Engine makers

sidsal
6th March 2010, 12:29
I live in South Manchester. In Poynton there is a very interesting engine museum whose moving spirit had an honour recently. There are all sorts of engines on display - many of them operational. I am not an engineer but am struck by the fact that there used to be about six engine builders in the Manchester area - Crossleys, Gardners, Mirlees etc. Now there are none !
In Hazel Grove near Stockport there used to be the Mirlees factory. They were bought out by MAN and shut down. Most of the site now consists of about six office blocks - all empty !!!
I was told however that Mirlees still have an office on the site and employ engineers who service engines worldwide. And this is the rub - they make more money now than they ever did when they manufactured engines !
It's a funny old world !

Andrew Craig-Bennett
6th March 2010, 14:13
I think the same applies to Paxmans, in Colchester.

Of course, many people think that was what Paxmans should have done in the first place, but then they never really designed engines for sea service and there were aspects of Paxmans engineering, particularly, I gather, on the controls side, that MAN wanted.

Duncan112
6th March 2010, 18:43
I think the same applies to Paxmans, in Colchester.

Of course, many people think that was what Paxmans should have done in the first place, but then they never really designed engines for sea service and there were aspects of Paxmans engineering, particularly, I gather, on the controls side, that MAN wanted.

Mmmm, was the Hagenuk governor on the Bremer Vulkan MAN KZs better than the Europa panel that Paxman fitted to (at least BPs) Paxman alternators?

roboted
6th March 2010, 19:25
I live in South Manchester. In Poynton there is a very interesting engine museum whose moving spirit had an honour recently. There are all sorts of engines on display - many of them operational. I am not an engineer but am struck by the fact that there used to be about six engine builders in the Manchester area - Crossleys, Gardners, Mirlees etc. Now there are none !
In Hazel Grove near Stockport there used to be the Mirlees factory. They were bought out by MAN and shut down. Most of the site now consists of about six office blocks - all empty !!!
I was told however that Mirlees still have an office on the site and employ engineers who service engines worldwide. And this is the rub - they make more money now than they ever did when they manufactured engines !
It's a funny old world !

WHAT !! Are you sure .I thought they were still going,Producing the MB475/275,The K Major and The Blackstone.
If you're right,and with the greatest of respect I hope you're not...thats just fubared my weekend(Cloud)

Long gone
6th March 2010, 23:19
Travelled past the site of Crossleys in Openshaw the other day, on the train; the building was very nearly demolished. So another Manchester institution goes, along with Peacocks, Mather & Splatt, AEI (a warehouse now), Gardners in Eccles..... I could go on!

A couple of years back I was working at an outfit in Salford involved in CHP. At least one of the engineers was ex-Mirrlees, as were a couple of the draughtsmen. MAN have indeed closed the factory in Hazel Grove; I believe there is a small design unit still on site, but all the metal bashing takes place in China.

There was another engineer, ex- Vulcan Foundry in Warrington; now a housing estate.

Satanic Mechanic
7th March 2010, 02:23
Of course, many people think that was what Paxmans should have done in the first place.

I would have happily given the Luftwaffe the co ordinates to assist them in closing them down. Bloody awful machines(Cloud)

More on topic, the world has moved on - we (sort of) invented, if not the technology, then certainly the standard off that technology - it then moved on to other places and evolved over the years. To be honest I don't think we could ever compete in the modern day market, most engines and indeed plant are built under license away from the companies home country. Sometimes you just have to sit back and be proud of what we done and accept that we have given so many countries the chance to improve themselves based on our technology. The technology seems to pass on to the next place after a while and so on over the years, at the moment China is in the ascendancy and Korea's time will soon start waning -in time it will move on to the next place. The interesting bit is where that next place will be.

roboted
7th March 2010, 16:02
I would have happily given the Luftwaffe the co ordinates to assist them in closing them down. Bloody awful machines(Cloud)

More on topic, the world has moved on - we (sort of) invented, if not the technology, then certainly the standard off that technology - it then moved on to other places and evolved over the years. To be honest I don't think we could ever compete in the modern day market, most engines and indeed plant are built under license away from the companies home country. Sometimes you just have to sit back and be proud of what we done and accept that we have given so many countries the chance to improve themselves based on our technology. The technology seems to pass on to the next place after a while and so on over the years, at the moment China is in the ascendancy and Korea's time will soon start waning -in time it will move on to the next place. The interesting bit is where that next place will be.

