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.
Here’s what the Official M Shed Website has to say about the event:
A weekend of activities across two sites exploring the history and working life of the old City Docks.
Stroll around the fantastic Underfall Yard as its restoration programme gets into full swing and take part in activities at M Shed including boat trips, crane visits, have a go experiences and performances.
Events at M Shed
Mosaic Madness will be helping visitors create mosaics inspired by Bristol’s working docks and the river Avon
Screenings of historic films about the port
Dramatic interludes from Show of Strength Theatre Company exploring characters from the dock’s past Saturday and Sunday at 11am, 11.30am, 2pm and 2.30pm
Pop on a hard hat and take a look behind the scenes of the restoration works
Visit the viewing platform for spectacular harbour views
Dramatic interludes from Show of Strength Theatre Company exploring stories from the yard’s past, Saturday and Sunday at 12.30pm and 3.30pm
Guided walks to Brunel’s Other Bridge, Sunday 1pm and 3pm
Explore reuse and recycling stories from Bristol’s boating communities and make your own floaty boaty (run in partnership with Bristol Green Capital), Sunday 2-4pm
A special event will also be taking place on Saturday evening. This is the Crane Dance performance, devised by Laura Kriefman. Starting at 8pm, this will combine lights, boats, choirs, live bhangra band music, and choreographed synchronised cranes!
This event is completely free and best viewed from the Arnolfini or Lloyds Amphitheatre.
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:
Don’t forget this weekend is Docks Heritage Weekend at M Shed!
Featuring vintage commercial vehicles on display (Including the museum’s own Bristol 8-wheel lorry), both steam and electric cranes in use unloading cargo from ship to shore, and the rare sight of the working electric capstans being used to shunt wagons on the quayside.
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.