Internal Fire Easter Opening 2017
by Mark Tewkesbury
Following our visit at the End of Season event in October, Allan Harris was keen to go again but this time to the Opening Event. Now Easter in west Wales can be cold, just speak with Andy Thompson! so it was after some discussion he talked me into going.
The journey there was uneventful and unlike last time, we were not thrown into jobs as soon as we arrived as a private party was booked for the evening. A surprise was sharing the caravan with another volunteer paying his annual weeks visit to service the telephone exchange.
On the Friday we were given the task of servicing the SEAMS Allen as it required an oil change. This sounds easy but as pumping out over 40 gallons of oil, cleaning out the extensive sump and filters, refilling with fresh oil and keeping everything relatively tidy as well as chatting with some of the few visitors took most of the day.
Doreen Edgington and her friends arrived mid afternoon and were so keen had come straight to the museum to see what progress had been made. In
the Steam Hall it was all change. The large Paddle Steamer engine had been moved to the other end of the hall and in its place a lovely Hathorn Davey Triple Expansion was in the process of reconstruction with all the big bits bolted together. Outside the mighty 6 cylinder Allen Air Blast engine that Allan Harris had helped dismantle in Staffordshire was now going back together on its new concrete base. By the time you receive this, a new building frame will be erected but the roof requires more finance before it can be fitted. Anyone willing to donate to this great cause?
Saturday I was instructed to mind the SEAMS Allen as the new oil was a modern substitute donated by Texaco and as such an unknown quantity. It was a busy day with lots of visitors. The engine behaved itself and in the afternoon, Paul showed me how to start it, leaving me in sole charge on Sunday. We had intended to go home on the Monday but with several other volunteers leaving and the worries of busy traffic meant Allan decided to stay on. There were a lot less visitors so by mid afternoon I shut the Allen down for the last time.
A great weekend and a privilege to be allowed to run our clubs engine and a big thank you to Paul and Hazel for putting on a great weekend and Allan Harris for taking me.