End of Season – 2013

Today was the last day of operation for the M Shed working exhibits. ‘Portbury’, the steam tug ‘Mayflower’, and the steam crane were all in service.

Portbury was given a clean before collecting the passenger train.

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I spent the morning on the train – mostly trying to keep seats dry in between showers!

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The afternoon was spent dismantling the fence and gateway across the shed road, this is where the new access road is going to go. The point nearest the camera (To the now defunct line around the back of M Shed) is coming out and being replaced with plain rail and concrete sleepers.

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This cake was the best thing I’ve seen this year, made by Emily.

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At the end of the day, ‘Portbury’ pulled the goods rake out from the long siding and coupled the NE brake van to the passenger train…

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..before heading back to the shed.

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Services begin again in Easter, but there’s a lot of work to do in between now and then, so keep checking back for updates!

Bristol Harbour Festival 2013

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.
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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.

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Then Driver Bob eases her over the pit for oiling.

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The harbour area was packed full of interesting vessels and activities, and the museum’s own fleet was out in force.

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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.

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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.

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Birthday Special

On Saturday 29th June the BHR team celebrated one of our volunteers’ 18th Birthday. ‘Henbury’ was renamed ‘Emily Anne’ for the day and wore a ‘Birthday Special’ headboard.

Here’s a few photos from the day.

Henbury is dragged out of the shed by the front loader.
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Morning checks, and the fire is lit.
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Some shunting was necessary as the Weltrol wagon used for ‘Gromit Unleashed’ on Friday needed to be shunted back into the long siding, and the passenger train reassembled.
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The birthday girl

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The belly of the beast
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The last service of the day was a special train for volunteers, running down to the Create Centre and back
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At the end of the day, the fire is dropped and Henbury/Emily Anne uses the last of her steam to return to the shed.

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Unfortunately, ‘Portbury’s return to service has been delayed a bit. Hopefully she’ll be back in steam before the end of the year and ready to take over from her stablemate, as ‘Henbury’ will be withdrawn for her ten-year overhaul in July 2014.

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