Midland Railway Centre, Stationary Engine Museum, Ripley (approx SK412518)

The Stationary Power Group have acquired a new engine. It is an A frame engine of c1860 and manufactured by J Cundy, Engineers, Alfreton. One of only two engines that the company made, it was supplied to a local ginger beer maker who used it until 1890 when it was taken back into stock. It remained with the company until donated to the Group by the third generation Mr Cundy.


(Dave Caroline)

Renishaw Hall estate sawmill, Eckington (SK439784)

Following its inspection by a party of ISSES members in October 1995, the semi-portable engine here was (sadly) removed from its picturesque working site and over the period 1996-1998 restored as a static exhibit by John Penny. It is now in the Estate museum.

The engine's serial number (145698), obtained from the Renishaw records, has enabled Ray Hooley to provide the details from the maker's Order Book. It was a Ruston class POG semi-portable with a nominal rating of 6 hp, sold on 27 June 1927 to Beevor & Weetman, of Retford, being transported to Kiveton Park station and then delivered to M C M Athorpe Esq, Dinnington Estate. (The manufacturing company had by then become Ruston & Hornsby Ltd) The wheels on which it was initially mounted were purely to facilitate its transport (rather than for permanent use). The chimney fitted was 16' 4" in length (which was 8' longer than standard). With steam at 120 psi, it was designed to produce 17 bhp at 145 rpm (but was capable of a maximum of 22 bhp).

Other details are as given in Bulletin 16.3, pp4-5, although the cylinder is presumably 8½" x 12" stroke, as given in contemporary catalogues of the company.

(Colin Bowden)


Crossness Pumping Station, Belvedere Road, Erith (TQ484811)

Crossness Engines Trust are continuing with the gargantuan task of restoring the four triple expansion beam pumping engines at this site (see Letter to the Editor by David Dawson later in this Bulletin).

During 1999 they will have a total of 23 days when visits will be permitted by appointment onlyA charge of £2 per head will be made, £1.50 for children under 16. This modest charge will help to support the Trust in their task. Appointments can be made, on Tuesdays and Sundays between 0900 and 1600 hours, by 'phoning 0181 311 3711.

The visiting days are as follows:-
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun
Tuesdays 5 2 2 13 11 8
Sundays 17 14 14 25 23 20
Juk Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Tuesdays 6 3 14 12 9 7
Sundays 18 15 26 24 21

(Crossness Engines Trust)

Museum of London, London Wall, London

This museum wishes to dispose of a number of industrial items, including a steam powered travelling crane and Lancashire boiler; other stationary steam, gas and diesel engines; various late 19th/early 20th century machine tools; blacksmith's forge and leg vices; heavy ship repairing hydraulic press; air hammer and Ingersoll Rand horizontal compressor, with associated equipment, warehouse winches; hydraulic jiggers; crane jibs; loose boxes; beam scales and platform scales.

These items are being offered as gifts, preferably to museums or charitable organisations.

According to ISSES's sources, the museum's stores hold a Woolf compound beam engine, steam crane and Cornish boiler from Addington Pumping Station Crane. The crane is presumably the item referred to above. It is possible that the boiler is the one from Addington, or perhaps they have genuinely acquired a Lancashire boiler. They are also believed to have horizontal single cylinder engines by Marshall and Tangyes, from Cheshire Street Baths, and an Ashworth and Parker duplex from Limehouse Paperboard Mills Ltd.

Anyone with an interest in acquiring these items should contact Karen Fielder at the Museum of London (Tel 0171 600 3699).

(Industrial Archaeology News, No. 107, Winter 1998)


Twyford Pumping Station, Hazeley Road, Twyford (SU492248)

A visit to this site on 3 October 1998 revealed that the Hathorn, Davey triple was much improved since a previous visit (IB 18.3, p4). The valve gear settings had been found to be significantly out of specification and adjusting these appropriately had made the engine's action much smoother and vibration free. There was also less gland leakage although the engine could still benefit from cleaning and polishing. The vacuum remains poor but this is a reflection of the independent condensing plant that is too small.

Other aspects of the site continue to delight, with working diesel and hydraulic engines. There was also a petrol vapour lighting plant with a Stirling cycle engine to pump the mixture. This latter item was happily working away in the boiler house, not too far from a working boiler! There are also ambitious plans for a one-off firing of a lime kiln, to make an educational video.

Also sitting in the boiler house was a 6½ x 7½" Tangye "Soho" engine. This is believed to be engine formerly on display at Winchester City Museum. This engine and its history were described by Chris Hodrien in SB 8.1, pp11-12.

(Chris Allen)


Nottingham Heritage Centre, Mere Way, Ruddington, Nottingham

This Heritage Centre has recently re-erected a small A-frame beam engine. This was in use at the Three Tuns Brewery, London from 1823 to 1958 (these dates are from a small plaque on the engine) and was presented to Loughborough University by Sir Godfrey Nicholson MP. It was on display in the foyer of the Electronic Engineering Department. It was removed in November 1995 and was re-erected in a modern building at Ruddington during late summer 1998. It is still owned in trust by the Nicholson family.

The engine is anonymous and sadly lacks a flywheel. The slide valve cylinder is c9" bore by 2' 6" stroke and the single web beam is 7' 10" between end centres. There is a Watt governor actuating a throttle valve and there are no features to suggest that the engine was run condensing. It is quite a pretty little engine that had escaped the notice of ISSES members and is well worth a look if you are in the area.