1) How very true:rolleyes:

2) The sad thing about Mirrlees,was that they had a comprehensive retooling program starting in the early "70's to keep up with overseas competition....I understand what you are saying "SatMech" but I find it very sad that skills such as those at Mirrlees have not been passed on and are now becoming lost (Sad)
Such as this site is,we all love "the good old days",but from an engineering perspective those "good old days" were what made British Engineers the finest in the world.
As more and more of us older engineers come off the tools,for one reason or another,we lose that chance to pass our knowledge to the generations following...The result IMHO is that todays breed of fitters and engineers/technicians have lost the art of thinking the way out of a problem.
If you don't know the basic principles of the design,operation and function of a machine,how do you fix it when the computer says no !!!
I would guarantee that you could take 95% of mid fifties ex marine/time served engineers,throw them into something different,and they would analyze,consult and come up with plan A,plan B in the offing a sight quicker than someone 20 years their junior,not nescessarily through experience,but through that different "mindset" that now seems to be sadly lacking...
Only my peronal take on this,no offence meant to anyone......

Robbo...

Satanic Mechanic
7th March 2010, 16:20
Aha Robo now that is a very pertinent point. Now here is a wee take on it see what you think.

A lot of todays Ships Engineers are more plant operators than 'Engineers' in the classical sense. Now this is not their fault but I think rather a 'misuse' of technology. Todays centralised control rooms and automation systems are indeed extremely good and take care of a great deal of the old watchkeeping practices. Now lets be honest that is a mercy as many of them were extremely monotonous. However IMHO the perception of these systems is wrong, they are looked on a replacements for people when in fact they are 'tools' same as a hammer or a spanner and like those tools people should be taught how they work, how to use them and what to do if they stop working. I made this the absolute basis for teaching cadets for years. Now if you look at like that it is more skills are evolving to use new tools rather than disappearing altogether.
Just as tables became slide rules that became calculators - but they are all useless without an underpinning knowledge of arithmetic/maths.

roboted
7th March 2010, 19:21
Monsieur "SatMech",
Hmmm,Interesting observation......
I agree entirely about your comments re:advancement of technology and the fact that they are tools...
However....
"Just as tables became slide rules that became calculators - but they are all useless without an underpinning knowledge of arithmetic/maths."
I believe in a lot of engineering scenarios,not just seagoing,we have passed the calculator stage and are thus able to do without the underpinning knowledge...Or so we think,modern technology produces much more reliable machinery,but now and again has the habit of catching fire/stopping for no apparent reason/throwing something out of the side/generally being a bit of an embuggerance,,,usually in the wee hours !!!!
Under these circumstances,it's not just knowledge,that is necessary,but the mindset to recognize and deal with the problem,,this is the bit that I feel younger engineers are missing out on,through no fault of their own,but because more reliance is based on the teaching of technology,without the grassroots background.
And only IMHO,Engineering is not just a science,but an art,maybe practised with keyboard,hammer,spanner,test gauge etc,,rather than paint brush,canvass etc...but never the less is an artform,you cannot teach someone to be artistic,they need to have,whatever the discipline,to have a natural exuberence for the subject.
Without that exuberance,what is a career in art/engineering,just a way of paying the bills,without any thought of the passion that is required.....

