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2007 News Archive

December 2007

• The base for the outrigger bearing for the agitator engine in 'E' engine house has been completed.

• Our last steaming of the year proved to be a very successful event with 425 visitors attending over the weekend. Additional visiting attractions were a couple of vehicles and a display of stationary engines. Carols were sung in 'E' engine house and CD engine house.

• The stoker mechanism on No 4. Boiler was belted up to the lineshaft and was tested successfully during the steaming, so that is a major step completed.

November 2007

• November started with our 2nd schools visit. 98 children from William Shrewsbury Primary School visited us to learn about Victorian sewage treatment. More pictures can be found in the "Special Features" section of the schools own website.

• The base for the agitator engine in 'E' engine house is progressing well, with the engine now mounted on the base. A supply of bull-nosed bricks is now required to complete the base. The base for the out-rigger bearing is now under construction.

• Re-assembly of the stoker mechanism on No 4. Boiler is also progressing well with the coal measuring and sprinkler shafts now fitted. We hope to connect the belts and test the mechanism during our Christmas steaming on Dec 29th & 30th.

• Work has started on overhauling the portable winch. It didn't take long for the Thursday gang to dismantle it and the chassis is now being repaired.

October 2007

• Reassembly of the Ruston Proctor portable is proving to be a very interesting 3D jigsaw. The steam cylinder and crank have now been cleaned and fitted. The parts of the patent stay have also been identified. This is a stay rod that fits between the cylinder block and main bearing to assist with transferring the forces that are exerted on the piston and connecting rod. However, this rod is connected to two parts that are attached to the boiler and as the boiler expands under heat and pressure, it would be attempting to stretch the stay rod. The answer was to fit a steam jacket to the stay rod so that it too expands at the same rate as the boiler.

• The base for the agitator engine is taking shape with a traditional brick base under construction.

• Work is now progressing with No 4. Boiler. The first major step of reassembling the stoker mechanism has been completed with re-mounting the boiler front casting. All the other parts fit onto this casting. We hope to get it back into steam for Easter 2008, so that will keep the boiler crew busy for the winter.

September 2007

• 'E' Engine House is filling up rapidly with addition of the Ruston Proctor portable engine. When originally used at Claymills it was not exactly portable - it was buried up to its axles in concrete. We shall not doing that to it again, but it will be displayed without its wheels. The task of identifying the parts and cleaning 30 years of sticky protective gunge from them has commenced. The first few parts have cleaned up remarkably well and there is even original paint still present on some of them.

• English Heritage have provided some more help with the ongoing task of conserving CD Engine House. During their last visit, attempts were made to clean the plastered sections of the walls. However, sections of the walls have continued to deteriorate revealing bare plaster. EH came with an expert who showed us how to mix traditional distemper. A colour recipe was devised and sections of the bare wall have been painted. We are now waiting to see how this dries out and how durable it will be.

• The chimney repairs have been completed.

August 2007

• Our boiler crew have completed the cleaning of No 5. Boiler. The inspection has revealed some wastage of the shell and pitting of the furnace tubes. In order to keep it running for another year, the working pressure has had to be reduced to 50psi. After this, the ten year certificate expires and it will require a complete strip down, so we now have 14 months to get No 4. up and running.

• Two of our "homeless" engines have been moved into their new home in 'E' Engine House. Temporary pipework has been connected to allow the engines to run on the bank holiday steaming.
The agitator engine has also been moved into 'E' Engine House. This picture shows the flywheel and outline of the brickwork for the bed. The engine itself is shown in front of the storm water pump in this picture.

• The living van containing our 2nd hand bookshop has been supported by sleepers while the replacement wheels have been made. This picture shows the parts painted with red-oxide.

July 2007

• It is now just over 10 years since the chimney was rebuilt up to its original height and a recent inspection revealed that some pointing work needs doing. Also the steel bands which surround the chimney need attention and the current standards are that these should also be bonded to the lightning conductor. Severn Trent has let the contract to do this work to Rafferty Chimneys.

• The steam main has now been connected to 'E' Engine House. The picture shows the connection being made in the bowels of CD Engine House. The major parts of the storm water pump have also been roughly positioned to allow pipework routing to be worked out. The left hand end of the picture shows the condensor, which we believe was not actually used during the working life of the engine.

• The open day on July 1st, saw several bus loads of visitors from the rally at the Coors Visitor Centre. Photo-1. Photo-2.

June 2007

• Another quiet month as several volunteers are on holiday. However, some have still been hard at work cleaning No 5. Boiler.

• The finishing touches to 'E' Engine House are nearing completion with the addition of the barge boards and finials. Work has now started on the plumbing, beginning with the steam supply. A redundant 2" pipe which ran from the boiler house to the outside wall of CD Engine House will be reconnected and extended into 'E'. The pipe has been hydraulic tested and no leaks were found.

May 2007

• Two steamings have kept us busy this month.

• The internal cladding of 'E' Engine House is now complete and has been treated with 2 coats of Danish oil. The electrical wiring has also been completed.

April 2007

• The internal cladding of 'E' Engine House is progressing well. The boarding is complete and finishing touches such as the window surrounds are being worked on.

Polishing the bright work on 'C' Engine has been interrupted by the need to run the engine! We intend to re-erect the scaffolding during the summer break to continue.

• The replacement fusible plug holders have at last been welded into No 4. Boiler. The replacement damper control shaft has also been fitted. Work can now continue to re-assemble the boiler front and re-lay the firebricks and stone slabs on top of the boiler.

29 tonnes of coal have been delivered. In the background of the picture, you can see the new gas holder that is being constructed by Severn Trent. The gas is produced by the sludge digesters and is used to generate electricity which is fed back into the national grid.

March 2007

• With the outside of 'E' Engine House nearing completion, work has turned to the inside. The roof has been lagged and the internal cladding is progressing well. The permanent electricity supply has been connected and lights installed.

• The refurbishment of the north (Derby) side economiser is also nearing completion and we hope to test it during the Easter steaming. This photo shows the reversing mechanism.

• This winter has also seen the steam hammer dismantled for maintenance on the holding down bolts. It is now back in one piece and ready for action!

February 2007

• One of our ongoing projects is to fully excavate the sewage culverts in order to provide a larger volume of cooling water for the beam engines. This took a major step forward this month with the help of JCB, who provided a digger and driver to excavate 'D' pit and the adjacent 'blowdown' pit. The pits had been filled with all sorts of builders rubble. Our dumper worked hard removing the spoil and it got very sloppy when we eventually got down to the water table. Severn Trent also provided a couple of lorries to remove the spoil on the 2nd day.

• The guttering on 'E' Engine House has now been fitted. One of the site plans that we have showed the location of drains heading towards 'E' and when we dug down, we found the old gulleys, grates still in place and still connected to 'next door'. This bit of luck has saved a lot of work.

January 2007

• 12 months ago, we had just received the grant from Awards for All for rebuilding 'E' Engine House. It is now a reality and we have achieved the goal of rebuilding the structure within the specified time. This month's progress was the construction of the large doors for machinery access, which now completes the outside cladded structure. Work is also continuing on the eaves & guttering.

• Work has been progressing on the north (Derby) side economiser. The engine which drives the scraper gear (which spent last year in the display outside AB engine house) has now been relocated on its plinth. For safety reasons, this area of the boiler house can only be visited by a "hard hat" escorted tour.

© Claymills Pumping Engines Trust
Meadow Lane
Burton upon Trent, DE13 0DA
Registered Charity No. 1030331
Accredited Museum No. 2334