Collectors Return To Kelham Island

We returned to Kelham Island Industrial Museum last Sunday for our latest club day. Although there were not a huge number of visitors considering the excellent weather, we still had quite a lot on display.

Dave had his usual minature fairground, Alan had his flags and I took a small selection of the ever growing collection of vintage telephones. Alan also had a new breakdown crane for his garden railway, pulled by the newly restored diesel outline electric loco ‘Sandra II’.

Sandra II pulling the new crane.

The steam section was also out in force. Josh was steaming the workhorse Mamod, while Alan and Harry were both trying out their live steam Stevenson’s rockets on a specially constructed sectional track, which Alan had built by permanently fixing sections of the original rocket plastic track together for easier laying / taking up.

Dave’s model fairground

However things did not go smoothly with the Hornby Rockets. First Alan tried his model (identified by a black top to the chimney) which didn’t seem to want to run at all. It made steam, but for some unknown reasin it just didn’t want to move around the track. Lift the driving wheels off the ground and they would turn, but it still seemed sluggish and didn’t have enough power to pull it’s own weight, let alone pull the especially rare carriage.

Harry gives us the thumbs up in triumph as his Rocket model out performs Alans, while Alan gives it a helphing hand after a derailment.

Harry’s rocket faired a little better. It would run much faster with visibly more power at the driving wheels. However as we finally got something running the faults in the track and the fact it was laid out on granite settes caused numerous derailments! So it looks like it’s a case of back to the drawing board before the rockets appear in operation again at Kelham Island.

As the day was fairly quiet, I took the oportunity to do some work on some of the old telephones. The week previously I had collected a number of additional phones from a fellow restorer in Leeds, so I was going through some of these, fitting new line cords and doing the electrical conversions necessary to make them work on our modern day system. Three previously non-working phones were made operational again by the end of the day and we also did some further diagnostics on Alan’s red Ericofon, which has been suffering from lack of volume. As well as collecting phones I also sell some of the duplicates that inevitably arrive through Bolsover Antiques Centre. So Pay them a visit (near Bolsover Castle) if you are interested in buying a fully restored example.

Just some of Andy’s vintage telephones on display at kelham Island Industrial Museum.

Our next Club Days are over the weekend of 19th & 20th August, when we will be at Heeley City Farm on Saturday 19th and back at Kelham Island Industrial Museum on Sunday 20th. In the meantime, if you have a collection you would like to put on display to the public for a day, please get in touch with us using the ‘Contact Us’ page which you can find by clicking HERE.

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