ISSES Bulletin 1997 Issue 2
Edited by Chris Allen
Thomas Glenister Co., Temple Works, High Wycombe (SU864936)
IB 16.1, p5 (1994), we reported that the two stationary steam engines were
still in situ, although we had reported them as removed in 1991. We can
now report that both engines have been removed and are believed to be in
the hands of private preservationists.
Marshall overtype has definitely been acquired by David Price of Churcham
in Gloucestershire and is joining his small private collection of engines.
Mr Price confirmed that the Davy, Paxman & Co Ltd horizontal tandem
compound engine had already gone. It is believed that this is with Mr Richmond-Dodd
of Ascot. Both engines had gone by May 1997.
Horse and Carriage Museum, Lower Gryllis Farm, Treskillard, Redruth
IB 18.2, p16 we reported that the engine at the Penzance Laundry in New
Lane, Penzance had been removed from the site and it was thought that it
had been taken out for preservation. The engine has been spotted this year
at this museum, placed on some loose timbers in the open air.
engine is a horizontal single cylinder rotative by J J Lane Ltd of London
and is thought to have been built around 1901. The cylinder is c12" bore
x 1'3" stroke and is fitted with a slide valve, Pickering throttle governor,
bent crank and overhung cylinder. The engine has a 5' diameter flywheel
with a 10" wide face on one end of the crankshaft and a 3'6" diameter belt
wheel, with 9" face, on the other end. The engine was out of use at the
laundry by 1980 and the exact date when it was removed is not known.
is understood that the engine is for sale. Any interested persons should
contact the museum at the above address or by telephone 01209 713606.
Mill, Bamford (SK205834)
to our report in IB 18.2, p20, we can report that a Trust is to be formed
to run the engine. It is currently languishing in glorious filth; windows
are out in places and the pigeons are in with small piles of excrement
appearing everywhere as a result. The chimney has gone and the turbines,
water and steam have all been scrapped. The workshop machinery has been
scrapped with the exceptions of the long bed lathe and power hacksaw. These
two items have been acquired by Clay Mills.
boiler has been acquired and is waiting on the sidelines for when the new
boiler house is built. The water supply has had to be re-arranged as the
original sump was in what is now to be a £150,000 apartment. A new
sump has been built below ground outside the engine room and should have
a flow sufficient for the engine.
a sour note, the makers' name plate has been stolen from the engine. This
is a lovely brass casting, quite large and chunky. The steam pressure gauges
and mounting have also recently gone the same way. If anyone knows anything
please notify Chris Evans or Chris Allen, the police are now also aware.
If anybody has a suitable replacement gauge set and board to donate we
would be most grateful.
Colliery, Killamarsh, Derbyshire (SK453797)
colliery closed in 1987 and the headgear was felled on 1st July 1987. The
only part of the colliery left standing was the winding engine house and
an adjacent building. The engine house contained a small horizontal duplex
winding engine, built in 1924 by Robey & Co Ltd of Lincoln. This was
subject to an abortive project to develop an industrial museum on site
and had latterly been inaccessible for some time.
recently, the need to relocate it had become pressing as the site is about
to be redeveloped. It has now been reported that the engine is to be re-housed
by the Barrow Hill Shed Society who hope it to display it as a working
exhibit. The Barrow Hill Shed is a railway roundhouse, itself saved at
the eleventh hour, located at Barrow Hill, between Staveley and Chesterfield.
are heartened that another winder is to be preserved as the rate of attrition
among such engines has been very high over the last few years.
Chesterfield Advertiser, 13th June 1997)
site was visited by a group of ISSES members on the day of our AGM, 1st
June, 1997. We were treated to a history of the site, the proposals for
its development and a tour of the engine houses. We were also able to see
the newly arrived Lancashire boiler from Woodville.
our last report (IB 18.2, p20) the Friends of Pleasley Pit have been successful
in having a temporary roof erected over the Lilleshall1 winder
and in obtaining help with refurbishment from Markhams of Chesterfield.
The Lilleshall winder was seen to be partly dismantled with the guide bars
away for machining. One of the Cornish valves had been lifted for our benefit
and we were able to inspect the construction and feel the sharp edges of
the seats. The next stage in the refurbishment is to lift the drum and
inspect the main bearings.
the meantime, there is much behind the scenes work in progress to form
a Trust, seek finance and to ensure the development of the whole site.
This is a very audacious project but it has got off to a good start and
will hopefully continue to thrive. It is most gratifying to see a site
that appeared to heading for oblivion being given a new lease of life.