Once again,purely my own take on it

Robbo

sidsal
7th March 2010, 20:38
Roboted: You may be right but Mirlees don't manufacture in Hazel Grove. Sign of the times to see all those empty new office blocks built a while ago.
I am not an engineer but admire greatly the skills of engineers who, in my opinion are the Cinderellas of our nation. Youngsters seem to want to train in media studies or accountancy rather than engineering or science.
In 1947 I joined a tanker - the F J WOLFE at Barrow where for three months MAN engineers attempted to put right the rogue engines ( twin screw). They were at Barrow working on Hydrogen Peroxide propulsion for submarines. Atomic power , of course superceded this. Despite their attentions the engines were always breaking down and 3 other sister ships were the same. The engineers kept watch in swimming trunks as oil spurted everywhere. The deck crew assisted in drawing pistons at sea. On one occasion we rowed over piston rings to ( I believe) the D L HARPER which was wallowing in the Arabian Sea and had used all her spare rings.

cubpilot
7th March 2010, 21:35
a brief comment on media studies-v-engineering in schools. this question arose in my son's school recently as they have given up the design and technology option for GCSE. all boils down to the costs. far cheaper to have a classroom with a projector, computer and white board than a workshop and all the additional associated costs. hence right at the time when kids are influenced by their teachers.

Winebuff
7th March 2010, 22:28
Given a choice I much preferred working on Mirrlees to Rushtons. After I left, in 1986 I found myself selling mechanical lifting equipment to both these companies. My intimate knowledge of their working seemed to have no sway what so ever, neither was interested in the possibility that there might have been another way of working on them, never mind a better way. Thats the way we do it.

Peter Smith
Bank Line 74-84

Abbeywood.
8th March 2010, 12:28
Two more engines for the 'anciens' to ponder over,
Ruston & Hornsby, of Lincoln, and W.H.Allen, of Bedford, a little removed from the Manchester area, I know.
I think Ruston's are still in business, but the engines seemed to be on a downward spiral. people speak of the AO type but I would'nt repeat what they say. Don't know about Allen's tho'. Have'nt heard them mentioned for 'yonks'
Oh, and another marine engineering outfit. How about Napiers, I think from Runcorn or St Helens. I know they wer'nt making engines but they made the 'blowers that went on them.
How about Fodens, (from Sandbach, I think !), who made small generator sets.

Long gone
8th March 2010, 13:22
Foden's went in the 80s, IIRC, along with their near-neighbours ERF.

Napiers were engine-builders; they made the 'Deltic' engine, didn't they, as well as the Sabre engine.

chadburn
8th March 2010, 13:55
The RN are still using Deltic's I believe but the Company is owned by another, if they had left the Mirrlees in the Ton's it might have improved the post RN sales onto the civilian market rather than scrap some well built little vessel's.

spongebob
9th March 2010, 09:02
What happened to British Polar engines?
I sailed with them as main engines, a mixed bag, but I believe they saw a lot of service driving generators.

Bob

Andrew Craig-Bennett
9th March 2010, 10:53
What actually happened to W.H. Allen?

(My son, currently 15, wants to go to sea as an engineer; he has selected the grey funnel line as his employer of choice, and indeed he may not have much of a choice. (EEK) I mention this because I note, with some concern, that Paxman generators seem to be installed in HM nuclear submarines; I must therefore conclude that the design of turboalternators has now reached perfection...;) )

Billieboy
9th March 2010, 12:34
What actually happened to W.H. Allen?

(My son, currently 15, wants to go to sea as an engineer; he has selected the grey funnel line as his employer of choice, and indeed he may not have much of a choice. (EEK) I mention this because I note, with some concern, that Paxman generators seem to be installed in HM nuclear submarines; I must therefore conclude that the design of turboalternators has now reached perfection...;) )

I think that you've hit that one, smack on Andrew!

sidsal
9th March 2010, 15:17
I understand that a Merseyside firm which made big ships' propellors is no more meaning the UK has to go abroad for them.
Some few years ago the firm that built the boreing machines for the Channel tunnel were bought out by the Germans and closed down ( a Doncaster firm I believe )

Billieboy
9th March 2010, 16:48
Stone Manganese Ltd. ? made the screws for the Queens and the Fleet before the war, a great British company. In Holland Lips BV, just up the road from where I live, has also stopped propeller production and they now manufacture venetian blinds, for which there must be a big market with the floating glasshouses, who probably spend ten times the number of €uros on blinds, than they ever spent on ships propellers.

bri445
9th March 2010, 23:03
Foden's went in the 80s, IIRC, along with their near-neighbours ERF.

