Contents

 

The Anson Museum, Poynton, Stockport

Quarry Bank Mill, Styal (SJ835830)

Pleasley Colliery, Pleasley (SK498644)

Beamish - The North of England Open Air Museum, Beamish

Dalton Pumping Station, Cold Hesledon (NZ411469)

The Strand Palace Hotel (Works Department), 20 Tavistock Street, Westminster

Bolton Steam Museum, Mornington Road, Bolton (SD700099)

Snibston Discovery Park, Ashby Road, Coalville

Raab Karcher Timber, Swan Lake Mill, Upperton Road, Leicester

Claymills Sewage Pumping Station, Burton-upon-Trent (SK263258)

Sandfields Pumping Station, Lichfield (SK113084)

Markham Grange Nursery, Brodsworth, Near Doncaster

Swansea Maritime and Industrial Museum, Swansea

CHESHIRE

The Anson Museum, Poynton, Stockport

In IB 19.3, p2, we reported that work had started on re-erecting the horizontal cross compound mill engine from Albion Mills, Hazel Grove. Three ISSES members visited the site on 31 January 1999 and found that work was well advanced with most of the major components assembled. The engine is in the open air, but sheeted over. Work has commenced on the construction of a covering building to keep the elements off of it.

It is heartening to see that progress is being made by the small team of volunteers and we wish them well.
 

(John Cooper and Chris Hodrien)
 

 
 

Quarry Bank Mill, Styal (SJ835830)

A visit to this site on 26 March 1999 revealed that Quarry Bank Mill Trust have now acquired a horizontal single cylinder engine to place on the 1871 horizontal engine bed in their engine house. This engine, of unknown make and date, was originally used at the dyeworks of Charles Fox & Co Ltd, Jesse Street, Bradford. This was described in SB 12.3, pp3-4 when it was still in situ. It was subsequently removed by a private individual in Halifax, restored fully and placed in to store.

The slide valve cylinder is c15" x 2' 6" and the flywheel is 9' 9" diameter. Other design features include a single slipper crosshead guide, marine big end, disc crank and Pickering type governor. The engine is currently in the workshop at Quarry Bank Mill and it will not be installed before late 1999, at the earliest.

This engine should complete the story of power at Quarry Bank Mill and the visitor will then be able to appreciate the whole complex story of power production at the mill.
 

 

(Chris Hodrien)
 

 

DERBYSHIRE

Pleasley Colliery, Pleasley (SK498644)

An ISSES visit was held to this site in June 1997 and reported in IB 19.2, p15. Since then, there have been major developments and two ISSES members were able to observe these firsthand during a visit on 14 March 1999.

The 1873 house holding the Markham engine has been completely re-roofed with traditional slates over timber boarding. The original metal trusses have been used but very little of the wood could be salvaged. We were able to inspect the roof from internal and external scaffolding and were most impressed by the scale and quality of the work. Work had also started on the refurbishment of the chimney, including rebuilding the top 12', internal and external pointing, and work on the steel bands. The Lilleshall engine house is also about to get a new roof. This work is all being sponsored by English Partnerships.

The Lilleshall winder is also receiving a major overhaul and at the time of our visit was dismantled to the point where only major components were intact. The final re-assembly is awaiting the new roof. Work will then switch to the Markham winder.

Considering that this site was in a dreadful state and was very nearly lost, all this major progress is most heartening. We will bring you further reports as work progresses.

(John Cooper and Chris Allen)
 

DURHAM

Beamish - The North of England Open Air Museum, Beamish

A major development proposal will see £4 million being spent on a number of major projects in the next two financial years, including a £2 million large objects store. Much of the finance required is being obtained from the Heritage Lottery Fund and the European Regional Development Fund.

It is not known whether these developments will result in any stationary steam engines being placed on display or any of their poorly stored engines being afforded better storage. In the past, some of Beamish's engines have been stored in the open and have suffered accordingly. It would be most gratifying if some of the funds were to be used to preserve and/or display stationary engines.

