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.