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Author Cwt-Y-Bugail 'steam dinosaur'
blondin

Joined: 26/12/2007
Location: north east wales

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Cwt-Y-Bugail 'steam dinosaur'
Posted: 23/01/2010 10:57:57
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Some years ago,the remains of an early Aveling traction engine that had been converted for winding at Cwt-Y-Bugail
were removed from the quarry.The last I heard,the new owners of the remains had also found a more complete example of the same age down a shaft in a coal mine in Staffordshire,again converted for winding.Apparently the two relics were exhibited at the occasional steam fair,but i was wondering if anyone else knows anything on the subject.The closest I got to anything was issue 171 May 2004 of Old Glory mag,and a search of ┬┤steam dinosaur `came up with a page by the new owners from about the same time,but nothing new.Intresting to hear views on wether it is better to remove a `relic`and stabilise it,or to leave it be in its original location.
IP: 86.133.58.97 Edited: 24/01/2010 21:27:58 by (moderator)
hymac580c

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 23/01/2010 17:30:02
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I saw it at the 'Dorset steam festival' about 3 years ago along with another similar engine.
I got talking with a fellow that was with the group involved with it.
He said to me that it had been 'discovered' at a slate quarry in North Wales.
Well, I had to tell him that it had been there all the time, and for a long time for that matter and that most locals and visitors knew about it.
My thoughts are that if the engine had, or is being restored then take it away by all means.
But if it is only used as a display it would have been better to leave it where it was as people could have a walk over and see it at where it was last working. Which in my view has a much better atmosphere to it. As long as it is not raining...

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I'r pant yr rhed y dwr.
IP: 195.93.21.68
blondin

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 23/01/2010 18:49:19
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I would think if the remains were restored they would go for the traction engine option:I think it would be more interesting to see an what the set up looked like when converted to a winder (apparently when they removed the remains of the engine they didnt disturb the winding gear).
They plan is/was to combine various parts of both engine remains to make a more substantial exhibit,as the historic interest for the owner(s) is in the fact the engines pre-date any traction engines in existence today.
Always a difficult debate,as to wether to remove or to leave things be.I suppose the deciding factors are different in every situation.
IP: 91.110.77.146
JohnnearCfon

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Joined: 22/12/2005
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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 23/01/2010 19:30:59
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I understand they had been attempting to remove it for some years before it was removed. Although the owners of the CwtyBugail were happy for it's removal the stumbling block was the fact that removal would involve going along the Rhiwbach Tramway which was/is owned by Greaves. R. Hefin Davies refused point blank for that to happen. Then all of a sudden he said yes. So they removed ASAP before he could change his mind! During the removal the boiler got stuck in mud and they thought that might be the end of the project if he refused further access.

As to it's removal, I think it depends what they intend doing with it. I had understood it was a case of 1 out of 2, but a friend in the traction engine circle has told me part of the reason was they needed the remains of the boiler to "rebuild" as making a "new" boiler nowadays is fraught with problems. I do not knopw what actually remains of the other one to be used in the project. Can you remember how much was on show at Dorset Hymac?

Overall I would say I was against it's removal unless it was to be rebuilt into a working traction engine in it's own right, not simply to be a donor.
IP: 78.148.38.85
blondin

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 23/01/2010 20:24:43
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quite right.I think it it is removed as a `relic` its probably a good thing,but as a source of spares maybe not.The engine from staffordshire seemed to have a little more intact (flywheel crankshaft etc on top of the boiler) but I think to make a working engine out of either would be more of a new copy than a restoration.
Incidentally,the study `Blaen Y Cwm and Cwt y Bugail Slate quarries by M.J.T.Lewis contains some usefull info on these quarries;an archeological survey with diagrams showing the winder and mills as they would have been.
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derrickman

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 23/01/2010 21:24:34
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as far as I understand it, most working steam engines these days ( especially the century-old examples found on some preserved lines ) are best regarded as 'replicas incorporating parts from the original'

I was following through a thread on the Ffestiniog site about one of the original England locomotives, and it would seem that much of the original locomotive had been replaced long before it ever passed into preservation.
IP: 92.3.241.87
blondin