(Tramways & Urban Transit, February 1999)
 
 

Dalton Pumping Station, Cold Hesledon (NZ411469)

In IB 20.2,p10, we reported that English Heritage were assisting in the transformation of this site into a public house. On 13 March 1999 three ISSES members paid an opportunistic visit to the site and were fortunate enough to encounter the owner.

The engine house is now fully restored and the boiler house is ready for final conversion. It is hoped to be open, with time to spare, for the new year "Millennium" celebrations. All the windows in the engine house have been opened up and the two Cornish engines restored and painted. We saw them in the gathering dusk and were impressed with the standard, although the bright work still looks pitted.

This project certainly looks promising and we are still waiting to hear from the first ISSES member to partake at the finished watering hole.

(Chris Allen, John Cooper & John Porter)
 

 

GREATER LONDON

The Strand Palace Hotel (Works Department), 20 Tavistock Street, Westminster

It seems that after several false alarms, time is now running out for this site as we know it. The hotel is disposing of the works department building and the area is due to be redeveloped. Fortunately, it seems likely that the Belliss and Morcom inverted vertical (enclosed) triple expansion engine will be acquired for a new preservation project. We will bring you any news on this engine's fate as it becomes available.

(Richard Albanese)
 

 

GREATER MANCHESTER
 

Bolton Steam Museum, Mornington Road, Bolton (SD700099)

We last reported on this site one year ago, in IB 19.4, pp12-13, following a visit on 5 April 1998. A further visit was made on 31 January 1999 and we can report that considerable progress has been made.

The Cellarsclough McNaughted beam engine is now effectively complete and the engine has been turned on its barring engine. This is now the only complete McNaught compound beam engine in the United Kingdom and is a great tribute to the NMES and its band of volunteers.

The horizontal single cylinder fire pump from Fern Mill, Shaw was also seen to be largely finished. This engine had spent in excess of 15 years outdoors and required major restoration, including new bearings and a new slide bar. It had been intended to give this a cosmetic restoration only but the NMES had been unable to resist the temptation to do a proper job.

Work is now in progress on the re-erection of the J Barraclough vertical single cylinder engine from Redfern's Glassworks, Barnsley. This had previously been in the bottom of the rope race in the earlier museum at Atlas Mills.

The Society have now nearly restored and re-erected their stock of engines and desperately need funds to finish the museum and open to the public. The major tasks that remain are, installing a false floor, building a boiler house and chimney, finding and installing a boiler, and installing the steam and exhaust plumbing. These items require approximately £100,000 and the NMES are again pursuing lottery funding. It is to be hoped that this project will attract the funding that it so clearly deserves!

(John Cooper and Chris Hodrien)
 

LEICESTERSHIRE

Snibston Discovery Park, Ashby Road, Coalville

This site is now back in steam following the appointment of staff with the necessary skills and the replacement of bearings on the Gimson beam engine from Hopwas. In common with many museums, Snibston has experienced some difficulties but is now able to give a better account of itself with the resumption of steam operation.

(Snibston Discovery Park)
 
 

Raab Karcher Timber, Swan Lake Mill, Upperton Road, Leicester

In IB 13.3, p52, we gave details of two disused Belliss & Morcom inverted vertical compound engines at this site. At that time, these were recorded as available for preservation or re-use.

Their removal has now become a matter of urgency and if a suitable benefactor is not found, they will be scrapped. Indeed, it is possible that this may already have occurred.

(Snibston Discovery Park)

STAFFORDSHIRE

Claymills Sewage Pumping Station, Burton-upon-Trent (SK263258)

As predicted in the last Bulletin (p5), Claymills Pumping Engines Trust had a trial steaming over the New Year period with engines in steam on the first three days of the year. The boiler inspector performed a steam test and announced himself satisfied. The mechanical stokers worked beautifully and the little Bennis engine that drives them ran faultlessly. The steam feed pump, agitator engine, Vernon and Guest workshop engine, steam hammer, and both dynamo engines all ran. Indeed, both dynamos proved capable of producing electricity and the dynamo engine house was lit with its own product.

