August Bank Holiday Weekend saw the re-introduction of Avonside 0-6-0ST ‘Portbury’ into service. She top and tailed services with Peckett ‘Henbury’ all weekend.
All photographs are reproduced here with the kind permission of Rob Skuse.
Morning prep, shunting and down the branch
Stalwart locomotive ‘Henbury’, and the two stablemates at the end of the day.
In order to rearrange the two saddle tanks, and to get ‘Henbury’ over the inspection pit, it was necessary to do some rearranging using the Ruston diesel shunter, not often seen on the line.
The Ruston itself was in the ‘Barn’, behind the line’s self-propelled crane.
The crane shunts the coal wagon back out of the way.
With a growl and a puff of smoke, the Ruston creeps out of the barn, collects the two vans (Which double up as a good way of preventing people falling into the pit), and deposits them back outside the shed before heading down to M Shed.
Dragging the two steam locos out, Portbury deposited in the siding while Henbury heads to the pit.
Henbury is pushed back into the shed first….
and Portbury basks in the sun
This week, she’s been treated to warming fires to test the boiler for any leaks. Sunday saw her courting attention on the quayside.
I was lucky enough to take some holiday last week and have spent the days down at the railway. ‘Portbury’ has been the main focus of attention as she is prepared for her steam tests.
Here’s a few pics I’ve taken over the course of the week.
Firstly, lining in progress (During Harbour Festival)
Painting up the inside of the frames
and the coupling links (red oxide first)
Smokebox front rubbed down and first coat applied
The obligatory front three quarter view
More to come…
Google maps’ view of the area around M Shed is now outdated, but does give an interesting insight into how the landscape around the railway has and continues to evolve. I cobbled together a few images to give a bigger picture.
You can see how M and L shed were formerly much more separate, with rail access to the workshops in L shed behind.
Also visible are the old reclamation yards to the South, now a building site for Umberslade’s housing project.
The end of the loop where the temporary ‘barn’ was constructed is to the West side of the picture.
A little animated teaser for Portbury….
To see even more updates and pictures not only from the BHR but also the other working exhibits at M Shed, including the steam and electric cranes, tug ‘John King’, fire boat ‘Pyronaut’ and more, it’s well worth checking out the facebook group on the following link:
(You will need a facebook account to see this page)
Harbour Festival is always busy down at Bristol Docks. I was volunteering on the Sunday (Saturday had seen torrential downpours, we were lucky on Sunday).
A couple of views from 8am before the crowds arrived.
The ever faithful ‘Henbury’ was on duty today.
As steam was raised outside the shed, I was tasked with polishing up some of the brasswork, including climbing up on the saddle tank to do the whistles, safety valve cover and chimney cap.
Then Driver Bob eases her over the pit for oiling.
The harbour area was packed full of interesting vessels and activities, and the museum’s own fleet was out in force.
The main challenge of the day was traversing the extremely busy area on the wharf. Trains proceeded along this section at a snail’s pace. Museum volunteers in high-vis made sure members of the public didn’t stray on to the running line.
Services were between M Shed and the SS Great Britain halt. The rain did eventually come, thankfully only toward the end of the day.
‘Henbury’s fire was dropped and she backed into the shed after another day’s work.