The Missing Link

September 2020 (Press release)

The Missing Link – a cautionary tale for all restoration centres

Bagnall locomotive “Peter” ( Works No.2067 of 1918) was restored at Amberley Museum by a team led the late Doug Bentley finally steaming in 1993. During the restoration it was discovered that only one expansion link, die block and associated rods were present in the boxes of parts. This resulted in a replacement expansion link being sourced, modified to suit and the other missing parts being fabricated. Since then “Peter” has run for two 10 year stints at the Museum and is currently undergoing another 10 year overhaul.

Quite by chance the Museum received an e-mail from Peter Heather, a former volunteer at the Brockham Museum (which merged with Amberley in 1982 bringing the parts of “Peter” along with many other exhibits). Quite forgotten until a house move prompted a clear out of his garage, he discovered the missing parts that he had been asked to take home to restore in the 1960’s. The timing of this discovery could not have been any better as the work on the valve gear is about to start. These parts have been delivered to the Museum and will be assesed to see if they can be reused on the locomotive.

The moral of this tale is that if any parts are removed from a restoration site they MUST be recorded so as to afford traceability. This was never a strong point at at many early preservation schemes but is followed strictly now the collection is part of an accredited Museum.

We are pleased that this vital piece of Peter has found its way back and we thank Peter Heather for looking after it for us albeit unwittingly!

John Stanton (left) accepts the missing expansion link from Peter Heather at the Museum. Social distancing was observed during this manoeuvre.

A close up.

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© Gerry Cork & Amberley Museum