The only major problem was the failure, whilst being warmed with a trace of steam, of a 12" bulkhead valve in the steam main. This would have doomed their efforts to failure without the presence of a 2" tapping from the boiler shell, independent of the main steam valve. Number 5 boiler is the only one so equipped and it was fortunate indeed that this is the one to have been restored. Work is now in hand to replace both 12" valves with a straight section of pipe.

Another major feat of restoration was completed in early 1999 when outside contractors laid a wood block floor throughout the workshop area. This is a replica of the original floor and used blocks donated from Rugeley A Power Station. The work was funded by a generous grant from Consolidated Charity of Burton.

The Trust arranged a VIP steaming for 27 March, followed on 28 March by a free steaming for all present and former members. These events were a great success and the plant performed almost flawlessly. The first public steaming was arranged for Easter and should by now be history.

(Chris Allen)
 
 

Sandfields Pumping Station, Lichfield (SK113084)

Further to our report in IB 20.1, p5, we can now inform you that the Cornish beam engine at this site is receiving cosmetic restoration. The work is being undertaken on Monday evenings by volunteers, including employees of South Staffordshire Water plc and members of Claymills Pumping Engines Trust. Further volunteers would be made welcome.

Occasional public open days are being held and are variably attended. The adjoining filter house and offices have been demolished and the site will be disposed of. At the moment, work is progressing well and it is to be hoped that the engine now has a more assured future.

 

(Chris Allen)
 

Chatterley Whitfield Colliery, Tunstall (SJ884553)

A meeting was to be held in Stoke-on-Trent towards the end of January 1999 to discuss the future of the site. It is hoped that new industry could be attracted to the site to help make any preservation proposals viable.
 

(BBC 1, Midlands Today, 13-1-99)
 

 

WILTSHIRE

Purton Brickworks, Purton (SU087886)

In SB 12.3, p9, we reported that this site contained Belliss & Morcom 'V' type compound No. 9586. A visit by Colin Bowden on 11 June 1998 revealed that all had been swept away. Mr Orr-Ewing, seen at Fox Fur, an engine enthusiast, steamboat owner and farmer, confirmed that he had looked after the engine for about six years until about a year ago (ie from c1991 to c1997) and that it was now at Hill's Industrial Estate site. It is planned to preserve it in the village (apparently in the open). Further information may be obtained from Mr Vic Hill (Swindon 615982).
 

(Colin Bowden)
 

 

SOUTH YORKSHIRE

Markham Grange Nursery, Brodsworth, Near Doncaster

ISSES member Tommy Nuttall, owner of a very impressive array of steam machinery, was intending to have a steam event over the Easter period with several engines in steam. Foremost amongst these are the two horizontal single cylinder engines from Wilderspool Brewery, Warrington.

Unfortunately it was expected that Agnes, the 1909 Pollit & Wigzell tandem compound from Washpit Mills, would not quite be finished in time. A visit on 14 March 1999 revealed that erection was well advanced but that much still remained to be done. At the time of our visit, the bed, cylinders, crankshaft, flywheel boss and arms, and some of the valve gear were assembled. This still left the flywheel rim, motion, governor and condenser to install. The standard of work was most impressive, with deep, solid foundations and all the components had been stripped, cleaned and painted or polished as appropriate. This is no mere "bolt it together" job, this is a proper strip down restoration that is a credit to Tom's team.

Also on site, in the open, were two steam turbine driven exhausters that had been acquired from the Monckton Coke & Chemical Co at Royston. This site has had a major new boiler house built and leaves us wondering what became of the Belliss & Morcom compound and dynamo that used to be there. At one time there was also a derelict inverted vertical single cylinder Marshall and several working non-rotative pumps. We would welcome any further information about this site.

It is expected that we will be able to bring you further news about the return to steam of Agnes and the further development of Tom's impressive collection in future Bulletins,

(John Cooper and Chris Allen
 

 

WALES

SWANSEA

Swansea Maritime and Industrial Museum, Swansea

Swansea has won the battle to house Wales' national maritime and industrial collections despite stiff competition from both Cardiff and Caernarfon. The plan is to merge the national collection with that of the Swansea Maritime and Industrial Museum.

 
 

(Museums Journal, December 1998)