(Chris Hodrien and John Bassindale)


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

By the time that you are reading this Bulletin, Claymills Pumping Engines Trust hope to have completed a successful steaming of No. 5 Lancashire boiler and many auxiliary engines. These include the stoker engine; Halls feed pump; Buxton & Thornley auxiliary feed pump; compressor engine in C/D engine house; both generator engines; the Vernon & Guest workshop engine; Massey steam hammer and the agitator engine.

The boiler passed a hydraulic test on 30 November 1998 and by that date the steam mains had also been completed. This included new 4" and 2" mains across the yard and supported on an intermediate lattice tower. It was intended to raise steam gently over the Christmas period and have the boiler's steam test on the day after New Year's Day.

If all goes well, the Trust plan several steaming days during 1999 and hope to work towards a steaming of one of the Gimson beam engines in the Millennium.

(Chris Allen



Arbroath Museum, Signal Tower, Ladyloan, Arbroath

This museum, housed in the former signal tower for the Bell Rock Lighthouse, is home to an inverted vertical steam engine. This was built by Alexander Shanks & Son Ltd of Arbroath for the Dunoon Gasworks, where it was used until the early 1970s. We would welcome any further information on this engine.

(Industry and Transport in Scottish Museums,

J R Hume & J D Storer, 1997)


Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh

In IB 15.2, p10 we reported that a new extension was to be built to the Royal Museum of Scotland and that this was scheduled to open in 1997.

This, now billed as the Museum of Scotland, finally opened on Monday 30 November 1998. As promised, this houses the c1770-80 Newcomen engine from Caprington Colliery and the horizontal single cylinder Corliss engine from Alva Mills, Glentana. The Caprington engine can be moved hydraulically and the Corliss is workable by compressed air. The new museum is continuous with the old building and it is understood that the original engineering displays will also be re-worked.

This is an important new museum, putting yet another beam engine on display, and is worthy of a visit, along with the Granton Research Centre.

(BBC Radio 5, 30 November 1998 and Geoff Hayes)


Dalmellington and District Conservation Trust, Waterside, Patna

This Trust was formed in 1983 with the objective of establishing an open-air museum in the remains of the ironworks at Dalmellington. These remains include furnace bank, engine house, workshops, offices, power station and fan-engine house.

They have several exhibits in store, including a haulage engine from the Sorn mine, made by Beckett & Anderson of Glasgow (no other details known); a Weir steam pump from Highhouse Colliery; a steam crane and the contents of Stow College Laboratories, Glasgow. These latter include a small horizontal single cylinder test engine. This has slide valve, Pickering type governor and a six-spoke flywheel. There is a separate surface condenser with motor driven air pump.

This development is still in its early stages but any interested members may be shown the stores if they make prior arrangement. Again, we would welcome any further information.

(Industry and Transport in Scottish Museums,

J R Hume & J D Storer, 1997)

Highhouse Colliery, Auchinleck (NS549216)

This site houses a small horizontal duplex winding engine built in 1896 by Grant, Ritchie & Co of Kilmarnock. The site was described in SB 4.2, p11 and in SB 7.3, p4, we reported that the site was closed and deserted. The engine remained in situ but plans for its transfer to Dalmellington had fallen through and its only hope was for preservation by the local authority.

We can now report, some 13 years later, that the local authority have indeed preserved the engine house, headgear and engine. However, the engine is recorded as no longer accessible. Members wishing to verify this last point should contact Cumnock and Doon Valley District Council.

(Industry and Transport in Scottish Museums,

J R Hume & J D Storer, 1997)


Kinneil House, Bo'ness

Kinneil House was the home of Dr James Roebuck, one of the founding partners of Carron Company and sponsor of James Watt. Watt's workshop was in the grounds and still stands, roofless and windowless. Beside it is a large Newcomen engine cylinder from an engine said to have been installed by Watt at the Schoolyard Pit. This is a relatively rare surviving example of a Newcomen engine cylinder.


(Industry and Transport in Scottish Museums,

J R Hume & J D Storer, 1997)


Steam Pump, Milton of Campsie

Preserved outside a former carton factory is a two cylinder non-rotative steam pump. Unfortunately we have no further relevant information on what is probably a relatively minor engine. We would welcome any further information on this site.


(Industry and Transport in Scottish Museums,

J R Hume & J D Storer, 1997)



Welsh Industrial and Maritime Museum, Cardiff

As predicted, this museum has now closed and its exhibits either placed in store or disposed of. The single column rotative beam pumping engine built in 1851 by Harvey & Co, Hayle and formerly at Llanishen, has been relocated to Broomy Hill Waterworks, Hereford. It has been joined at this site by a waterwheel that was formerly on display in the courtyard. It is possible that the Llewellyn & Cubitt haulage engine and the triple expansion fan engine may be relocated to Big Pit Mining Museum, Blaenavon.

The remaining items are in store at a "Collections Centre" at Nantgarw, Rhondda Cynon Taff. It is intended that this will occasionally be open to the public.

(Industrial Railway Society Bulletin, No. 662, November 1998.

Larry Ferris)


Blaen y Cae Slate Quarry, Nantlle (SH497537)

Within sight of the Dorothea Cornish engine there is a surviving diagonal duplex engine that was used to operate a Blondin cableway (see Stationary Power No. 2, 1985, pp28-33). This was built c1910 by J M Henderson & Co, Aberdeen and is virtually complete although very rusty. It has now been registered as an industrial monument of national importance and will be in the custody of CADW.

Although the listing of any engine is to be commended, in practical terms this will most probably mean that the engine will just be left to gently rust in peace. It is also unlikely to be a heavily visited site as it is relatively isolated and a bit of a scramble to reach (but by no means the most inaccessible Welsh engine).

(Steam Railway, September 1998)