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 24/01/2010 13:18:34
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I was always a fan of mountaineer on the ffestiniog railway,but this loco (the baldwin Mountaineer) was quite substantially changed over the years both mechanically and aesthetically over the years to suit the needs of the line.Like Derrickman says,any extant steam engines tend to evolve to the point were very little original material is left.
Looking at the steam `dinosaurs`as they are,there would be very little usable in a working exhibit,but I belive the remains of both were to be used to build up a database of drawings for a project in the future for building one of the earliest types of traction engine that had a fifth wheel and steersman at the front!
IP: 91.110.77.146
blondin

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 24/01/2010 13:24:42
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p.s.found this site,and though it doesnt mention the cwt y bugail engine remains,it shows the stafford engine,and it is the same person that recovered the ffestiniog engine later.
www.ranger.demon.co.uk/aveling/aveling.htm
(Couldnt put it as a link,sorry!)
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derrickman

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 24/01/2010 13:36:42
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the main thing is, that these machines are still extant at all and can be seen working.

I take it that the comment about 'rebuilding' the boiler is akin to the problems of registering a restored vintage motorcycle without ending up with the dreaded Q plate, especially now that so many old registration numbers have been sold off by the DVLA?

IP: 92.3.241.87 Edited: 24/01/2010 13:48:20 by derrickman
JohnnearCfon

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 24/01/2010 13:58:00
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blondin wrote:

Looking at the steam `dinosaurs`as they are,there would be very little usable in a working exhibit,but I belive the remains of both were to be used to build up a database of drawings for a project in the future for building one of the earliest types of traction engine that had a fifth wheel and steersman at the front!


This story gets worse! If they just wanted drawings of it why did they remove it at all? Guns Guns
IP: 78.144.63.22
JohnnearCfon

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 24/01/2010 13:59:46
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derrickman wrote:

the main thing is, that these machines are still extant at all and can be seen working.

I take it that the comment about 'rebuilding' the boiler is akin to the problems of registering a restored vintage motorcycle without ending up with the dreaded Q plate, especially now that so many old registration numbers have been sold off by the DVLA?



From what has been said, neither will be working.

It is to do with a big change in boiler regulations meaning far more hoops have to be jumped through with a new boiler than rebuilding an old one.
IP: 78.144.63.22
JohnnearCfon

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 24/01/2010 14:01:03
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blondin wrote:

p.s.found this site,and though it doesnt mention the cwt y bugail engine remains,it shows the stafford engine,and it is the same person that recovered the ffestiniog engine later.
www.ranger.demon.co.uk/aveling/aveling.htm
(Couldnt put it as a link,sorry!)


Link is

[web link]
IP: 78.144.63.22 Edited: 24/01/2010 14:01:54 by JohnnearCfon
hymac580c

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 24/01/2010 14:16:37
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If I remember correctly the boiler and engine at Cwt-y-Bugail was in quite a bad state. Highly corroded all over after being in the wind and rain for so long.
The only person who could tell us where the engine came from and what kind it was would be the peron who installed it above the pit at the quarry in the first place. But of course that is impossible as they are now long dead.
About 15 years ago my cousin with the help of the farmer took a half buried engine from one of the old mines at Bontddu.
It was a heavy 1920's Blackstone petrol marine engine which was used to drive a compressor and other machinery at the mine.
My cousin has spent a lot of his own money on many parts for the engine including manufacturing some new valves, casting white metal bearings, piston rings and much, much more. It is now on a specially fabricated trolley. He has also been collecting a lot of historic information on the mine as well as the engine. It is now not far from being finished
Many people criticised him for taking away the engine as they said it should have remained as a relic at the site.
If he had just left the engine in his garden to rot then perhaps I might agree with the critics.
But as he is restoring the engine to its former glory which people can see running, then I will say that it was right to do so.

