Welland Display, 21-23 Sept

With the new dates being in school holidays, and John having already gone back to sea, it will be a slightly smaller AFS display than usual. Or to be precise, more focussed on AFS, without any red or grey appliances. We are still expecting four goddesses, and for the first time, one will be a yellow goddess that served in Northern Ireland. We are also expecting a wrecker, pipe carrier, and also for the first time, a mobile control unit, and two motorcycles (one Matchless and the other BSA). All vehicles have genuine AFS provenance.

 We will be doing a main display each day consisting of the convoy coming into the arena, escorted by the two motorcycles, and doing a couple of laps, while the wrecker stops for a ‘failed’ goddess, and attaches a towbar to bring the vehicle in.

The pipe carrier will be serving a dual role of carrying pipes and laying hose. Starting near the 2000-gallon dam, it will drop off our ‘spout’ made up of a length of poly pipe, with a 90-degree bend at the top end, and a collecting head at the bottom.

The pipe layer then sets off at speed (well, 15-20 mph), dropping off 6 lengths of 6-inch hose coupled together, making a big circle back to near the dam. Meanwhile, No 1 goddess will set her suction pipe into the dam, and couple on to the 6-inch delivery hose. The other goddesses follow the land rover behind the hose-laying truck, and at the correct points the officer in the land rover indicates where the goddesses are to split a joint and connect into the line as a relay pump. [In a real relay, the land rover would carry a device that measures rise and fall, and indicates how many lengths can be run before needing another relay pump].

By this time, the wrecker will be back at the dam, and will reverse up to the spout, and raise it into place with the crane jib on its back. The crew will be running 4 or 8 lengths of standard delivery hose from the last goddess to the collecting head at the foot of the spout.

While this is happening, the first goddess will prime the pump, and as there is no stop valve on the 6-inch delivery, water will start to run round the hose, through the second goddess and up to the third.  By now, the crew should have at least one of the delivery hoses run, so water can start to come to the spout. As the 2nd, 3rd and 4th are connected, water pressure can gradually be increased up to the maximum flow of 900 gallons (or 4 tons) per minute.

After running it for a minute or two, we will stop the engine of No 1 pump (as that is the only way to stop it pumping) and then when no more water can be scavenged from the pipe, the crew will split the hose at every joint to let the water drain out. (On Sunday only, we will disconnect the 4 delivery hoses from the collecting head and replace them with branches, and spray water into the centre of the arena as we need to empty the dam).

The pipe carrier will then start it’s round gathering in the hose, while the goddesses move out of the way. It will drive centrally over the hose, while a team of four on the back haul up the hose and flake it out on the back of the truck. Finally, the wrecker will drop the spout onto the back of the truck, and the convoy will leave the arena, escorted by the motor cycles.

Note that we are on at a different time each day. Check the programme.

On the Saturday, we will be going on a road run to a local pub, getting back in time to be on fire duty during the evening fireworks. We will also be providing emergency cover for small fires throughout, and for steam engine water shortages in the evenings.

About lowdhamstation

I am a director of a small (and very technical) business, a committed Christian, a Reader (and preacher) in my local village church, husband to my dear Frances, am interested in heritage railways, and heritage fire engines. I currently run a group that displays wartime and early post-war fire engines at 1940s re-enacting events and steam engine rallies. O yes, and vintage cars and motorbikes, and we live in a Victorian railway station.
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