(Stationary Power Group)
(Crossness Engines Trust and Old Glory, June
We can now report that the workshop engine has been acquired privately by Clive and Ben Webb of Swanley, while one of the beam engines is now at this privately operated 2' 0" gauge passenger carrying garden railway, operated by Bill and David Best.
The engine is located in a corner of the locomotive shed at present, though the flywheel, crankshaft, gearing and pumps are lying in the open. This sorry state of affairs persists because the Chief Planning Officer of the Swale District Council will not grant planning permission for the erection of a permanent engine house in which to preserve the engine. Apparently the aforesaid gentleman does not consider the engine worthy enough of preservation!
Also on site are two horizontal feed pumps. The locomotive Eigiau carries a Worthington-Simpson duplex, No. 5088000 with dimensions of 3 x 1½ x 3" and the locomotive SIAM has a simplex by Deutsche Worthington, No. 19095 of 1955 with dimensions of 76 x 51 x 100 mm.
Access is strictly on public open days. During 1999, the site is open on the first Sunday of the month from May to September, between 1100 and 1700 hours.
We can now report, after a long hiatus, that the cross compound has been acquired by new owners who intend to restore and re-assemble it for operation under steam at a new heritage attraction under construction in Derbyshire. Details of this exciting new venture will hopefully be made available to ISSES members in due course.
The mill engine is in reasonable condition having been sheeted up and covered in preservative for its protracted period of open air storage. In addition to the engine, the new owners have acquired the switch panels, dynamo (allegedly weighing 19 tons) and a rotary converter. All these items will be restored to form an important exhibit representing the early years of electrical generating technology.
Chorley Borough Council were in urgent need of a new home for the engine and were delighted to donate it to the new heritage site. The removal was overseen by Century Millwrights of Hampton on Thames, Middlesex who are acting as industrial heritage consultants and engineers for the Derbyshire project.
As a home had not been found for the Belliss and its alternator, these were also taken along to ensure their immediate future.
Unfortunately, it has remained in open air storage and has suffered badly in terms of rust corrosion and the theft of nearly all its non-ferrous parts. More seriously, the following large parts appeared to be missing at a recent survey by Century Millwrights:-
HP piston rod and front cylinder cover
Some of these smaller parts may have been "weighed in" but it is to be hoped that somehow the larger parts may have survived in another part of the site. If these parts have survived, then this engine may still be salvageable.
The Council are keen to see it saved and may, if prompted sufficiently, be prepared to cover the recipient's transport and craneage costs. Anyone interested in acquiring what was a very fine engine should contact:-
Miss Jean Williams,
Tel. 01254 388111.
In SB 12.1, p5, we reported that this company were continuing to operate a horizontal single cylinder rotative vacuum pump, built in 1921 by Manlove Alliott & Co Ltd, Nottingham. It now seems that this engine last ran late 1998 or early 1999 and may be available for disposal. According to a source at Trencherfield Mill, the engine was still in situ in May and had been visited by Fred Dibnah.
This little engine was one of the last working engines in the country and it is a shame that it has finally come to a halt. However, it is small and preservable and is almost certain to be saved by someone. We shall keep you informed of any developments here.
(Claymills Pumping Engines Trust)
The Belliss and Morcom is an inverted vertical compound, No. 6556 of 1919. It is of type V18s with cylinders of 19 & 27 x 12" and produced 570 bhp at 375 rpm on steam at 140 psi. The Robey is a horizontal single cylinder drop valve engine from Sevenoaks Brickworks. It is No. 33242 of 1914 and remains dismantled. Alongside it is an inverted vertical simplex Weir feed pump, also from Sevenoaks Brickworks.
Other engines seen on site include:-
A pair of inverted vertical single cylinder (enclosed) test engines by W Sisson. These are No. 6084 with a 6 x 4" cylinder and No. 6085 with an 8½ x 4" cylinder, together with all their test equipment. These were supplied new to the London County Council, Lewisham Technical College.
An inverted vertical single cylinder Marshall, allegedly ex Bognor Regis Council, is being erected in the same house as a workable Robey gas engine but entry to the building was denied.
A horizontal single cylinder Donkin, reported as being ex Worthing Gasworks, is to be found in a building adjacent to the entrance and is run on compressed air.
A single cylinder, direct drive steam saw
by A Ransome & Co Ltd, Newark is in the open adjacent to a sawmill.
Also in he sawmill area is a fully restored 5 ton rail mounted steam crane by T Smith & Sons (Rodley) Ltd. This is No. 20578 of 1937 and was formerly used at Charlton Sawmills near Chichester (see SB 5.2, p8).
The site is reputedly home to at least three more small steam engines but these were not located on this visit.
ISSES member Tommy Nuttall is intending to have the first public steaming of Agnes, the 600 hp Pollit & Wigzell engine, over the August Bank Holiday weekend. All ISSES members are most welcome.
Housed under a low roof and surrounded by railings is a venerable horizontal single cylinder engine with return connecting rod. This was used for the rope hauling of railway wagons at the Fieldhouse Fireclay Works. The Works were established in 1850 by Edward Brooke and the engine probably dates from around then, although its exact date and manufacturer are not known. In 1952 the engine was donated to the Museum and its restoration and re-erection were undertaken by Thomas Broadbent & Sons Ltd (themselves once builders of steam engines). Material for the construction of the shelter was provided by Jarratt, Pyrah & Armitage Ltd (owners of a horizontal tandem compound that ran until 1976 and was the first working engine to be seen by the Editor UK). In 1954 the Museum produced a very informative leaflet describing the engine in which it was stated:- "The engine is in working order and would run immediately if steam were available."
The cylinder is 11" bore by 2' stroke and the simple slide valve is mounted above. The piston rod is guided by a single bush beyond the crosshead and side rods pass either side of the cylinder to a bridle at the crank end. The connecting rod is 8' 1" between centres. The crank is overhung and the big end is of the strap type. The flywheel is cast in one piece with four spokes, is 8' 4" diameter and weighs about 1.1 tons. It has been estimated that the engine developed approximately 29 ihp at 50 rpm on steam at 50 psi.
At the Works, the engine stood on pitch pine balks bolted to massive stone blocks. A brick hut surrounded the engine but the winding barrel was outside in a pit and driven by a pinion on the crankshaft. Unfortunately the winding arrangements have not survived.
This is an important early horizontal engine that is often overlooked and certainly deserves indoor preservation.
(Brian Hillsdon and Tolson Museum)
(BBC1, Midlands Today, 18 March 1999)
In IB 19.3, pp12-13, we reported that a small group of enthusiasts were hoping to start the restoration of the 1875 Barker & Cope horizontal duplex winder at this former colliery. Work has now started on the restoration of this engine, lights have been provided, the house has been tidied and the engine prepared for a trial on compressed air. This culminated in the engine turning on compressed air, smoothly and slowly on Monday 28 June 1999. This was achieved with a hired air compressor and it was intended to demonstrate the engine to Cadw and representatives of the Heritage Lottery Fund on 29 June, hoping to generate a cash injection.
Hopefully this engine will now become more
accessible and ultimately be displayed in a workable state. In the meantime,
it should be possible to arrange informal access for interested parties.