Museum News 2007

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January to May 2007

In January the Museum was closed because of work being done to the extension. There was a period of time when the existing building was insecure so a decision was made to remove all brass and copper items from the engines and store them in a safe place.
Just before Easter the extension was completed with a new large roller door fitted, which will provide access when we receive our next engine, understood to be a large mill engine. Another doorway has also been built on the other side of the extension, this will eventually be a new entrance to the Museum.
With the building once again secure all the items, that were removed from the engines, were replaced. This was not as easy as removing them, but we finished in time to run some of the engines on Easter Sunday and Monday.

Museum Extension Museum extension with new roller door.

Horizontal Engine on loan from Bradford Industrial Museum

It was reported in Museum News 2005 that this engine had been removed from its wooden frame, made from railway sleepers, prior to it being stripped down. The project has now been taken over by another volunteer and the engine has been completely rebuilt and looks well with its new paintwork. However the decision has been made to re-mount it back onto the wooden frame. It now awaits a permanent position in the Museum.

Rebuilt horizontal engine on loan from Bradford Industrial Museum BIM Engine

Thornewill & Warham Engine

For some time now it has been difficult to stop steam from leaking past the valve rod glands on the left hand engine (looking from the cylinder end). The reason for this was excessive wear to the valve rods where they pass through the glands. The only remedy was to renew the rods themselves, which would then require new brass bushes fo the glands and valve chest.
There was also a similar problem with the piston rod on the right hand engine. The piston rod was badly pitted due to corrosion. The remedy for this problem was to machine the rod to remove the imperfections and then make new brass bushes for the gland and cylinder cover.

Work started at the end of 2006 by removing the piston from the RH engine and removing the slide and expansion valves and rods from the LH engine.
New valve rods and bushes have been made and assembly has started on the LH engine.
The piston rod, on the RH engine, has been machined and new bushes made, these will be fitted in due course.

Thornewill Valve Rod One of the valve rods showing the substantial wear to part of the diameter
The dismantled LH engine valve chest.
To the left of the valve chest, is the slotted expansion valve, which is resting on the main slide valve.
Thornewill Valve Chest

New Arrival, 2nd May 2007

Tandem Compound Horizontal Mill Engine, built by Marsden's Engines Ltd in 1907 - name 'Rhoda'. The Museum took delivery of the HP and LP cylinders belonging to this engine, which is being dismantled at Runtlings Mill, Ossett, West Yorkshire. Once all the parts have arrived work will start on restoring/re-building the engine in the new museum extension.
Cylinder sizes: HP - 12ins. diameter; LP - 23ins. diameter; Stroke - 42ins.; Flyheel - 12ft. diameter with 6 rope grooves. Corliss valves on HP and slide valve on LP. Jet condenser.

Rhoda cylinders Unloading the cylinders and bed plate.

June to November

Thornewill & Warham Engine - repairs to the left hand engine were completed in July and is now back in steam. Similar repairs are ongoing on the right hand engine, ie. new valve rods required to replace the worn out ones.

Rhoda Mill Engine - the remaining parts of the engine were delivered to the museum during Monday 17th September. Work has started on cleaning and examining the many parts to this engine.

Some parts of 'Rhoda' have been cleaned and painted with red primer. 'Rhoda' parts

Reliant - Steam Paddle Tug

The original steam steering gear and engine belonging to 'Reliant' has been brought in from the outside store. It is a Combined Steam and Hand Type, vertical, duplex steering gear, built by Alley & MacLellan 'Sentinel', No. 2277. Bore 4ins. and stroke 5 ins.
The plan is to restore it to working condition and to demonstrate how it was used for steering the vessel.
Initial examination showed considerable corrosion to the exposed engine parts, which is not surprising after spending several years exposed to the elements without protection. It has been completely stripped down and is now being rebuilt. The valve rods have been machined and new gland bushes etc. made.

'Reliant' steering gear and engine The partly restored steering gear from the steam paddle tug 'Reliant'

Small engine uncovered.

Whilst having a clear out in one of the indoor storage areas, a small, horizontal, single cylinder steam engine was uncovered. The makers name, cast on the valve steam chest cover, is simply 'Farmer Bros'.
No one seemes to know the origin of this engine or how and when it came into the museum's possession.
The engine has been dismantled to assess if any repair work has to be carried out before restoring it for steaming.

Farmer Bros. Engine

January 2008
Reliant - Steam Paddle Tug - Steering Engine

Work on this engine has progressed well. The valve gear, which incorporates an interesting reversing system, has been completely overhauled. Cylinder pistons, connecting rods, crankshaft components etc. have been refurbished and reassembled with all bearings and slides adjusted to working conditions. A cylinder pre-heating system has been designed and fitted, which it is hoped, will keep condensate down to a minimum whilst the engine is stationary.
The engine had its first test run, under steam, on Wednesday 16th Jan 2008. The engine ran lovely and the steering mechanism worked very smoothly - a credit to those who have worked on it.

Fisrt test run of the 'Reliant' steering engine First test run, under steam, of the 'Reliant' steering engine

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