Napiers were engine-builders; they made the 'Deltic' engine, didn't they, as well as the Sabre engine.

Not strictly Manchester but Napier's Deltics were made in Liverpool. The blower business is now based in Lincoln after numerous engine builders takeovers and rationalistions of English Electric (Preston), Dorman (Stafford), Ruston (Lincoln) and Davey Paxman (Colchester).
There are flourishing spares and recon businesses for these but are any medium-sized engines and alternator sets now made in the UK?
Bri

roboted
10th March 2010, 16:07
Not strictly Manchester but Napier's Deltics were made in Liverpool. The blower business is now based in Lincoln after numerous engine builders takeovers and rationalistions of English Electric (Preston), Dorman (Stafford), Ruston (Lincoln) and Davey Paxman (Colchester).
There are flourishing spares and recon businesses for these but are any medium-sized engines and alternator sets now made in the UK?
Bri

After my initial shock about Mirrlees and a reversion to alcahol to raise a glass to the passed and past,I've had a punt round on tinternet,cannot find any ref to "Big" engines built at present in the UK.....How bloody sad is that !!
I would,with great pleasure,stand corrected....

Robbo....

roboted
10th March 2010, 16:19
Roboted: You may be right but Mirlees don't manufacture in Hazel Grove. Sign of the times to see all those empty new office blocks built a while ago.
I am not an engineer but admire greatly the skills of engineers who, in my opinion are the Cinderellas of our nation. Youngsters seem to want to train in media studies or accountancy rather than engineering or science.
In 1947 I joined a tanker - the F J WOLFE at Barrow where for three months MAN engineers attempted to put right the rogue engines ( twin screw). They were at Barrow working on Hydrogen Peroxide propulsion for submarines. Atomic power , of course superceded this. Despite their attentions the engines were always breaking down and 3 other sister ships were the same. The engineers kept watch in swimming trunks as oil spurted everywhere. The deck crew assisted in drawing pistons at sea. On one occasion we rowed over piston rings to ( I believe) the D L HARPER which was wallowing in the Arabian Sea and had used all her spare rings.

Mmmmm,I remember "Pere" Robbo telling me He worked at Vickers,after the war on submarine Hydrogen Peroxide systems,which I believe is where he first met my uncle,(Ma's Bro)....They both ended up with Blue Star,but Mater & Pater first met On the "Strathnaver" where Mater was a telephonist,having joined P&O after WRNS service during the war and Pater was en-route to Oz to join a ship....
Nowwww just in case you think I'm trundling off-topic at a prodigeous rate...
I believe the P&O "Strath" boats were fitted with Mirrlees(Bickerton&Day/National ???) Medium speeds with an electro propulsion system.......


Robbo

hamishb
12th March 2010, 00:14
After my initial shock about Mirrlees and a reversion to alcahol to raise a glass to the passed and past,I've had a punt round on tinternet,cannot find any ref to "Big" engines built at present in the UK.....How bloody sad is that !!
I would,with great pleasure,stand corrected....

Robbo....

Hi Robbo,you are quite correct there are no large slow speed enginebuilders left in the UK. Under British Shipbuilders, roughly speaking all the Newcastle and Sunderland engine building was concentrated into Clark hawthorn, Scottish building went to Kincaids. and then Clark KIncaid was formed.
Eventually all enginebuilding was done in Kincaids,
A management buyout ,for I believe £3.00 by HLD,saw the compamy split and the spare parts organisation of Britparts was moved out of the main company.
Shortly afterwards in 1990 the company was sold again to Norwegian company Kvaerner, and Kvaerner Kincaids was formed.
The last engine built in Kincaids works in 1992, was a 6 cyl. Sulzer RTA62 15,480 BHPfor the LPG carrier HAVIS, built by Kvaerner Govan
The site of the engine works is now a housing complex of flats and a residential home called Kincaid House.
I actually feel quite sad every time I pass the place.
Hamish.

