June 2022 Update

Both locos are back in steam this coming weekend, and last Saturday/Sunday saw the steam crane in operation for the first time this year.

Chris and Mike coaling up the steam crane (Bill Drewett)

On the 3rd train on Saturday of Platinum Jubilee weekend, ‘Henbury’ blew out a gasket on the main steam pipe to the right hand cylinder. It was taken off the passenger train and sent up the branch to diagnose the issue before heading back to the shed.

‘Portbury’ worked push-pull services for the rest of the day as we waited for the Peckett to cool down enough to work on.
This involved clearing out all the ash from the smokebox, then chiselling out the cement from the smokebox floor (which is used to vacuum-seal it and prevent it drawing air through the front end).
The pipe was removed and the broken seal extracted so it could be used as a template to make a fresh one.
Once this was done, the whole lot was bolted back together and left to seal overnight.
Sunday morning a fire was lit and the loco brought back up to 50psi to test for any leaks, this having been satisfactory Chris was able to re-seal the smokebox with quick-drying cement.
Henbury rejoined the passenger train that morning which was a very satisfying result for the team.
It was my first real experience of locomotive repair and what happens when things go awry, so for me it was an education!

At the same time, the opportunity was taken to take the rear drawhook off and send it to the workshop to have the screw thread mended. The thread had been worn flat on top, preventing the nut from being tightened as much as we wanted it to be. Now it is tight against the bufferbeam.

Bob Edwardes took these pics over the weekend featuring the custom headboards he made for the locos.

Easter Running and Photos from 1950s Weekend

The BHR is running steam trains this Easter on Sat/Sun/Mon, all being well both Portbury and Henbury should be out.

Here is a little photo album from the 1950s weekend, where we got the working exhibits out again to demonstrate activity and cargo handling on the quayside. The M Shed exhibits and volunteers were joined by vehicles from The Shopland Collection and ‘Mr. and Mrs. Purnell’ from The Show of Strength Theatre Company.
Thanks to Chloe Little and Bob Edwardes for these photos.

Steam Test Success

Photo courtesy Rowena Farr

Pleased to report that the steam fleet passed their insurance inspections/tests this week ready to operate again.
Next week M Shed is doing ‘have a go week’ where you can try your hand at driving a steam loco and an electric crane!

More details:
https://www.bristolmuseums.org.uk/m-shed/whats-on/train-and-crane-driving-experiences/

Docks Heritage Weekend 2021

It’s been a week since the first public outing for the working exhibits in over a year, Docks Heritage Weekend. What a blast! So great to have the volunteers working with the public again. Both Portbury and Henbury were on display and the capstan was back in operation both days, and crane 30 was kept busy loading and unloading the lorry.
Quayside operations were bolstered with audience interaction from the Show of Strength Theatre company.
Thanks for Bob, Bruce and the M Shed social media channels for these photos of the weekend.

Henbury’s Fire is Lit

Work on Henbury progresses as Coronavirus restrictions are relaxed. The majority of the loco has been reassembled and today it was pulled out of the shed to have a warming fire lit. Over the next few days the loco will steadily be brought up to pressure and every joint checked.

Thanks to Rob Skuse for the photos and information.

Festival of the Sea 1996

From the 24-27th May 1996, Bristol Harbour was host to the International Festival of the Sea. This was a huge event featuring many guest ships and attractions, and of course the BHR played a part. A shining and fully-lined out ‘Henbury’ and ‘Portbury’ were joined by LB&SCR E1 class 0-6-0T No.B110, then based at the East Somerset Railway (Now being restored to service on the Isle of Wight as No.W2 ‘Yarmouth’). The two locos operated a shuttle service between the station at Ashton Meadows and the Bristol Industrial Museum with 3 loaned coaches.

Thanks to Eric Gates for these photos.

Phil Cass was also there to capture these photos, thanks to Phil for sharing them.

Henbury Overhaul Update – November 2020

Henbury’s overhauled rolling chassis has now been reunited with the boiler, allowing re-assembly to continue.
In order to do this, the temporary track was extended out of the workshop, and a commercial crane was employed to turn the frames through 90 degrees and onto the quayside track. Portbury was able to bring the boiler on its trolley down to the quayside, where it was lifted into the frames. It was nearly dark by the time the operation was completed.
Lastly, Portbury took her old stablemate back to the running shed.


Photos courtesy Bob Edwardes, with thanks.