Alwyn Vintcent Villiersdorp Show October 2012

 

One of the advertisers on the hull of Alwyn Vintcent during her epic road trip from Cape Town Harbour to Villiersdorp was the Villiersdorp Show.

 

 

So we decided to set up a display in the Hall at the showgrounds and to ferry any interested people up to the vessel standing at Eniel’s workshop. But first we had to get her looking more presentable, after our mammoth job of cleaning out the boiler two weeks before!

 

On the Saturday in between, we first tackled the stokehold deck plates, scrubbing them and getting most of them into position, which also involved moving around and tidying the fire-bars and the front of the port furnace which we’d removed. We cleaned the bilges under them a bit and also under the boiler at the forward end, so that more trapped water could run out of the plugs we had removed.

 

 

 

There’s work to be done on the supporting framework, but one can at least show the more daring people around! Next, we cleaned the deck of the engine room.

 

 

We worked out how the worm-gear works which is used to turn the main engine over. Naturally we were keen to see whether the engine would turn. Wishful thinking! With three engine pistons, the piston valves and the vacuum pump, quite apart from lack of lubrication on mechanical parts, of course it wouldn’t turn! We added oil to all the cups we could find and removed the screw-down greasers on the main bearings (the two remote ones were stolen in the break-in after AV was moved away from the Somerset; the empty bracket can be seen in the picture below), and we cleaned and polished them, and added oil instead of grease, just to get lubrication flowing.

 

 

An impressive display was set up in the Hall for the show.

 

 

We sold some of the three designs of licence disc holders, at R10.00 each.

 

The model of the tug made and donated by Peter Sinclair for fundraising is always an eye-catcher. Deon Joubert who bought it at our auction has kindly left it with us for display purposes.

 

The table-and-benches unit was kindly donated to us to raffle at the Show and we made good sales of tickets at a very reasonable R20 per ticket. Dale Elliott allowed us to display his painting which accompanied the vessel on her epic road-trip. As promised, those of us who accompanied her, signed on the back, hopefully increasing the value of the painting! Etienne Gouws, Chief Dockmaster who raised AV out of the water for the last time, paid an unexpected visit to the Show and was quickly press-ganged into adding his autograph to ours! The jig-saw, produced from the calendar below showing Alwyn Vintcent at the V&A Waterfront was recently given to us by club member Kobus Groenewald from Stilbaai.

 

 

All that blue! We were very pleased by the reaction from visitors to the Show in our display, and particularly those wishing to inspect the vessel.

 

After packing up, Hermann and I found ourselves on the vessel and rather than telling each other tall stories, did more cleaning, this time around the decks; particularly the scuppers which drain them. Once again there was an impressive bag full of rubbish to heave over the side, including the last of the gum-tree we hit in Riebeek West!

 

 

During the week before, we had two visitors. One was Johannes Uys from MME, who delivered the rails which he intends using to move AV across to the side of the yard on. He still has to bring the four towers from which the hull will be slung.

 

The other visitor was a retired Boiler Inspector. He gave the now fairly clean boiler a good look-over, including climbing into the combustion chamber. His unofficial comment is that the boiler looks ten years old, rather than the actual 53! This is all we needed to hear, to know that it’s worth continuing with our plans to turn the engines over with steam at a very much reduced pressure. Good news indeed!

 

Andy Selfe

14th October 2012.

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