Another week of steady but unspectacular progress.   I was Billy No Moates on Wednesday for a variety of reasons and spent the day installing a rear seat bearer and then trying to sort out the design of the seats.  This is being copied from various marks on the surviving end screens and also Chesterfield No 8 at Crich.  The area under the window sill is vital and various mouldings have to be correct.  I decided to make a mock up and set to work.  I'd forgotten to take my Jogsaw so brought the work home later on and worked in the garage until 9.30pm.   The result is this.

Here the mock up is installed with various temporary mouldings at the top. 

The seat is in two sections that wedge together to lock into place.

This shows the joint at the back that makes it work.  The mock up isn't right but we now think we know what we need to do.

Also today Dr Richard Gibbon, ex head of engineering at the NRM came over, with Derek Rayner, the technical editor of Old Glory to inspect the tram.   Dr Gibbon liked what he saw and has agreeed to become the engineering advisor to the project.    I also had a meeting with Cyril Isaacs of Leeds who have agreed to supply and fit the glass at no cost.  They are jointly sponsoring the project with Oakland Glass of Dewsbury.  I took the templates for the glass down this afternoon and hopefully we should be able to glaze the tram before the end of the month.  The glass, which is toughened, will be discreetly kitemarked.



Another week of steady work.  The first job was to pull the running gear out so that the wheels could be undercoated.  We also spent half an hour adjusting the position of the three track panels so that we can park the chassis on just one panel, which makes it easier to get in and out of the garage.  This involved moving it part way out then building a 3 ft. length of wooden track from packing, then putting the next panel in place.  We then gingerly rolled the chassis over the wood and onto the end panel, before pulling up the wood and pulling the other track panels forward.  This worked and when we put it away later we parked it on one 6 ft. length of track.  Ian then spent the day undercoating the wheels and axles. 

Jim and I spent the morning and most of the afternoon checking and fettling the window templates.  By afternoon coffee break we had done 14 of the 16 and Jim is going to do the remaining two at home.  I then did some measuring up to finalise the drawings for the tie bars; this involved checking the wheelbase of the tram as rebuilt, and the rolling chassis.  Fortunately these are identical at 4 feet 10 inches. 

Next week it will be six years since we started the project and there is defintely something to show for our efforts.



Well, after the high point of last week it was back to more humdrum but vital work.

We took delivery of the brake beams on Tuesday so Ian spent the day putting primer on them and then a second coat of primer on the wheels and axles.   Jim spent the morning sanding down the inside face of D end canopy bend.  We also marked out the two landing boards ready for cutting to shape during the week.  I spent some time taking M16 coachbolts out of the running gear so that they can be shortened to the correct length.  Brian from York has taken them away and is also going to make some square nuts for them. I then spent the rest of the morning measuring up in order to gather the data for the design of the tie bars between the axle boxes and also the stay bars that go from the tie bars to the opposite solebars.  Some careful measuring and also checking that there were no clearance problems between the stay bars and the wheels. this is not easy as the wheelbase is 2" shorter than Chesterfield 8 so we needed to design this bit from scratch.

After lunch Jim, Stephen and I spent the afternoon measuring and marking up plywood sheets to make templates for the window glass.  As mentioned last week we have had a very generous offer of sponsorship for the glass.  This has to be toughened glass and each piece is cut to a template before being heat treated.  Cyril Isaacs and Co. of Apex Way, Leeds, have offered, in conjuction with their manufacturers, Oakland Glass of Dewsbury, to supply the glass for the project at  no cost.  This is a very generous offer and we hope to be able to let them have an advert on one of the decency boards. The firm is an old family firm that was around when the tram was running.

Anyway after that we put the running gear away again.  During the coming week some more drawings will hopefully get done and the brake handles should be cast and polished.



What a day.  Today we assembled a rolling chassis for the tram.  We believe the first of its type to be manufactured in the UK since before the First World War, and even better it rolled beautifully and very smoothly.

We started off with Ian putting a top coat on the brake hangers and draw gear.  Jim spent the morning doing some finishing work on the canopy bends.  As it was a fine day I set my stall out to assemble the running gear onto the old underframe.  We cannot put the tram on its wheels where it is now so the plan is to assemble the running gear on the old underframe and then it can be transported as one item.  The three of us started by rolling the wheelsets out and then carrying the underframe out of the garage.  This was placed on supports above the wheels.  I then spent time removing the protective coating from the bearings and laying out all the parts.

Here you can see the underframe and all the parts in their places.  The wooden strips will be explained later.  The suspension parts were then gradually built up with the axlebox being hung on the axle and the bearing inserted before the suspension was built onto it.This whole process was lovely and messy (a little boy's dream) with me covered in thick oil and grease as the various parts were put into place.

A completed unit looks like this except that this needs another coil spring. 

Once all four had been fitted we then carefully removed the trestles and let the underframe slide down to its proper level.  To my utter surprise it just slid gently into place.  Jim couldn't resist giving the semi complete chassis a little shove and it rolled so easily that we were glad that the chocks were at hand.

Here is the completed chassis with temporary plywood tie bars inbetwen the axle boxes.  This is so that I can measure the clearances for the stays that run across between the wheels from the tie bars.  After this the whole unit was put away.  Much easier to push 3/4 of a ton than to carry out the individual parts. 


In the afternoon Jim started to cut the staircases to their finished size ready for trial fitting next week.

Away from the tram the brake blocks are now at the foundry for casting and we have also been offerred our first spnsorship deal by the window manufacturers.  Full details in due course.





Another day and it's definitely getting colder but still some progress.  Ian spent the day painting more metal work and getting more coats on various parts.  Stephen finished making the dust shields and then cleaned up some castings ready for hopefully fitting the axleboxes next week.  Jim did some work on the canopy bends in the morning.  I helped Stephen and sorted out various details to do with the axleboxes.  In the afternoon Jim and I marked up the front seat bearers and then drilled them for fitting the legs.  The legs have been turned for us by Keith Stuart, a fellow member of my model railway.  They were turned out of 160 year old pitch pine from the pew ends of a demolished Methodist Chapel in Hyde Park, Leeds.  The graining is beautiful and they still smelled of resin when Keith turned them.

After a little bit of fitting work we got the seat rails installed and tested them.  They are solid; the bearers are made from new pitch pine from sustainable forests in Honduras.

Every week the interior is looking better.  The next job is to test fix the rear bearer which can be seen propped up at the left hand side of the photo.

As I forgot my camera last week I took a photo of the ceiling shoing how it looks after varnishing.

A glazing company also came along the measure up for the glass so all in all there is progress on many fronts. 

Away from the tram the brake block patterns are ready for collection and the brake beams are being fabricated.