Flour Mill Open Days, 1-3 July, 2016
The open days raised just over £1,000 for charity. We will give £500 to the Friends of Lydney Hospital and £500 to the Great Oaks Hospice, and anything left over will go to the Victoria Centre, in Lydney. Thanks to everyone who contributed!
The Flour Mill is a listed building which was converted to a railway workshop in 1995 – 1996, and used as such since 1996. The Flour Mill Ltd operates the business in the building undertaking work repairing and overhauling steam locomotives. As we are a workshop and not a steam centre or visitor attraction visits are strictly by appointment only.
The oldest locomotive worked on to date is the National Railway Museum’s LSWR Beattie well-tank of 1874, and the newest is our construction of a new replica of Stephenson’s Rocket for the Science Museum in 2009. The largest locomotive overhauled so far is David Shepherd’s 9F Black Prince and the smallest the Kerr-Stuart well-tank from 1918 that has been overhauled for use as the Flour Mill’s works shunter. The fastest loco must be City of Truro, for which we overhauled the boiler, and the slowest remains to be seen.
The Flour Mill has crane capacity of up to 45 tons, and (on loan from the NRM) a lathe for wheels of up to 6’ 6” in diameter at widths of up to 7’. The workshop is 100’ long and 40’ wide, with 20’ under the crane, and thus suitable for most heavy engineering work.
The average age of the full-time staff at the Flour Mill is in the 30s, demonstrating that the industry does not necessarily have an ‘aging’ workforce. Every employee has some personal association with steam and engineering. The Flour Mill operated its own steam locomotive, GWR ‘small prairie’ 5521, on suburban passenger service out of Wroclaw in Poland during 2008, allowing us to test the quality of our workmanship in extreme conditions and see how we can improve on it.