gordy
13th March 2010, 12:58
I was working on Sulzer gas compressors offshore North Sea with the company rep. I told him about my time in the engine shop in Fairfields, Govan.
He told be the big engine production had moved to China many years before, this was round about 2000-1

roboted
13th March 2010, 16:09
So now we have it...In the UK we now no longer produce any Medium/Slow speed diesels....Not just sad but a tremendous waste of skill and talent.....
p!sses me right off..(MAD)

Robbo............

PS before any comments about advancement of technology,remember a couple of things......Marine Diesel 50 years ago and now
1) Still goes suck/squeeze/bang/blow or sucksqueeze/bangblow
2)Still goes up and down and around and around

(Cloud)

Satanic Mechanic
14th March 2010, 12:01
So now we have it...In the UK we now no longer produce any Medium/Slow speed diesels....Not just sad but a tremendous waste of skill and talent.....
p!sses me right off..(MAD)

Robbo............

PS before any comments about advancement of technology,remember a couple of things......Marine Diesel 50 years ago and now
1) Still goes suck/squeeze/bang/blow or sucksqueeze/bangblow
2)Still goes up and down and around and around

(Cloud)

Why would we build them - there is no one who needs them here, so who are we going to build them for.

Given most ships are built in Korea it makes sense to build the engines there and oh boy do they build engines. test sheds a mile long, computerised forges with 10 furnaces - stunning stuff. 100+ engines a year(EEK) and that is just HHI, you also have Doosan and STX all in brand spanking new shiny state of the art factories

gordy
14th March 2010, 13:14
There are around 150 large shipyards in Europe, with around 40 of them active in the global market for large sea-going commercial vessels. Around 120,000 people are directly employed by shipyards (civil and naval, new building and repair) in the European Union. With a market share of around 15% in volume terms, Europe is still vying (with South Korea) for global leadership in terms of the value of civilian ships produced (15 billion Euros in 2007).

From: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/maritime/shipbuilding/index_en.htm

Hats off to S. Korea, one wee country v whole of Europe, respect(Thumb)

Satanic Mechanic
14th March 2010, 15:33
There are around 150 large shipyards in Europe, with around 40 of them active in the global market for large sea-going commercial vessels. Around 120,000 people are directly employed by shipyards (civil and naval, new building and repair) in the European Union. With a market share of around 15% in volume terms, Europe is still vying (with South Korea) for global leadership in terms of the value of civilian ships produced (15 billion Euros in 2007).

From: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/sectors/maritime/shipbuilding/index_en.htm

Hats off to S. Korea, one wee country v whole of Europe, respect(Thumb)

its even more impressive than that, most of the industry is based around 3 companies and 5 shipyards - HHI (Ulsan), SHI Geoje, DSME Geoje, (the big three )

Plus of course value comparison is not entirely the whole story, due to Europe only building very high value vessels - try actual tonnage. Ever seen an ant trying to shag an elephant(Jester)

South Korea produced 50% of the worlds tonnage, compared to Europes 6%, of that the BIG THREE produced about 20-25% of the worlds vessels i.e all three yards individually produced more vessels and a higher tonnage than the whole of Europe with HHI in front with 10%.(EEK). Also they have just got their first Cruise ship order (SHI)

and it is all moving to China pretty soon, who already are building 30% of the worlds tonnage same as it moved from here.

roboted
14th March 2010, 16:36
Why would we build them - there is no one who needs them here, so who are we going to build them for.