1 The older of the two winders is reputed to have been built
in 1902 by Lilleshall Co Ltd, Oakengates. At least two very knowledgeable
ISSES members do not subscribe to this view and a very lively discussion
ensued; sadly, there appeared to be more heat than light and the issue
is still not resolved.
Railway Centre, Stationary Engine Museum, Ripley (approx SK412518)
Midland Stationary Power Group are currently building a museum of prime
movers in a new purpose-built building. These are largely of the internal
combustion variety but there are three significant steam engines on display
and a rather less inspiring inverted vertical single cylinder (enclosed)
by E Reader of Nottingham. I did not take any notes of this engine but
can offer the following for the others:-
Inverted vertical compound (enclosed) by Ashworth & Parker, Bury. This
is No. 2092 of 1954 and is claimed to be one of two supplied to Avenue
Coking Works, Wingerworth. It was acquired from a scrapyard in Rotherham.
The tachometer is red-lined at 378 rpm, the disc flywheel is 53" diameter
by 8" wide and it is coupled to the centre disc of what is presumed to
be a rotodynamic device (centrifugal pump or blower).
Inverted vertical compound (enclosed) by Belliss & Morcom Ltd, Birmingham.
This is serial No. 9371, ordered in 1937 by Advanced Laundries Ltd for
a laundry in Folkestone. It is size V8 with cylinders of 11 & 18 x
8". It took steam at 160 psi and developed 125 kW at 500 rpm. It is direct
coupled to an Electric Construction Co alternator, No. 111982. The disc
flywheel is 46" diameter by 7" wide. According to a member of the Group,
it went from the laundry to a tannery in Dorset but was never installed.
Horizontal duplex winch by Clarke Chapman, Gateshead. This came from Bilsthorpe
Colliery and is an 8 x 12" with Stephenson reverse and two speeds.
Knowles & Co (Wooden Box) Ltd, Woodville (SK312184)
nicely derelict site in an area providing fine example of industrial landscape,
has been demolished during 1997. Within the works, hidden behind some strongly
growing young trees, was a ramshackle engine house hiding a rotten floor
and a medium sized horizontal single cylinder engine. This basic slide
valve machine was built by Buxton & Thornley Ltd, Burton-on-Trent,
c1900 or earlier.
engine has now been removed and is in store at Snibston Discovery Park,
Coalville. A Lancashire boiler and its fittings has been transported to
Pleasley Colliery (q.v.) where it will be used to provide steam for the
winding engines. Further fittings have found a home with Claymills Pumping
Florence Iron Mine, North Molton (SS751319)
to this site and the probability of a steam engine here was found some
time ago by Colin Bowden but an attempt to find it was hampered by an incorrect
grid reference. However, a recent trip to locate the remains of this mine
and to confirm whether an engine survives was more successful.
site is situated in the bottom of a wooded valley below Radworthy Down
not far from the edge of Exmoor. The 25" 1903 ordnance survey map shows
a series of mine shafts running across one side of the valley. Remains
of these shafts are still visible, although the geography of the paths
in the area has changed somewhat. The mine shaft of interest is the one
in the bottom of the valley near a small stream, which was thankfully on
the side of one of the footpaths.
small shaft is filled in and surrounded by a small fence. Off to one side
is a small building, which presumably once housed the winding engine and
the boiler. Both of these latter items survive outside the house, but close
engine is located near the top of the shaft. It is a horizontal duplex
by Clarke, Chapman & Co, Gateshead. It typical of their products with
two bar crosshead guides, disc crank (with the manufacturers name cast
on), Stephensons reverse linkage and slide valves. The cylinders are about
4" bore by 8" stroke. There are a few missing parts; bearings, lubricators
and the right hand side valve chest - and needless to say it is in a rusty
condition. The drum is mounted on inclined bearings and is about 14" diameter
to the rope path. The drum can be turned at two speeds, being clutched
in by one of two pinions on the crankshaft. The boiler, which is a vertical
type, is to be found lying on its side on the other side of the building.
The grate door has the name Ashanks & sons cast on it.
site is a brisk fifteen to twenty minute walk from the nearest road if
you navigate your way directly to it. This is probably preferable to spending
a couple of hours in the pouring rain walking up and down the valley side!
