Thursday, 26 February 2009

SIRAPITE, as stage further

This image shows the test fitting of the cab and tender to the SIRAPITE boiler assembly. The over-riding problem is that the original engine, being made as a 'One-off' and being assembled 'As-it-comes', does not provide many reference points for accurate alignment of parts. Thus the need to pre-assemble, measure,adjust, look again, try and fore-see future troubles with fittings and then make the difficult decision to drill the NEW fixing holes. An extra problem here, was to make off-center allowance for the Buffer Beams due to the fact that the whole engine assembly is set off to one side with respect to the Driving wheels and track, necessitated by the size of the driving spur-wheel on the inside of one pair of the track wheels. The spur gears occur only on one side of the engine. Remember that this engine is a 'TRAM-WAY' design and is not driven by a crankshaft axle on the driving wheels.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Back another Generation:

Having posted an image of my father as a Bass player during the 2nd World War, I find that I can now post a picture of my maternal Grandfather, who it will be seen was an Engine driver. I must contact York Museum about him, as it is in the family verbal history that he used to regularly drive the 'Royal Train from London to Edinburgh for Queen Victoria. Unfortunatly he ended his driving as a shunter after he received an eye injury from a hot cinder. For the record, his name was William Parrell, and lived in Stockwell, London, not far from the Vauxhall Railway Yard.

Interesting that my son Trevor is so much involved with the restoration of all types of steam machinery. In particular his own Clayton and Shuttleworth Tracktion engine 'RAMBLER', as well as the LONGSHOP MUSEUM'S shunting loco SIRAPITE.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Searching for Alec Desmond Wrench

Here is a picture of the late Alec Desmond Wrench. One time Bass player with the L.S.O. as well as player and Fixer for thr Philharmonia when it was first formed. I am trying to piece together many threads of his life within the musical world of the 1940s and 50s. He was Secretary to the L.S.O. immediately after their offices were bombed during the 'Blitz' on London. He used his family home to work from, ably assisted by a young lady whose name was Barbara Newton. I believe she lived near Bromley at the time, but after she left the L.S.O. when Des resigned as Secretary, Barbara moved to Threlkeld in Cumbria.
Any information about Des, Barbara or the L.S.O. of that time would be very much appreciated.

Des Wrench was often visited by the Conductors and Artists of the day, but also helped a great deal in finding new teaching staff for the London Music Collages. He also had a passion for helping the South Coast Provincial Orchestras, and was known to give them his professional playing support even when he could have been otherwise engaged in London. He particularly liked it if he could bolster their perfomances of the St. Matthew Passion.

SIRAPITE: progress

After a successful boiler and fire-box installation, SIRAPITE now receives it's new Smoke-box. Although there is still a long way to go, some resemblance to a steam engine is beginning to emerge.

The LongShop Museum in Leiston, Suffolk should be quite proud of the progress being made.