Given most ships are built in Korea it makes sense to build the engines there and oh boy do they build engines. test sheds a mile long, computerised forges with 10 furnaces - stunning stuff. 100+ engines a year(EEK) and that is just HHI, you also have Doosan and STX all in brand spanking new shiny state of the art factories

Fair Point SatMech....I dispute neither your logic or your rhetoric.
Its purely my own personel feelings especially about Mirrlees....
I suppose I am of that age now,where I embrace the past,present and future, as one.And therefore cannot help a feeling of sadness about the passing of some things..
I've been breeding and training Springer Spaniels for some years now,and cannot help but mourn the passing of one of them,but the knowledge gained from the first has improved my understanding for her offspring,and so on.
I'm on No 6 Generation now,and hopefully pups will be about later this year.
I'm getting pretty good at this training lark now..(LOL)
But still remember "Ellie"the first one (KC name....Elizibeth Of Rhexenor)
If you can appreciate the analogy,then you may appreciate better my sadness...or perhaps fondness would be a better term for the passing of things......(Thumb)

Satanic Mechanic
14th March 2010, 16:53
Fair Point SatMech....I dispute neither your logic or your rhetoric.
Its purely my own personel feelings especially about Mirrlees....
I suppose I am of that age now,where I embrace the past,present and future, as one.And therefore cannot help a feeling of sadness about the passing of some things..
I've been breeding and training Springer Spaniels for some years now,and cannot help but mourn the passing of one of them,but the knowledge gained from the first has improved my understanding for her offspring,and so on.
I'm on No 6 Generation now,and hopefully pups will be about later this year.
I'm getting pretty good at this training lark now..(LOL)
But still remember "Ellie"the first one (KC name....Elizibeth Of Rhexenor)
If you can appreciate the analogy,then you may appreciate better my sadness...or perhaps fondness would be a better term for the passing of things......(Thumb)

Springers - my No.3 dog after Border Collies and Labs.

I know what you mean and it is sad to see, it is also a sign of a country progressing to other things though so it is not all sadness.

You should see HHI , it is an industrial wonder of the world. One of my mates was over, he used to work in heavy industry, we were about 30seconds inside the gate in which time a 250 tonne sub assembly had driven by on the back of a Titan transporter. He turned to me and said "is that normal!!" three hours later he sat down absorbed a beer and stated " 'ing hell, I never ever imagined industry could exist on that scale"

roboted
14th March 2010, 17:58
Springers - my No.3 dog after Border Collies and Labs.

I know what you mean and it is sad to see, it is also a sign of a country progressing to other things though so it is not all sadness.

You should see HHI , it is an industrial wonder of the world. One of my mates was over, he used to work in heavy industry, we were about 30seconds inside the gate in which time a 250 tonne sub assembly had driven by on the back of a Titan transporter. He turned to me and said "is that normal!!" three hours later he sat down absorbed a beer and stated " 'ing hell, I never ever imagined industry could exist on that scale"

Provokes some thought generally.....The passing away of skill and tradition in the UK,seems to go hand in hand with the passing away of manners and common decency...perhaps why I like the shooting field so much,where those values still exist.....or is it just me getting old...no perhaps not as I can admire what was and also appreciate what is,and will be in "modern engineering",I also in the main understand it.(Thumb)

We can without a doubt become blinkered by the past,but without being blinkered we may have both a fondness for the past and an excitement and yearning for the future.....IMHO only :)
"Que Sera Sera"
Robbo

bluewaterman
23rd March 2010, 20:11
What happened to British Polar engines?
I sailed with them as main engines, a mixed bag, but I believe they saw a lot of service driving generators.

