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

Museum of London, London Wall, London

Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway, The Warren, Swanton Street,Bredgar, Sittingbourne

Chorley Borough Council, Chorley

Howarth Art Gallery and Park, Accrington

Jeffreys Miller & Co Ltd, Leyland Mills, Wigan (SD585076)

Byrkley Park Centre, Rangemore, Burton-on-Trent

Amberley Museum, Amberley, Arundel

Markham Grange Nursery, Brodsworth, Near Doncaster

The Tolson Museum, Ravensknowle Park, Wakefield Road,Huddersfield (SE163166)

Brinton's Mills, Exchange Street, Kidderminster (SO839764)

Hetty Shaft, Tymawr Colliery, Hopkinstown, Pontypridd (ST054910)




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

The Stationary Power Group have acquired another Belliss and Morcom inverted vertical compound (enclosed) engine. This was one of a pair at Crabtree Electrical Industries Ltd, Walsall and had been donated to the National Tramway Museum at Crich (see SB 11.1, p17). It is not yet known whether this is the larger (375 kVA) engine, No. 7663 or the smaller (200 hp) engine, No. 5069. There is also uncertainty whether one or both engines were transferred to Crich. At least one of these queries will be easily resolved by an examination of the engine. Any volunteers?

(Stationary Power Group)


Museum of London, London Wall, London

In IB 20.3, pp3-4, we reported that this Museum wished to dispose of several items of plant, including items from Addington Pumping Station. As reported in a Letter to the Editor in this Bulletin, the Addington Easton & Anderson beam engine, steam gantry crane and Cornish boiler are now all at Crossness. The engine arrived on 20 March 1999 and will be re-erected in the valve house.

(Crossness Engines Trust and Old Glory, June 1999)



Bredgar and Wormshill Light Railway, The Warren, Swanton Street, Bredgar, Sittingbourne

In IB 19.3, p8 we reported that the two Woolf compound beam pumping engines at Henwood Pumping Station, Ashford had been dismantled by the water company and placed in store. There was also a small vertical single cylinder engine that had apparently driven the workshop.

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.

(Brian Hillsdon)




Chorley Borough Council, Chorley

It had been the Council's intention to open an industrial heritage site known as the Birkacre Project. To this end they had acquired the 1914 Clayton & Goodfellow horizontal cross compound mill engine from British Leyland, Chorley and a Belliss and Morcom from British Aerospace at Lostock. Unfortunately the project foundered as long ago as 1990 and in SB 12.1, pp4-5, we were noting that the engines were for disposal or scrap.

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.

(Richard Albanese)


Howarth Art Gallery and Park, Accrington

Last mentioned in SB 9.4, p3, this site remains the last resting place of the 1884 Ashton, Frost & Co Ltd horizontal cross compound engine from Edgar Davies (Surgicals) Ltd, Church. Hyndburn Borough Council are now actively seeking a home for this engine.

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

LP piston rod and front cylinder cover
Air pump piston and rod
Six off flywheel spokes and flywheel rim
Slide bars/top guides
Gear drive shaft to governor
Valve gear linkages and trip mechanisms

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,

Recreation Department,

Hyndburn Borough Council Offices,
Eagle Street,
BB5 1LN.

Tel. 01254 388111.

(Richard Albanese)


Jeffreys Miller & Co Ltd, Leyland Mills, Wigan (SD585076)


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.

(Chris Hodrien)



Byrkley Park Centre, Rangemore, Burton-on-Tren

In IB 16.1, p11, we reported that this garden centre had a horizontal single cylinder rotative pumping engine by Buxton and Thornley. This was on display in the tea room and was turned by a motor. We must now report that the engine is no longer on display as the space it occupied was required for seating. The owner of the centre is intending to erect the engine at his home where, presumably, it will not be accessible for public inspection.

(Claymills Pumping Engines Trust)



Amberley Museum, Amberley, Arundel

A brief note in IB 15.4, p7 referred to this Museum, then known as Amberley Chalk Pits Museum, as possessing engines by Belliss and Morcom and Robey, the latter in a dismantled state. Brian Hillsdon visited the site on 13 May 1999 and can provide a more complete account.

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.

(Brian Hillsdon)



Markham Grange Nursery, Brodsworth, Near Doncaster


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.

(Tommy Nuttall)



The Tolson Museum, Ravensknowle Park, Wakefield Road, Huddersfield (SE163166)

ISSES member Brian Hillsdon has observed that this site has yet to appear in the Bulletin. Therefore we are taking this opportunity to set the record straight.

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)



Brinton's Mills, Exchange Street, Kidderminster (SO839764)

In IB 1991-4, pp8-9, we described the various items of steam plant to be found in this large carpet factory. These included five 'Super Lancashire' boilers, a W H Allen steam turbine and an off-site Belliss & Morcom fan engine. We reported at that time that the company were intending to move to a new factory in 1994-5. A little later than anticipated, the site's steam whistle was sounded for the last time on 18 March 1999. The buildings are to be demolished for redevelopment of the site. It is not known if any plant was saved, although they had certainly been trying to find a new home for the turbine.

(BBC1, Midlands Today, 18 March 1999)



Hetty Shaft, Tymawr Colliery, Hopkinstown, Pontypridd (ST054910)


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.


(Larry Ferris)