Maiden Newton (SY589953)
SB 5.1, p7, we reported the existence of an egg-ended boiler, in use as
a water tank at a farm near Maiden Newton (SY590958). This rare object
has since moved about quarter of a mile to the new location quoted above
and can now be found in front of a pig farm.
is made of many small wrought iron plates and carries the name of Lotte
and Walne. One end is hemispherical and the other has a shorter radius
curve meeting a flat plate. This seems to be a more recent modification,
perhaps dating from its conversion to a water tank. Maybe the boiler once
had an internal flue or firebox, perhaps U-shaped as on a Trevithick engine?
Do any readers have any views on this matter?
Mount Mill, Wiseman Street, Burnley (SD835327)
site, also known as Wiseman Street Mills, contains a gear drive horizontal
cross compound mill engine dating from 1887 and described in IB 16.1 pp8-9.
This engine is now in the care of Friends of the Weavers' Triangle but
is not publicly accessible in 1997. This is due to mechanical refurbishment
resulting in the engine being part dismantled. We do not know whether this
refurbishment will culminate in the engine being steamed but certainly
hope that it will. It would be a shame if it were to suffer the same fate
as the New Lanark engine (q.v.).
Bowden and Chris Evans)
Street Mill, Harle Syke (SD868348)
IB 15.3, p5 we reported that the re-opening of this preserved weaving shed
would be delayed until 1994. It now appears that this was a little optimistic
as the opening was delayed until 1997! We were informed of the re-opening
by Ian Gibson, Principal Keeper Industrial Museums who has kindly sent
us the Temporary Guide Leaflet, dated May 1997. This commences with - "The
restoration project for the mill is not yet complete but we hope you will
enjoy what we have to offer." Thus, even after several years the project
is still not quite complete, but at least the site is now available to
is open Tuesday to Friday inclusive and Bank Holiday Mondays, from 1030
to 1700 hours. The horizontal tandem compound engine is now in steam and
running at its proper rated speed. There is a lack of intrusive guarding
and the public are allowed to inspect the engine at close quarters, at
the discretion of the staff. ISSES member Colin Bowden, well known for
his liking of authenticity, visited the site in July and was well pleased
with the atmosphere that has been maintained.
site is now one of our best preserved examples, a microcosm of the Lancashire
cotton weaving industry and Burnley Council are to be congratulated on
their efforts to present it to the public.
Gibson and Colin Bowden)
Mill, Padiham (SD797333)
SB 8.2, p5, we reported that although the mill had been demolished the
engine house and its 1888 gear drive horizontal cross compound engine had
been retained and were in the ownership of Mr R Mountford-Haram.
is now alleged that he has plans to transfer the engine to a mill in Cromford,
presumably Masson Mill. The engine has deteriorated somewhat but still
turns over freely.
Park, Battersea, London
in Battersea Park is a pump house building which was used to pump water
for the fountains in the park. The building has a date stone which shows
it having been built in 1861. The engine used to pump the water was removed
many years ago. However, it is reported that it has now been found and
there is a proposal to restore it and put it on display outside in the
park during this summer. Does anyone else have any more details on this
or the engine?
Bridge Steam Museum, Green Dragon Lane, Brentford (TQ188780)
the award of Heritage Lottery money and other grants, this museum is setting
up a new £800,000 permanent exhibition, devoted to telling the fascinating
and for the most part unknown story of London's water supply history. As
ISSES members are aware, stationary engines enclosed in buildings are not
easy to market to a general public who for the greater part only recognise
steam in the form of railway engines.
has been an ongoing problem at Kew since it first opened as a museum, and
it is hoped that this new display will broaden the site's appeal to a wider
audience, with the intention of doubling visitor numbers. This is vital
to maintain this museum's long term financial stability.
new exhibition will be housed in the former No. 2 boilerhouse, that itself
being a grade two listed building is of considerable interest. Following
the removal of the six Lancashire boilers in 1958, the subterranean portion
of the room was filled with builder's rubble, to create a new floor at
the same level as the existing museum car park. It was realised with the
availability of Lottery money, that if excavated the room would provide
two storeys with space for a larger shop and reception, a mezzanine gallery
for temporary exhibitions, an archive store, and a large increase in general
display space for the main exhibition.
February and October 1996 the room was indeed "dug out", uncovering features
such as boiler brickwork, settings, blow down pits and flue tunnels. The
original blue brick firing floor was also uncovered, a portion of which
has been retained. At the same time, the museum's own Lancashire boiler
was lowered down an incline of approximately 25 degrees to rest in its
new display setting 7' down. Since then the room has been converted and
renovated, and the installation of the exhibition is now under way.
new exhibition will be fun and informative in its approach, and will cover
aspects of water supply from sourcing, treatment, and pumping, through
to use in industry and in the home; over the periods between the Roman
occupation to the present day. All of which will help the public to understand
the historic Kew site more easily.
celebrity opening was due to take place on July 15 for the press launch
and from July 16, 1997 onwards the public will be permanently open to the
public. The steam engines will still only operate at weekends however.
