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2009 News Archive

December 2009

Lots of activity to report on this month....

• Two decorating projects in CD engine house have made significant progress this month:

  • Representatives from English Heritage have now agreed that the Trust can repaint the dado walls.
    Paint samples that were taken from the walls showed that the last layer of paint was a "dark cream" colour. A sample of wood taken from the bathroom revealed a dark cream colour that has never been exposed to daylight and is therefore the best sample which will not have faded. The sample was colour matched and a trial area was painted. This photo shows the walls behind D flywheel in undercoat.
  • Our unique bathroom has been completely repainted. Photo1 Photo2 This area can only be visited on our "off-limits" tour and visitors must be accompanied by a guide. The bathroom was used by boiler cleaning crews after they had cleaned out the boiler flues. A gang of 3 men washed each others backs!! There also used to be a row of 4 cottages adjacent to the pumping station and only one cottage (the site foremans') had a bathroom, so we presume that the occupants of the other 3 also made use of the engine house bathroom.

• The hubs for the pipe drug are being turned on the long bed lathe as this is the only lathe that can turn work of this diameter. This picture shows an original on the left and the part machined new one on the right.

• The Trust has received grants to recover the missing handrails from AB engine house. The stanchions and railings were removed from AB and used in a building within the modern sewage treatment works next door. The Trust agreed with Severn Trent that the railings could be returned, provided that suitable replacements were installed to ensure the safety of ST's employees. The originals have now been recovered and work has commenced to remove the blue and white paint that had been applied.

• A new stand pipe has been installed on Boiler 4 which incorporates a tee into the 2" pipework system. This makes it much easier for the boiler crew during the warming up phase of bringing the site into steam. Boiler 5 had a 2" feed connected directly onto the boiler shell which was already installed when the Trust came on-site. When Boiler 4 replaced 5 as the working boiler, the facility was sorely missed, so rather than cutting a hole in the boiler shell, a new stand pipe was manufactured and hydraulic tested by Alton Engineering prior to installation and steam testing.


November 2009

• One of the ploughing engines that used to work on the sewage farm recently came up for sale. This is the engine that visited the site for the 15th anniversary in 2008. The owner gave the Trust an opportunity to purchase the engine, but we were unable to raise sufficient funds for a deposit and so it went to auction, where it was sold for 139,000 plus 5% buyers' premium.


October 2009

• The Trust is proud of its involvement with educating the younger generations - William Shrewsbury Primary School brought 85 students to learn about the Victorians. This year the station was in steam and they saw most of the engines actually running.
Others come to help and get mucky too!!

• The Trust was also visited by the Rolls Royce Enthusiasts Club and the yard was once again full of wonderful cars.


September 2009

• The Heritage Open Days weekend was a great success this year. It was in part helped by Claymills being listed as the first of "Five Top Tips" in The Times on 10th of September.

• Getting up early in the morning to raise steam for a steaming weekend sometimes has its rewards. The recent spell of good weather provided a photographic opportunity that could not be missed.

• This news page has featured several cars & trains recently, so for a change, here's a motorbike.


August 2009

• The pipe drug is being reassembled now. In the foreground is the fore carriage (painted in undercoat) and in the background, it can be seen that the rear axle has also been reattached to the main chassis framework.

• The Rapidor machine hacksaw has been finish painted. After the addition of the belt guard, it will be ready for installation.


July 2009

• The cleaning of the entablature in CD engine house is progressing well, with two thirds of the sides complete.

• Make sure your saws are sharp.... This is the seasoned oak for the wheel hubs of the pipe drug being sawn into pieces ready for turning.

Claymills in bloom. Despite our weather this summer, our gardeners have produced a great display near the site entrance.


June 2009

• Our summer maintenance period is now in full swing. The boiler crew are hard at work cleaning No.4 in preparation for the inspections which have to take place before the August steaming.

• One of the targets for paintwork cleaning in CD engine house is the entablature that supports the beams. Now that the cleaning of the underside of the beams is progressing (C is nearly complete) and the flywheels are finished, we chose the next feature that would have a significant impact on the appearance of the engine house.

• The treatment of the mahogony cladding for D beam engine has commenced. Here is the process for coating all four sides of a piece of wood in one pass and here is the wood for the steam pipes which connect the two valve chests.

• A replacement machine hacksaw has been donated to the Trust. This is the same make and model as the one that was originally installed in the workshop and after a coat of paint will be installed in its correct place.


May 2009

• 2 steamings this month have kept us all busy. May day was a little disappointing, but we made up for it over Spring Bank. Visitors were also able to see a Wallis Advance steam roller and a model railway display.

• Following on from main line activity in March, this month the A1 Steam Locomotive Trust's 60163 Tornado was passing through heading for Tyseley.


April 2009

• The Easter steaming was our best to date with 500 visitors coming through the gate over the weekend. The winch was steamed for the first time and performed well.

• Easter Monday was somewhat different from normal when Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service came to spread the message about having smoke alarms fitted (but not in our Boiler House!!). They didn't arrive in a small fire engine - no - they brought the biggest hydraulic platform they have! Claymills is an interesting site for them to practice rescue exercises, so we may be seeing more of them in the future.


March 2009

• The winch has been fully re-assembled now and has been run on compressed air. It is expected that it will be run on steam for the first time at Easter.

• Following the expiry of the 10 year 'ticket' for No. 5 boiler and the prospect of expensive repairs to bring it back into service, it has been decided to use the boiler to preheat the feed water for No. 4, thus economising on our coal consumption. Since it will not be under pressure, no inspections are required. The boiler will be fired using our free supply of scrap wood and the plumbing is being altered to connect the blowdown drain to the feedpump.

• We occasionally get distracted from working on the Claymills site! This time, 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley stopped on the goods line to pick up water. Their stay was a little longer than expected as the water tanker was unable to get close enough to the engine. The situation was resolved when the tanker was moved onto the sports field adjacent to the railway line.


February 2009

• Snow at Claymills always provides some wonderful photographic opportunities. Here are a few - Photo-1 Photo-2 Photo-3 Photo-4


January 2009

• Following the Christmas steaming, the winch is back in the workshop. The valve linkage and reversing lever are currently being re-assembled.

• There is also much activity in CD engine house. D engine flywheel is being cleaned. This picture shows before at the top and after below. At this point, no linseed oil has been applied, so the cleaned paint does not have its glossy finish (compare with C flwheel in the background of the carol singers in December 2008).


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Online Tour
Archive
News
Events
Visitor Facilities
Education
Ratty Tails
Map
Technical Data
Sewage Farm
Workshop
Donations
Membership
Trust History
Links
Contact Us


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Quality Assured Visitor Attraction