Museum News 2006

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January to May 2006

Reliant Paddle Tug, Side-Lever Engine
Work has continued on restoring the paddle feathering mechanism. A fabricated steel structure has been made, onto which is mounted the hub of the feathering arms. The whole assembly has now been placed in position at the side of the paddle wheel (originally the hub would have been attached to the side if the paddle sponson or paddle box).
The next stage was to design and and construct an arrangement to be able to alter the centre of the feathering hub relative to the centre of the paddle wheel. This would allow us to demostrate the paddles in feathering and non-feathering mode (this would not have been a feature on the tug, the paddles would have been fixed in feathering mode).
This is now operational and works quite well.

May to September 2006
A new big end bearing and bearing block has been made and fitted. The connecting rod has been coupled up and fitted to the side levers, which now rise and fall as the paddle wheel is turned.
The existing piston rod, minus the piston, and the cross-head assembly has been assembled and bolted in position above the steam cylinder.

Because of costs and other factors, (such as new piston, piston rod, valve, valve mechanism and eccentric strap required) it has been decided, for the time being, not to restore the engine for steaming. Instead it will continue to be turned over using the electric motor and wheel arrangement, which still gives a good visible effect.

Hoisting the feathering hub Hoisting the feathering hub onto the fabricated structure, prior to positioning it at the side of the paddle wheel. Each of the paddles, on the paddle wheel, has an arm which is attached to this hub.
Piston rod, cross-head and side rod assembly, on the floor ready for hoisting up into place. Cross-head assembly
Hoisting Cross-head assembly Hoisting the cross-head assembly into position above the steam cylinder.

Other work in progress

Restoration work has started on a direct acting boiler feed pump, made by G&J Weir of Glasgow, and two other water pumps of unknown make.

Restoration of G&J Weir boiler feed pump. Restoring a C&J Weir boiler feed pump

September to December

New Extension for the Museum

For some time now, planning permision has been granted for an extension to be built at the end of the existing building. Funding has now been made available for the work to start.
The concrete foundations are now in place ready for the steel structure to erected.
When complete the extension will give additional space of approx. 1600 sq. ft.

Concrete foundations Concreting the foundations for the extension.
Steel structure for the extension. Steel structure

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