Sunday, 28 April 2013

MTEW: Sunday In Pictures...

Hi guys. Well, dare I say it, Sunday was even busier than Saturday! The event has been a total success and I must thank everybody who helped to make it so. We were blessed with 24 engines on Saturday and, despite some mechanical problems, we still managed to turn out 20 on the Sunday which is brilliant. Thank you to all of the engine owners, the miniature railway guys, the stand exhibitors, the organ team and of course the catering and railway staff for making the event so good in its first year. I will be returning as the event organiser again in 2014 and the dates are April 26th/27th. If you missed it this year then please do join us next year. I will be accepting engines and stand displays from October onwards but if anybody requires any information about exhibiting then please do not hesitate to contact me. All in all, a fantastic weekend with the 2pm "BIG WHISTLE" on Sunday just making it all worthwhile from my point of view...
















Finally, here is a video taken by a visitor to the event that has been posted on Youtube...just to give you a taster...

One more time...thank you all very, very much and I look forward to organising the event on behalf of the railway again in 2014. Thank you. Sam.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

MTEW: Saturday In Pictures...

Hi guys. Well, what a brilliant day! Miniature Traction Engine Weekend Day 1 went off fantastically. We didn't officially open until 10:30, and by 9:40 the visitors were arriving! It really did go off well and I can only hope that tomorrow goes better. We weren't exactly blessed with weather but the sunshine between the hail, rain and sleet was brilliant! Thank you to everyone who brought an engine and supported the event, and also thank you to every visitor that came and made the event a success. It made all the work to make it happen worthwhile. Thank you all. Now, Saturday in pictures...
Aveling & Porter "Louise" - 10 ton Roller

6" Burrell "Wandering Star" Road Loco

4" Burrell Showmans Engine "Winston Churchill"

3" Allchin "Royal Chester"

6" Burrell Devonshire Single Crank Compound "Merlin"

"Penelope" The Pipe Organ

"The Griffin" Powering "Penelope" The Organ
 
4" Foster "McGrew"

3" Marshall "Hampshire Rose" & 4" Garrett "Vera"

"Merlin", "Royal Chester", "Wandering Star" & "Louise"

Awning Display of Model Trucks by Roger Wood

6" Garrett "Jack"

6" Allchin "Abbie Jane" & "The Griffin"
Indoors...
Dave's Toy Steam Emporium Stand

A Quiet Part in the Goods Shed

Model Railway from Cardiff

The Fantastic Model Railway
Saturday Evening Road Run... 
"Merlin"
 
6" Garrett "Michael"

4" Foster "Staffordshire Lass" & "Vera"

4.5" Foden "Fenland Prince"

"Wandering Star" at the Pub

Red Engine, Red Lion
Thank you guys. Thank you very much. It was an immensely long day but brilliant all the same. Amazing. Sam.

Friday, 26 April 2013

MTEW: One Mad Friday...

Hi guys. Well, after six months of planning it was finally here. The engines began to arrive for Miniature Traction Engine Weekend today. I was at Market Bosworth from 9am until 8:30pm and for most of the day it was non-stop. I was either parking stuff, giving people information, on the phone, checking insurance, helping with coal and water movements and god knows what else. Mind you, what an achievement to see it all in place. The engines looked beautiful and the caravans slotted in perfectly. I didn't get chance to take many pics today as I was so busy. I must also thank my team of helpers who did a grand job of getting things sorted around the site. Lets hope for a good weekend!...

Thursday, 25 April 2013

MTEW: Extracting "Louise"...

Hi guys. A short one from this evening. I was at Market Bosworth tonight with Andy, Jason and Phil, in order to get "Louise" the Steam Roller out of the Goods Shed. We attempted to use Jason's chunky Landy, which did actually get the roller half way out. Our progress was soon thwarted by the rollers getting wedged in between two access mats in the doorway, halting the process almost instantly. From there, "Louise" was steamed up and triumphantly steamed out of the shed under her own power. The engine was removed in order to allow the Goods Shed to be tidied and for the exhibits for MTEW to arrive tomorrow and Saturday. The engine will be kept outside tomorrow and will be the centrepiece engine for the weekend. "Lets get this show on the road"...

