Indian Summer, Civil Engineering

After a particularly cold and wet summer, the weather has taken a turn for the better, giving us some glorious days and incredible sunsets.

Here’s a (bad camera phone quality) snap I took of the golden sunset glimpsed beneath the Cumberland Road bridge.

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Up North, Portbury has been kept busy at Beamish. In this photo reproduced from the Beamish Museum facebook page, she is seen in the company of WW1-era Gordon Highlanders re-enactors at the Agricultural Show event.

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Back in Bristol, there have been multiple engineering projects in the railway’s environs. The Metrobus development has cleared a large area of land at Butterfly Junction and Ashton Meadows, and new drainage has been installed.

One of the most conspicuous developments has been the ongoing repair work to Prince Street Bridge. This is adjacent to the platform at M Shed and has involved the construction of a large temporary bridge. The girders on the swing bridge are corroded and need replacing, so it will be closed to all traffic for 6 months.

Also pictured is Kaskelot, a Bristol-based ship, taking the usual mooring point of Balmoral while the latter was at sea.

 

Docks Heritage Weekend 2014 – Photos and Video

Plenty of action on the dockside. 3 cranes in operation, along with the electric capstan shunting wagons. Actors from Show of Strength Theatre Company in character, loading demos, the Bristol Lorry, Portbury in Steam, and rides on tugboat John King to boot!

 

Here’s a video of the electric capstan winch shunting demonstration:

Click here to see the Bristol Post article of the event

Portbury’s Twin Needs Your Help!

Based just a few miles away at the Avon Valley Railway is an almost identical loco to the BHR’s own ‘Portbury’, Avonside No.1798.

An appeal has been launched to get this locomotive restored and back in steam. It was the first steam loco on-site at Bitton in 1973, and worked there right up until it needed a heavy overhaul in the mid 1980s.

Built in 1918 at the same Bristol works as ‘Portbury’, it was delivered to the Imperial Smelting Works in Avonmouth, where it laboured away its whole working life.

ISC Ltd. No.2 at work in Avonmouth (Photo copyright Gordon Edgar)

ISC Ltd. No.2 at work in Avonmouth (Photo copyright Gordon Edgar)

The above photo appears here with the kind permission of Gordon Edgar, please take a look at his flickr site for more great railway images

When restored at the Avon Valley Railway, the loco received a plain black livery and was named ‘Edwin Hulse’ after a founder member of the railway.

En route to Bitton

En route to Bitton

The first steam-hauled trains at Bitton

The first steam-hauled trains at Bitton

A lot has changed since 1974, but this loco has seen it all!

A lot has changed since 1974, but this loco has seen it all!

How you can help

You can help by sponsoring one of the major parts listed in this brochure (download link) or by joining the 1798 Club whereby you covenant to donate £17.98 each month by standing order for up to 24 months. Whether you sponsor a specific item or donate monthly, you will automatically become members of the 1798 Club and be entitled to a range of benefits.

Every penny received from sponsorship or donation is spent on restoring this important engine.

Further details can be obtained by downloading the leaflet.

Please take a look at the official website for more details.

First Footplate Ride

(This post was written in 2014)

This was the first day I properly interacted with the Bristol Harbour Railway. It had always been there, I vaguely remember riding it and visiting Bristol Industrial Museum when I was a child. In 2005 I had helped a friend take vehicles to the WW2 event, and in 2006, I remember sitting on a well wagon outside the silent museum as the clock struck midnight. In 2008 I recall driving by and seeing a fox running through the exposed interior of the building.

In 2009, I was fresh out of University and looking for jobs in Bristol centre. On my way back to the Whapping Wharf car park (Itself soon to become a thing of the past) I happened across ‘Henbury’ in the barn (The museum was closed and under redevelopment) and outside, a ship’s boiler on a wagon. There was a young man working on it, and I enquired as to how I could become a volunteer. He pointed me in the direction of the platform and told me to speak to the loco crew. I did so and was promptly invited aboard for a footplate ride on ‘Portbury’!

Whilst I had been aboard a steam loco before, I had never ridden on the footplate whilst it was under way, and it was at this moment that I knew this was something I wanted to get involved with.

 

A photostitch showing the (at the time) empty car park

A photostitch showing the (at the time) empty car park