Long Shop Museum, Leiston
27 March 2010
Today was the first day of the year that the Long Shop Museum was
open, and it was a free open day to celebrate the restoration of
Sirapite is a very rare shunting engine. It is part
traction engine and part locomotive and was built in 1906 by Aveling and
Porter for Gypsum Mines Ltd. at Mountfield in Sussex. Its name comes
from a product similar to plaster of paris which was produced by the
company: Sirapite was decided to be more suitable than Parisite.
Sirapite was bought by Richard Garrett and Sons and brought to Leiston
in 1929. It was used to replace the horses which had been used to
control the trucks which conveyed goods and materials on tracks between
the workers' houses to and from the town site to the top site and
Leiston railway station. Sirapite was the visible link between the
company and the townspeople, trundling backwards and forwards across the
main road, supervised by a man with a red flag.
The rusting remains were bought in 2003, and since then it has been
restored to its former glory. Here some Brasso is being used to get
Sirapite ready for the official ceremony later on.
The unusual flywheel on the left side of Sirapite
The Long Shop itself - the earliest purpose built production line in the
Inside the Long Shop
a band is playing. There are lots of interesting exhibits on the ground
floor and around the gallery.
Garrett's Suffolk Punch - an attempt to produce a steam car to challenge
the upstart - the internal combustion engine.
A model of Leiston station as it was
The old firebox of Sirapite
And the old chimney.
The Brasso has been put away and Sirapite is looking splendid.