013

Free Entry to the museum as part of the Heritage Open Days national scheme, the museum for the second year running will be operating in steam. The tea room will be serving hot drinks, homemade cakes and snacks, come along and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the Somerset Levels! Dogs are welcome on leads and parking is free. Mainly Level access. See for more information.


Saturday, 31 August 2013


The last day of block laying for a while! The final courses of the external skin have been completed along with the decorative soldier course of reclaimed brickwork over the opening lintels. The walls are now ready to accept the roof trusses and these will be ordered in the next week. Once on site scaffolding will be erected, the trusses lifted into position, felt and battened. The gable will then be built to the trusses.

Monday, 26 August 2013


The walls have made it! This Sunday gone the wall plates were bedded onto the inside skin of block work. The steel cavity lintels have been built in over all the openings and now all that is needed before putting the truss roof on is four more courses of block work on the out side skin which will be completed this coming weekend. 

On Monday we were in steam and although I have no photos from the steaming I have this nice photo of the oil lamp in the Easton Engine room as we were shutting up! 

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Progress so far...

The video here... gives a guided tour of the work completed so far on the facilities extension. If you can help out in anyway we would appreciate any help with building work and financial support via. our buy a brick appeal. Email me at for further information.

Monday, 19 August 2013

The great concrete wall of Westonzoyland

Further block work this past weekend has got the toilet wall up to wall plate height along its length. The other walls are a bit slower to build as they have a few openings and require steel lintels to be built in. In order to conceal the straps that have to be used to tie the wall plate down we are placing these on the cavity side as the block work is faced on the inside and will be painted. The external skin is left rough as it will be rendered. Next weekend further work will be completed in order to get a final measurement for the truss roof. We need to get the shell completed and water tight before the winter.