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Quainton News Archive - Quainton News No. 99 - April 2008
Hudswell Clarke 0-4-0ST No. 1742 Millom
The Overhaul of Millom - Adrian Corke
Millom is Hudswell Clarke No. 1742 of l946 and was built for the Ministry of Supply, starting its working life at West Chirton near Northumberland. It finished its working life at the Millom and Askham Haematite and Iron Co. at Millom.
It had been seen frequently by Ronnie Mitchell when he new over the site, so he purchased the locomotive and it arrived at Quainton in 1968.
Millom ran at Quainton for a short time in the early 1970's, until problems with the boiler caused it to be withdrawn from traffic and it spent the next 30 or so years on static display. In 2004 efforts were made to see if it could be returned to steam using a pool of young members as a project to enable them to learn about steam locomotives, with the locomotive being stripped down in preparation for the restoration.
Upon my arrival at Quainton, Millom's frames were jacked up in the carriage shed in the Up Yard, and there was much discussion as to the possibility that the frames were in fact either bent or out of line, due to the uneven main bearing wear. Subsequent investigations revealed that the wheel diameters were in fact 3/8 of an inch smaller on the right-hand side of the locomotive. This had caused the accelerated wear of the main bearings on the left-hand side of the locomotive, to the extent that the bearings had worn away the oil grooves.
The boiler had already been to Maskell's at Bedford for refurbishment and was ready for its official hydraulic test. We held back on this until the boiler was required to ensure that we gained a full ten years on the boiler, and that the time between official steam test and release into traffic were as close as possible.
The first task was to send the wheels away for turning of the tyres and journals at the Flour Mill. At the same time, a pattern was made for replacement axle box crown bearings, which caused the project to be delayed by at least 6 months.
The chassis was mounted on the accommodation trolleys and moved to the down yard in May 2006, along with all of the other major components.
Over the next 12 months much work continued on all of the many parts of Millom that needed attention. They were then stored in the recently vacated small museum until they were required.
The boiler received its hydraulic test in November 2006, with the out of frames steam test on the 11th December 2006.
The wheels were refitted in January 2007, followed by the valve gear being erected in late January 2007. The restoration continued to make small steps forward, although to the casual observer there seemed to be little obvious progress on the locomotive itself, the team were working very hard as time permitted.
The locomotive was towed along the demonstration line to ensure that every thing was in order, and that any problems could be resolved before the boiler was fitted.
Once we were happy with the rolling chassis, the boiler was fitted to the frames in mid 2007 and finally we appeared to be on the home straight, although final finishing always seems to take forever to ensure that everything is in order.
At the outset of the project, Ray Jackson spent a considerable amount of time researching the locomotive history and its original colour scheme. The only departures from this have been the red inside frames and the name applied to the water tank.
Millom finally moved under its own steam for the first time since the early 1970's on the 7th November 2007, and several test steamings have taken place since then. The last major milestone was the successful test with a fully operational vacuum system on Wednesday 30th January 2008.
Ronnie Mitchell will release Millom into public service on 6th April 2008 at 11-00 am. The intention is for Millom to be used for mid week education days and the occasional driving experience courses when Coventry is elsewhere.
The rebuild has taken a shade over two years from being taken over by the Engineering Team and the whole team has learnt how much work is required to restore a locomotive from start to finish. Everyone is now champing at the bit to get on with the Society's Austerity 0-6-0 No 66, the last locomotive built for the home market, but that's another story!
Text © Quainton Railway Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced photographer
Page Updated: 02 December 2017