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Two Good Trips with "Sir Gomer"...

Hi there guys. Today I was the rostered fireman on Peckett 0-6-0ST "Sir Gomer" at Shackerstone. Owing to an unfortunate coal shortage due to a mix up over delivery times, we were very short of coal today and the Peckett was obviously not going to manage all 5 trips - not at all. However, with a little planning we managed to get the engine into steam using as little coal as possible and decided that we would operate a trip just to show willing. After all, we felt that at least if we tried to do a run then the public would have some steam to see/ride behind, rather than none at all. Myself & Driver Phil took the engine off shed with a good boiler pressure and a level coal fire at about 12:30pm. We took water and then proceeded to wait in Platform 1 for the return of the Class 73 and the train. Below, we can see why you should always exercise care when feeding a wood fire in an engine being warmed up...
"Blowback"
With "Sir Gomer" at the head of the 1:45 train we left Shackerstone with a good head of steam. The loco performed beautifully in both directions and steamed like a witch. The return trip to Shackerstone, after careful thinking, saw us decide to do the 3pm train as well. There was 'just enough' coal in the bunker. The 3pm trip saw "Sir Gomer" performing just as well and she went like a dream. I for one really enjoyed it, as did the public...some of whom had waited just for the steam hauled trips. By the time we got back into Shackerstone I reckon I had 4 shovelful's left in the bunker but, nevertheless, "Sir Gomer" had done 2 trips and she had done them well. A very enjoyable, if short, day. Thank you very much for reading guys. Next weekend is MTEW...Fingers crossed, ay?...

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Slow Moving Steam On The Road...

Hi guys. Today was a fab day, and in fact something quite different to what I am used to. Today there were no railways in sight, well not for the most part anyway. The agenda for today was something a little more roadworthy...a Steam Roller! Yes, Phil had kindly invited me out for the day on his steam roller "Louise": a 10-ton Aveling & Porter. The engine is based at Statfold Barn and therefore this was our starting point today. I arrived at the site of the SBR at 6am, after a quick breakfast at McDonalds on route. Below, the Saxo watches the sun come up at Oak Tree yard...
Phil was already up & about, getting "Louise" ready. The engine was clean but cold, and we spent some time breaking some wood up before Tom arrived. The engine was then pushed outside using a fork-truck and rolled happily into the middle of the yard. There, she was lit up...
The Engine Outside
Today's route would take us on the road...which was after all laid by Steam Roller's in the first instance! The rollers of today are of course not steam rollers, but diesel rollers, though the name often still applies. As a vintage vehicle the engine is free to road tax and, with boiler insurance as well as current certificates under her belt, there is nothing to stop her going on the road amongst modern traffic. Ian & Caroline were also soon present, completing the crew of five. Big, green "Louise" was steaming up nicely in Oak Tree Yard as the promise of a warm, sunny day beckoned. Tom was oiling the engine up whilst the rest of us busied ourselves with little jobs like loading the trailer with wood. Todays route would take us to Market Bosworth. We would leave Statfold and travel the 3-mile road through No Mans Heath to Appleby Island, where the A444 crosses the M42. From there we would slowly snake along the A444, up through Appleby and past Twycross Zoo. From there we would chug towards Sibson and then turn off left towards Market Bosworth, dropping towards the station on a downgrade past the Water Trust. Below, "Louise" is getting up steam...
"Aveling & Porter - The Workmans Machine" (Dr Busker)
I was very surprised at how quick "Louise" got hot, especially with no warming fire having been put in the day before. The roller was at almost full pressure within a couple of hours: brilliant! The next job was to do the car swap so that we could actually get back from Bosworth once we got there. Three of us jumped into our cars and headed for Bosworth, dropping two cars off when we got there and returning to Statfold in mine. When we got back, "Louise" was at full pressure and we soon had her connected to the trailer & living van, as the sun continued to shine...
With full steam pressure achieved, away we went. The engine chugged happily out of Statfold with the trailer & living van on the back, and set to the first upgrade climb. Tom was driving, I was steering. That's one thing that's different for a start...you have to steer this! Tom's duties were to work the regulator and reverser, as well as keep the pressure up by firing and working the injector accordingly. All the time, "Louise" would be making steady but sure progress along the road, rumbling along happily. We both wore ear defenders on the footplate, as the rumbling from the two rollers on the back and the roar of the valve gear was just unreal!
 
