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2008 News Archive

December 2008

• Our last steaming of the year proved to be a very successful event with 423 visitors attending over the weekend. Among additional visiting attractions was a rather spectacular vehicle. Carols were also sung in CD engine house.

November 2008

• November started with a return visit from William Shrewsbury Primary School to learn about Victorian sewage treatment.

• The restoration of the portable winch is progressing well, with the framework and steam cylinders refitted to the chassis.

October 2008

• 'E' engine house is officially open to visitors. A ceremony was held on the 25th to mark the Trust's 15th anniversary and open the engine house. A plaque was unveiled by Richard Martin, Director of Waste Water Services, Severn Trent - our landlord! The first engine, the storm water pump, was started by the Mayor of Burton on Trent, Liz Staples. The agitator engine was started by Paula Betteridge, General Manager Public Access Sites Severn Trent and the portable was started by Helen Hughes from English Heritage.

• Star attraction for the weekend was Fowler K7 ploughing engine FA1302, one of the engines which used to work on the sewage farm. It was a tight squeeze, but the engine was kept in the workshop overnight in the exact place that it would have come to the station for maintenance.

• The weekend was also attended by members of the Claymills Classic Car Club and several miniature traction engines.

September 2008

• In 'E' engine house, the main engines are just about ready for our official opening in October. The portable has had a box built under it to simulate how it was embedded in the concrete floor in the original lime shed. The storm water pump and agitator engine are also complete.

• In CD engine house, the brass bands on 'C' are progressing (4 on the cylinders and 7 on the pipes still to do)

August 2008

• Our bank holiday steaming was one of two steamings when we are running both Boilers No 4 and 5. Here the boiler crew prepare to light all four fires together. A little later and the boilers are being gently warmed. Here, both safety valves are blowing together. Both boilers will be in action again at the October steaming before No 5's ten year ticket expires.

July 2008

• In 'E' engine house, steam and exhaust pipes have now been connected to the storm water pump. The smaller engines which were initially connected using flexible hoses are also being fitted with fixed pipework.

• In CD engine house, the final piece of mahogany cladding has now been fixed to 'C' engine. The next job is to fit the brass bands which hide the screws which fasten the strips of mahogany to the cylinders.

June 2008

• In 'E' engine house, the agitator engine is almost complete, with a little pipework and finishing touches still in progress. The storm water pump is not far behind with the major mechanical assembly complete and pipework being worked on. Due to the condition of the bore of the condenser air pump, this engine will initially be run non-condensing.

May 2008

What a difference a month makes sometimes...

• On the 13th, Boiler No. 4 was re-lit for the first time by Arthur Scattergood, who was one of the stokers when the station was working. On the 21st, it passed its steam test and is now certified for use. The safety valves have been set for 50psi so that we can use both Nos 4 & 5 together while No 5 is restricted to this pressure. It was used for the Spring Bank Holiday steaming at the end of May.

• The pipework for the portable engine has been completed and on the 24th, the engine ran for the first time and also made its first public appearance for the Spring Bank Holiday steaming.

• Our gatehouse/pay box at the entrance to the site had been looking a bit shabby for sometime, so we decided to replace it with a more spacious building where visitors are also protected from the elements while being introduced to the site. This was funded by the donation we received from The Burton Natural History & Archaeological Society in February.

April 2008

• In 'E' engine house, the storm water pump has been grouted onto its base and the flywheel is now rotating in its bearings. The portable engine has been lowered to the floor and secured in place. Work has now started on the pipework, with exhaust pipe being cleaned and primed.

• Work has also commenced on repairing the pipe drug. The wood has been kept in store to allow it to season. This picture shows part of the framework for the turntable which the front wheels are attached to.

• In CD engine house, the tops of the beams, which suffered from the effects of the weather during the years the station was closed, have been cleaned and painted. The sides of the beam suffered much less and are being cleaned before a decision is made about their treatment.

March 2008

• Despite the inclement weather at Easter, our steaming turned out to be a record 2-day event with 445 visitors venturing out - maybe it was the prospect of keeping warm in our engine houses or café!

• The front of Boiler No 4. is now complete with the addition of the air boxes and hoppers. The new dampers were tested during the Easter steaming. Here is one of the frames before being fitted with the assistance of two of our younger volunteers. Our October event will mark the last steaming of Boiler No. 5 when its ten year ticket expires. Because of the problems identified last year by the boiler inspector, considerable work will be required before it will be suitable for re-inspection and steaming. During the October event it is intended to run both Boilers No. 4 and 5 together. For the first time since the pumping station was closed over thirty five years ago, two boilers will be generating steam together.

• More progress in 'E' engine house - the brick base for the storm water pump's condensor is nearly complete.

February 2008

• The chassis of the portable winch has now been finished. Attention is now turning to the other components.

• This month's progress in 'E' engine house centres on the storm water pump where the brickwork is now almost complete and has been filled with concrete. New piston and valve rods have also been machined for the portable - both were wasted over the sections that go through their respective glands. Our workshop archive records show that several piston and valve rods were made, so this is not a new activity.

• Preparing Boiler No 4. for its steam test continues apace. After many weeks of frustrating efforts, the damper plates were finally extracted from the guides. After many hours effort with assorted tools, the breakthrough was made by raiding our fridge for a couple of cans of a well known cola drink and pouring these down the guides. This drink contains phosphoric acid which reacted with the rust and out came the doors!! In the meantime, new frames for the dampers have been cast and are now fitted. The brickwork above the side flues is also being replaced.

• The Burton Natural History & Archaeological Society visited us this month. The reason for the visit was that the Society is unfortunately being wound up and they have decided to donate half of the Society's funds to the Trust. We thank them for their generosity. The project that this will be used for is still to be decided.

January 2008

• Progress in 'E' engine house continues apace. The base for the agitator engine has been completed and the tricky operation of positioning the flywheel is now under way. The base for the storm water pump outrigger bearing has been completed and the base for the engine is now being built.

• The chassis of the portable winch has now been painted and the wheels and axles are now receiving attention.

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