British Pathe’s excellent youtube channel features this clip, of one of the Bristol-based tugs helping the ship VARLA DAN out of the harbour. In the background are plenty of coal wagons in the sidings, this space is now occupied by flats and SS GB Halt. The rails in the foreground were retained and are still visible after the regeneration of this area.
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!
AEC Matador Timber Tractor at the entrance to the quayside
Portbury simmering away, visitors could take a look around the cab
Freshly painted MOGO
Twin crane action
Preparing the capstan
The Museum’s Bristol-built lorry
British Road Services Livery
Here’s a video of the electric capstan winch shunting demonstration:
‘The Bug’ is the nickname for the green Ruston & Hornsby diesel shunter based on the railway.
The loco is not fitted with vacuum brakes so cannot haul passenger trains, but is one of the most useful bits of kit on the railway, along with Larry the Loader and the Self Propelled Crane. As a diesel loco, the time required to start up is a fraction of the that required to bring a steam engine up to working pressure, you just switch it on and go! This means it can be used to shunt wagons and locos about on non-operating days.
0-4-0 refers to the 4 coupled wheels, and the DM stands for Diesel Mechanical, meaning the engine drives the wheels through a mechanical transmission, rather than hydraulic or with electric traction motors as found on most modern locos.
The Headlight and Makers’ Plate
Shunting two vans off the inspection pit
Shunting the two operational steam locos into the shed
The locomotive, like most of the rolling stock in the museum’s collection, has a local connection. For many years it worked at the British Gas site in Hallen Marsh near Avonmouth, and it was there that these two photos were taken.
These photographs are linked here from the Bristol Rail Archive site and are the property of Mike P.
The loco was donated to the museum by British Gas in 1995. It was subsequently repainted green with red motion and bufferbeams, and given a fictional shedplate (82 was the Bristol area shed code under BR).