I tell you what though, its a different life with steam on the road, as you get to see the nicer side of people. Everybody was smiling, waving and even taking photographs as we passed. Even in the houses the windows would open and people would be there waving as we chugged by. Cars would overtake and then up ahead you would see the car pull over and the occupants would disembark and get their cameras at the ready! Certainly in this sunshine I must admit, there were some good photo opportunities. Then again, I say all this but you do get the odd 'fool' shall we say. Some people don't understand why overtaking on blind bends is a bad idea, or that the steam rollers were on the road long before your modern Audi's and Merc's. Anyway, back on the engine we were going well, with Phil, Caroline and Ian riding in the trailer. It took an hour or so to reach the M42 island and then, the moment of truth...going around the bloody thing! It was kind of a ready, set, go out of the slipway and onto the island, mingling with modern traffic. "Louise" steamed happily around the island and across the busy carriageways of the M42 before we turned off via hand-signals to the A444, pulling over in the lay-by adjacent to the McDonalds...
The Steersmans Road Ahead
At Appleby we stopped for a break to water the engine from the tank in the trailer, as well as to grab a Quarter Pounder from McDonalds. The sun was still shining brightly as "Louise" simmered in the lay-by...
Engine watered, us refreshed...we were ready to go again! Below, we can see the double-crank compound engine which moves the roller along. The crank is driven by a high-pressure and low-pressure cylinder, with a full pressure of 200psi...
From Appleby we weaved along the A444. The engine was performing well and happily chugged uphill and down dale. The modern traffic was definitely clogging up behind the engine, until we reached a straight section and it all came tearing by at once. Approaching the hill before the Austrey bend we had another stop, this time to ash the engine out as she was getting a little choked up. The shot below shows just what a beautiful day it was...
"For We Live In A Time When It Ain't No Crime Taking
Slow Moving Steam On The Road" (Dr Busker)
Finally, after a run past the Zoo on one of the busiest days that I've seen it (plus a lot of rampant waves from almost every visitor over the fence!) we reached Twycross village. Here we had a crew change, with Phil & Caroline taking over on their engine whilst myself & Tom retired to the trailer after our stint of just over 2 hours. I tell you what, I loved every minute of steering it all that way but I was glad to step down as my legs were tired out!...
Aveling & Porter "Louise" in Twycross Village
From Twycross it was a leisurely and very pleasant ride in the trailer to Market Bosworth...
Finally, after navigating the tight bend into the Market Bosworth Station drive whilst blocking up the entire road...we made it! Here is "Louise" on the Market Bosworth driveway after a triumphant run over, ready to take part in my Miniature Traction Engine Weekend next week!...
After we had collected the cars from Statfold and got back to Bosworth again, here is "Louise" inside the Goods shed ready for disposal at about 7:30pm. What a long but very enjoyable day :) ...
Overall a very different day, spent in very pleasant company. I must thank Phil & Caroline for inviting me out and also Ian & Tom for providing good company. "Louise" is a very nice engine and it was certainly enjoyable being out on the road rather than the rails...for a change. Cheers guys. Sam.