Saturday, 27 July 2013

Back Filling

With the weather still on our side an evening party met at the museum and started to back fill the cavities of the new extension level with the external ground level. This requires a weak mix of concrete at about 8:1 sloped towards the external face to allow any water in the cavity to escape.

We have booked our block layer to come back in August to start building the walls up to wall plate level, with the ultimate aim of having the roof fitted, felted and battened before the end of October ensuring it is weather tight before the winter.

Monday, 15 July 2013

General Site Work

Well whilst the big things have been going on, the little jobs also continue. Chris one of our newer members has been busy working on the listed buildings and in particular window cills for the pump room and forge. The pump room has received a brand new softwood cill, and the forge is getting a scarfed front with new drip. This has been expertly applied, screwed, glued and then pegged, all it needs is planning back flush and painting. A pair of shutters for this window are also on the cards. 

Graham has been busy cutting a stainless cover for the 'well' created to sit under the new deep well pump. This will stop general debris and small mammals from dropping into it! A mesh cover will protect the returning water. Hopefully the pump base seen in the background can be bolted down and the pump put together.

With this progress and the removal of the oiling station for restoration by a volunteer the area in front of the Bellis compound engine is looking much tidier. Other work in the Exhibition Hall includes work to the Crossley Diesel Engine, Dave had removed the air inlet valve (compressed air is used to start the engine) to try and stop a leak. Once stripped down it was found that the valve inside when completely open was only giving the equivalent of a 9mm diameter inlet, this is a considerably small hole and might indicate why when we were trying to start it in on 150psi rather than its usual 250psi failed! The valve has been adjusted re fitted and now needs to be hooked up to a 150psi air supply for testing.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Heating Up!

Yesterday's steaming had to be one of the hottest! Despite the good weather we had a good number of visitors. Normally when the weather is too good (if there is such a thing) the visiting public would rather be at the beach but they turned out to see the 25+ stationary steam engines running even if the volunteers would have preferred the beach themselves!

The new box van made its first appearance on an open day and was put with the Ransomes piling winch and the Lister locomotive and was providing rides to our members for the day. All of the comments have been positive, the only improvement to make is to reduce the softness of the suspension that tends to make it roll a bit when getting on and off. Some modifications will no doubt have to feature some damping but we aren't sure how to achieve that yet.

And as the railway is progressing I will mention the recent purchase of 200 second hand steel sleepers for use in relaying the railway. Although as mentioned many a time in this blog we have been producing concrete sleepers, the offer came along and the price was too good to resist. The steel ones cost half the price of the materials for the concrete versions and without the effort! Not all is lost though as the concrete sleepers will work well under the ground where the rail is at ground level, the steel ones being used on ballasted lengths of track work.

The picture below shows the first 60 having been collected.

If anyone feels like helping make up track panels please get in contact...