Mayflower’s Boiler Lift

On Thursday 20th August 2020, steam tug ‘Mayflower’s boiler was lifted back into place. As the museum and working exhibits have been closed during the Coronavirus crisis, it was nice to be able to have them alive again. All volunteers taking part were complying with COVID-19 restrictions throughout. The lift went very smoothly, a credit to all involved. Hopefully this means the 159-year old Mayflower can be in steam again soon!

Cranes stand ready in the morning, the weather held out for us thankfully (photo courtesy Bob Edwardes)
‘Portbury’ was in steam again, seen here shunting the yard to enable the boiler to be brought out of the running shed
Crane 32 was in charge of the lift, its higher capacity of 10 tons being ample for the 8-ton boiler
The first task was to lift off ‘Mayflower’s wheelhouse, exposing the engine room below.
‘Portbury’ brought the boiler down to the quayside
The boiler awaiting fitting of the smokebox
The boiler alongside Crane 32, showing the fresh lagging (photo courtesy Bob Edwardes)
The smokebox (which has been renewed with fresh metal to replace rotten parts) fitted to the boiler.
The boiler is eased into ‘Mayflower’ (photo courtesy Bob Edwardes, with thanks)
The boiler is eased into its cradle
Lined up successfully with its mounting points
Crane 32 getting ready to detach from the boiler and lift the superstructure back on (photo courtesy Bob Edwardes, with thanks)
Job done for the day, ‘Portbury’ did some more shunting before heading back to the shed.

BHR in 1991 – Video

Nicholas Tozer published this rather lovely video of a blue ‘Portbury’ operating trains in the early 1990s. It’s amazing to see the differences in the background, like the old sidings, the sleeper wall where the flats near SS GB halt now are. Also note the W.Vincent wagon being used for passengers, these days it is back to being a coal wagon.

40th Anniversary Celebrations (Video)

On Saturday March 24th 2018, the Bristol Harbour Railway celebrated 40 years of operation on Bristol’s Harbourside, accompanied by the Lydney Town Band and of course a cake to commemorate the occasion! 101-year old ‘Portbury’ did the honours, pushing and pulling the freshly-refurbished passenger train up and down all day. What started as a group of enthusiasts, one locomotive (Henbury) and a brake van has seen dozens of changes on the harbourside, with the disused industrial area changing into a vibrant tourist hotspot. Long may it continue to bring delight to passengers, giving a unique experience in UK preservation.

First operating weekend of 2018 – 10th/11th Feb

The BHR will be in operation tomorrow and Sunday! An early start for an exciting year, and the public debut of the newly overhauled TOAD.

Portbury was out on Thursday shunting the passenger train together.

More photos from the night shoot

Alistair Grieve took these great photos at the recent night photo shoot with Portbury, and has kindly given permission for them to be reproduced here.

You can see all of Ali’s photos on his smugmug site.

Night Shoot with Portbury

Last night the BHR was host to another of the popular photo charters organised by 30742 Charters and M Shed Museum.

This time it was a night shoot on the quayside, where Portbury shared the limelight with the museum’s Bristol lorry.

Here’s a video posted by Martin Creese on the 30742 facebook page:

and a couple of snaps from the evening from the same page:

Portbury on the Avon Valley Railway – Photos and Video

Last weekend, Portbury was one of the visiting guest engines at the Avon Valley Railway’s ‘Industrial Roots’ gala. Also in attendance were Manning Wardle ‘Charwelton’ (from the Kent and East Sussex Railway), as well as ‘Austerity’ tank ‘Sapper’ and Polish-built TKh ‘Karel’.

Here are a few pics and vids from various places on the internet. Highlights included goods trains, and a quadruple header at the end of the day!

Adam Ashford captured these photos and video.

YouTube user SDJR7F88 got this smashing video:

Kenny Felstead got this nice snap of Portbury on the climb up to Bitton.

kenny-felstead-portbury-on-the-avr

Portbury on tour… again!

Stalwart loco ‘Portbury’ is set to go on a small outing, on the weekend of 15th and 16th October, to the BHR’s neighbours, the Avon Valley Railway at Bitton.

The AVR is hosting its traditional end of season gala, also featuring Polish Ferrum TKh 4015 and Hunslet Austerity WD 132 ‘Sapper’.

Sister loco to Portbury, Avonside No.1798 is based at the Avon Valley and is currently undergoing major restoration.

Here’s a couple of photos of Portbury, snapped by the intrepid George Aldridge a few weeks ago.