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IP: 195.93.21.68
JohnnearCfon

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 24/01/2010 14:28:31
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hymac580c wrote:

My cousin has spent a lot of his own money on many parts for the engine including manufacturing some new valves, casting white metal bearings, piston rings and much, much more. It is now on a specially fabricated trolley. He has also been collecting a lot of historic information on the mine as well as the engine. It is now not far from being finished
Many people criticised him for taking away the engine as they said it should have remained as a relic at the site.
If he had just left the engine in his garden to rot then perhaps I might agree with the critics.
But as he is restoring the engine to its former glory which people can see running, then I will say that it was right to do so.


Yes, I agree with you on that case, but this would not seem to be waht is going to happen in the case of the Cwy-y-Bugail engine though.
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blondin

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 24/01/2010 18:34:45
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I think it would be fair to say that restoration and/or preservation are 2 different and complex issues subject to different problems for different cases.In a way I think any attempt to protect a rare thing is to be encouraged rather than to let it fade away.Can`t help thinkinhg of all the fascinating things that have been scrapped (Llechwedd,Penrhyn,butterley etc)over the years.Yet removing something sometimes robs an area of its interest.
I suppose its preservation vs destruction (subject to circumstance of course).I used to tinker around with stationary engines when I was younger,and was always amazed at the energy and expense restorers would go to.perception of value,or something like that!thats what makes history fun I think-all thats been and gone.Certainly some amazing photos adit now.How things change...!
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derrickman

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Cwt-Y-Bugail `steam dinosaur`.
Posted: 24/01/2010 20:34:05
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JohnnearCfon wrote:

derrickman wrote:

the main thing is, that these machines are still extant at all and can be seen working.

I take it that the comment about 'rebuilding' the boiler is akin to the problems of registering a restored vintage motorcycle without ending up with the dreaded Q plate, especially now that so many old registration numbers have been sold off by the DVLA?



From what has been said, neither will be working.

It is to do with a big change in boiler regulations meaning far more hoops have to be jumped through with a new boiler than rebuilding an old one.


I hadn't read any part of that to say they would be working. As far as I can see, both units were, and are, incomplete and corroded beyond any possibility of repair and so incomplete as to be of no real value as museum pieces either.

if they can contribute to a modern restoration by way of some sort of identity swap, and are subsequently partly incorporated in some kind of modern recreation, I'd say that is much preferable to rotting away on a wind-swept hillside.

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JohnnearCfon

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Cwt-Y-Bugail 'steam dinosaur'
Posted: 24/01/2010 21:26:17
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Quite a few people would disagree with that point of view. An item tends to lose it's value (I don't mean in money terms) if removed from it's working environment location.


Tweak: Changed the thread title to swap ` for ' as causing display issues in some browsers. Strange things, computers...
IP: 86.133.58.97 Edited: 24/01/2010 21:30:08 by (moderator)
derrickman

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Cwt-Y-Bugail 'steam dinosaur'
Posted: 25/01/2010 07:39:51
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that's true up to a point, but from what I understand one was due to be destroyed by ongoing mining operations and the other was deteriorating increasingly in an exposed location.

the various posts elsewhere about large-scale organised scrap stealing aren't encouraging, either.

Some years ago I was involved with the recovery of the remains of the original winding engine from the Tooley Street end of the Tower Subway. The chamber was due to be mass-filled as a base for pipework, but when the engine appeared out of the silt it was decided to preserve it as a centrepiece in the lobby of the developer's offices.

the developer went bust or was bought out years ago, so wgere it is now, who knows? But should have left it to be concreted in? It was offered to the Museum of London but they did nothing about it.



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JohnnearCfon

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Cwt-Y-Bugail 'steam dinosaur'
Posted: 25/01/2010 13:27:44
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That again, is a different situation, obviously it should have been brought out!

Shame it has now disappeared though. I gather that is a common problem. A similar thing happened to the large fan from Croesor.
IP: 89.242.78.4 Edited: 25/01/2010 13:28:50 by JohnnearCfon
blondin

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Cwt-Y-Bugail 'steam dinosaur'
Posted: 25/01/2010 18:08:15
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Makes me think of the fascinating looking pumping engine underground at penrhyn.now there is something that is in danger of being lost forever!especially when you consider the efforts of the previous managment to `conserve`the other one that they recovered! IP: 91.110.77.146
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