Sunday, 23 June 2013


Well what can I say, it's been a busy last few weeks. After a light tap by a volunteer it appeared the chimney on the Marshall boiler was a bit weak at the base. Having found a larger hammer things got worse! So in an organised panic we set about getting it removed... So with thanks to our neighbouring farmer and his telehandler we were able to grab hold of it with some lorry straps and put it safely on the ground. The extent of its decay was only then really discovered and after a few large taps it looked like a machine gun had done its best. 

The boiler was brought onto site in 1990 and the chimney made new then to replicated the badly rotted out one it came with. It lay in the folded down position until 2005 when the boiler was brought into use. A lot of the major decay has clearly happened in the line where it was flat and the water sitting doing its worse. Coupled with the last 8 years of soot and acid has caused the mild steel to thin some what.

Today we had a go at making a temporary chimney to tie us over. This was made from two sheets of 4' x 8' aluminium rolled and pop riveted together and slid down the main chimney base that is attached to the smoke box. A little fire was lit in the firebox and all seemed to work well however the wind was blowing in the right direction and so another test will be conducted. It should mean that we can continue to steam as planned in July and August.

A new chimney will most likely be made from stainless steel in order to extend its life dramatically over a mild steel equivalent. We hope to get funding for this project as it could cost a considerable sum. The chimney is currently 16ft long by 2ft diameter and requires a flange at the bottom to connect it to the existing smoke box chimney stub.

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