Winding Engine, Bestwood
IB 17.4, p16, we reported that a volunteer group were working on the engine
and were installing a drive system using an endless wire rope and an electro-hydraulic
haulage engine. This system is now operable and on the day of our AGM,
1st June 1997, a party of ISSES members were treated to the stately spectacle
of the engine being slowly turned over. Although not as good as steam,
it is still quite a sight seeing so much metal in motion.
is proceeding on the restoration of the site and admission remains by prior
arrangement with Bestwood Country Park.
Earlswood Hospital, Brighton Road, Redhill, Surrey
hospital, opened in the 1840s, was the first in this country to provide
proper treatment for mentally ill patients through their rehabilitation
back into the community. This approach went against the ideas of "locking
people up and throwing away the key" and helped to pioneer medical reforms
throughout the country.
until 1968 the hospital generated its own electricity using three Belliss
& Morcom engines and, following closure of the power plant, the smallest
was transferred to the hospital museum, to become an exhibit. The others
typical example of a small high speed engine became homeless following
the closure of the hospital in March 1997 and with great panic had to be
moved elsewhere. It has now been put into safe storage, pending transfer
to a new heritage attraction that is currently being set up. ISSES members
will be given further details as they become available.
the available information, Colin Bowden is fairly sure that the surviving
engine is Belliss & Morcom No. 9405, ordered in 1937 for Royal Earlswood
Institution. This is an inverted vertical duplex (enclosed) of type D1
with cylinders of 6" x 5". It took steam at 75/80 psi, exhausted against
a back-pressure of 5 psi and ran at 700 rpm. It is direct coupled to a
20kW Bruce Peebles dynamo generating 100V at 200A.
other two engines were also coupled to Bruce Peebles dynamos of 40kW and
60kW. The smaller engine was No. 9144 of type D3, ordered in 1935, with
cylinders 8½" (2) x 5". This also ran at 700 rpm and took steam
at 80 psi, later raised to 100 psi. The larger was No. 8845 of type D5A,
ordered in 1934, with cylinders 10" (2) x 7" and running at 525 rpm on
to Mr T Sherriff, the Belliss engines replaced three Alley & MacLellan
engines that had been installed in 1901.
Albanese and Colin Bowden)
of Newcastle upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne
IB 18.4, p17 we reported that the test engine, formerly at this site, had
been acquired by person(s) unknown. We can now reveal that it has turned
up at Markham Grange Nursery, Brodsworth, having been acquired by Tommy
Shires & Sons Ltd, George Street Mills, Milnsbridge, Huddersfield (SE118160)
am sure that many members will recall this site and its three high speed
(enclosed) engines. These were all installed in the 1980's and were part
of an integrated heat and power system. They were a first class example
of the way in which reciprocating steam engines could be used in a modern
setting and we all hoped that they would have a long and productive life.
was not to be. Apparently they had not run for some four years and Shires
had sold their old mill to a development company. They were undertaking
at least some demolition and a visit on 25 May showed that the roof was
off the main block, the area where the Ashworth & Parker stood had
been swept away, the boiler house was gone and the engine house where the
Bellisses were was bricked up. Then, on 2 June 1997, disaster struck -
the mill was largely consumed by fire and has subsequently been demolished.
The fine chimney has also gone. Recent enquiries by Colin Bowden found
that it is believed that all three engines have gone.
site was described in SB 5.3, p11 and SB 10.4, p3. The Engines were as
Belliss & Morcom inverted vertical compound, No. 9516 of 1939. A 150
kW machine, bought secondhand and installed in 1980.
Belliss & Morcom inverted vertical compound, No. 3373 of 1907. A 75
kW machine, transferred from Saddleworth and commissioned in 1983.
Ashworth & Parker inverted vertical duplex, No. 2044 of 1953. A 120
kW machine (150 kVA), installed secondhand.
Allen and Colin Bowden)
3 Engine House, New Lanark, Nr Lanark
IB 16.3, p13 we reported that the re-erection of the Petrie horizontal
twin tandem compound engine was proceeding apace and that it was intended
to steam it on completion. Sadly, it appears that this is not happening.
