Saturday, 19 May 2018

Astley Green Colliery Museum Steam day

Brilliant day at Astley Green Colliery Museum Steam Day today. The weather couldn't have been better. We (me & Malc) went on the Little Bikes via Mobberley, Ashley, Dunham, Cadishead, and Culcheth and noted that someone has done us all a favour by burning down the outrageous toll booth (a toll to cross a dried up river bed where the Mersey once flowed) at Warburton bridge. 
We returned home over the Chat Moss dirt roads. Always a bit of a challenge!

Please click on a picture for a larger image.

 Malc admires a steam organ and its showman's engine.

 Till Joseph with his lovely miniature engine.

 Another miniature enjoys the day!

 Till Joseph goes for a bimble around the site

 A gleaming Fowler ploughing engine. One of a pair which would have used the winches beneath their boilers to haul the plough back and forth across the field.

Gardner 6 cylinder diesel engine in this Pickfords tractor 

Another view of the Fowler ploughing engine 

 Malc and Peter Flitcroft with a little Tasker steam tractor, very similar to one Peter is currently having rebuilt.

 The heart of Astley must be this iconic pit head gear. The main pit here was 2,000 feet deep, and in that engine house is a double tandem compound steam winding engine. Back in the day it had SIXTEEN Lancashire boilers feeding it with steam.

Today it will run (briefly and slowly) on compressed air.

The pit head gear is a listed monument, but needs a lot of restoration as corrosion has taken its toll.

 Ian Whitfield with his steam tram was giving rides to visitors.

 Looking towards the entrance from the steps of the winding engine house.

 The crowds gather to watch the running of the giant winding engine on compressed air.

These are the high pressure and low pressure cylinders on one side of the engine (you can just see the LP cylinder of the other pair behind the HP cylinder of the near pair). Each pair of cylinders drives a crank on either side of the winding drum, thus it's a four cylinder engine, double compound, tandem.

On the side of each cylinder is the Corliss valve gear with the long rod between the two cylinders connecting the valve gear on each.

The common piston rod for the HP and LP cylinders is behind that valve rod.

Click here for a video of it running: Engine running on air

As ever, these little bikes can find an unobtrusive parking position just about anywhere


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