The engine has been completed without its condensing apparatus and is now
being rotated by an electric motor.
is a great pity as Scotland is largely devoid of steamable engines and
this appears to be a missed opportunity. It is a double pity as the original
plan was to use hydroelectricity to raise steam in an electrode boiler;
as close as we are likely to get to a renewable energy powered steam engine
(forgetting chicken manure for a moment).
Wales Miners Museum, Afan Argoed Country Park, near Cynonville
small mining museum, run by volunteers, has been incorporated into this
small country park. This is situated up the valley from Port Talbot on
the A4107. Admission to the area with the steam exhibits is free but there
is a further exhibition building that can be entered for a mere 50 pence.
The section most likely to interest ISSES members consists of two new 20'
long single storey buildings and a narrow strip of open display area that
is about 60' long. Nonetheless, some interesting exhibits have been crammed
into this space.
pride of the indoor collection is a most unusual and rare three cylinder
vertical, single acting, geared haulage engine. This is the patented "Victor"
design by Sheppard & Sons, New Foundry, Bridgend and is their "size
10". It was acquired from the Coegnant Pit in the Llynfi Valley, where
it worked until 1982. The slide valves are worked by cranks on a gear driven
layshaft and reversing was achieved by an internal spline arrangement on
the driven gear (this is currently seized). The open-topped cylinders contain
trunk pistons with perforated skirts through which the air apparently exhausts
inwards from the valve chests. This arrangement caused much discussion
and bafflement; such that Larry Ferris has talked them into letting him
go back with a spanner. Manufacturer's literature is on display and makes
it clear that this device was designed to use compressed air from the outset,
for use underground. This particular example is believed to have gone to
Coegnant about 1900, but may have been secondhand; Sheppards date back
to 1868, when they took over the Ogmore Ironworks. If any member knows
more about the workings of this haulage engine, or of Sheppards, could
they please contact Chris Allen.
other winch in the "engine house" is a conventional horizontal duplex geared
two drum winch by John Mills of Llanidloes. This came from Wyndham Western
Mines at Ogmore where it worked until 1983. This engine has cylinders c4"
x 6", Stephenson link reverse, trunk guides and disc cranks. Both this
and the above engine can be demonstrated turning on compressed air.
on working display are two somewhat unusual air-powered items. The smaller
of the two is flame-proof roof lamp powered by an integral turbine; a device
characterised by more noise than light. The other item is a c2' diameter
axial flow ventilation fan with a peripheral runner housed in an aluminium
casing. Such a device is no longer permitted underground as aluminium has
been found capable of creating a spark.
main item of interest on static display outside is the well known inverted
vertical duplex, geared, endless haulage winch that used to occupy one
of two winding engine house foundations at Marine Colliery, Cwm (see photograph
in IB 17.4, p59). This has "EVA 1863" cast on to one slide chest cover
and it is believed this may refer to Ebbw Vale Iron Company's Abersychan
Ironworks. We had lost track of this engine for a while following the closure
of Marine Colliery and it is good to see that it has found a safe home.
outdoor exhibits include a headgear sheave from St John's Pit, Maesteg
(closed 1985), the rope drum from the self-acting gravity incline at Empire
Mine high level adit at Cwmgrach, Vale of Neath and a compressed air turbine
boring machine used for methane drainage at Afon Colliery. For the railway
enthusiast, there is also a selection of narrow-gauge "drams", including
two small plateway wagons and track from Llynfi Ironworks (1839-1886) and
a short piece of iron plate edge-rail track with cast iron "sleepers".
in all, this is an attractive little site and worth a visit. The volunteer
staff are also very knowledgeable about the area's mining history.
Industrial and Maritime Museum, Cardiff
news in the last Bulletin of the proposed closure of the Birmingham museum
of science and industry, comes the further unwelcome news of the same fate
for another of our provincial museums. It would appear that the museum,
which is located in the dock area of Cardiff, is due for closure in October
museum has a number of interesting stationary steam engines the most impressive
of which is a horizontal twin tandem triple expansion engine built by Walker
Bros and was used to drive a ventilation fan at Crumlin Navigation Colliery.
Rated at 500 hp and with cylinders of 15", 23½" & 26" (x2) bore
by 3'3" stroke, this is an important survivor. Amongst the other engines
the museum has in its care are a Harvey & Co of Hayle single cylinder
beam pumping engine from Llanishen reservoir; table engine by Neath Abbey
Iron Co., Neath, from Cadoxton Brewery; single cylinder haulage engine
by Llewellyn & Cubitt, Pentre, from Park Colliery in the Rhondda; and
numerous other small and high speed engines.