Bob

British Polar were taken over by Nohab (Swedish) who in turn became part of Wartsila (Finnish). When I worked for Wartsila UK I seem to recall Nohab still had some representation in - I think - Glasgow. Twas a good few years ago now (mid eighties).
Speaking of defunct marques, I well remember the gennies on my first ship - the makers plate proudly proclaimed them to be manufactured by "The National Gas and Oil Engine Co" - who were they or what did they become?
ray

Duncan112
23rd March 2010, 21:26
British Polar were taken over by Nohab (Swedish) who in turn became part of Wartsila (Finnish). When I worked for Wartsila UK I seem to recall Nohab still had some representation in - I think - Glasgow. Twas a good few years ago now (mid eighties).
Speaking of defunct marques, I well remember the gennies on my first ship - the makers plate proudly proclaimed them to be manufactured by "The National Gas and Oil Engine Co" - who were they or what did they become?
ray

Eventually became Mirrlees then Hawker Siddley - just down the road in Ashton ..

http://ashton-under-lyne.blogspot.com/2008/04/national-gas-engine-company.html

Duncan

eldersuk
24th March 2010, 02:06
There were a lot of harbour craft in West Africa with engines by Widdop of Keighley, Yorkshire. Whatever happened to them?

Derek

Mike S
24th March 2010, 09:16
In 1958 my old Dad took over as MD of the National Gas & Oil Engine Co. Ltd. Under his stewardship they came back from a loss making outfit to a profit in 18 months. They were part of Hawker Siddley Industries and in late 1961 when he was taken terminally ill with cancer it was not long before there name was joined to Mirrlees. Mirrlees National was a round for a while however as he passed away early in 1962 I have no knowledge of what happened from then on.
The National Gas & Oil Engine Co was a very old company that used to make engines running on gas as well as fuel oil in the very early days.
As a footnote Dad was one of the instigators of the K series engines when he proposed at a board meeting not long after taking over National Gas that an engine of 300 bhp per cyl in 4cyl, 6cyl 8cyl some de-rated if needs be be designed to get away from the myriad different designs that were on the books at the time. I will not go into the politics of the time as it is not relevant however in conjunction with work already well advanced at Mirrlees with the K series the concept moved forward rapidly.
Some years after his death I was Master of the Weela here in Fremantle with a Mirrlees K series 6cyl engine. She was derated to 1580 bhp to bring her into the lower pay bracket as far a pay was concerned. Sounds crazy but true!
I never really got over the thrill of working a tug with an engine so close to my family history.

Billieboy
24th March 2010, 10:37
I remember a very old horizontal Gas & Oil engine at a Barry Island Fairground, it was used to drive the Dodgem emergency generator, fuel was gas oil or paraffin depending on what the boss did a deal on. It was a hot bulb engine and to start it the blow lamp had to be running for five to ten minutes. Can't remember the date of the engine, but I think that it was close to 1919.

Mike S
25th March 2010, 04:44
Ah yes Billie boy......I can recall one of those wee engines! When I came home on leave just after Dad moved from NEM Wallsend to National he took me down to have a wander around his new domain. His over riding comment was that there were way too many engine types still on the books and he pointed out one of the little horizontal engines that in his words would "Run on chip fat if needs be!"
It was the way that he brought the works back to a profit. Stop the piecemeal building of engines and concentrate on one engine type.
He was a Doxford man ........29 years in the RW Group.........and as far as he was concerned engines were built in "units". The Mirrlees K series was just what was needed as it produced 300 bhp or thereabouts per unit and could be built in 4, 6. 8, 10, and even 12 cyl formation.
What happened after he went I do not know however his name should be linked to the decision to develop and build the now famous K series engines as it was his determination at the HS Industries board meetings to bring National and Mirrlees together that pushed things in that direction. There were some tough cookies on that Board at the time believe me!
He was transferred to Brush Aboe in mid 1961 as they were building a prototype railway loco. He was put there to bring that into being. He was diagnosed with serious cancer in September of that year and died on 7th Jan 1962 at the age of 47. With the wisdom of hind sight it was asbestos that got him. He was boiler shop manager at NEM Wallsend during the early part of the war.
For those who might remember those far off times his name was James Edward Smith......."Wee Jimmy" to those close to him.....Dad to me.
My memories of those far off days are still clear. Men like Sir Summers Hunter, the Outside Manager at NEM Jackie Stevens, and many others........these were the men that served their time in the old school and who took big decisions and copped it if they were wrong and moved on to the next decision after a couple of smiles if they were right.
Their like we will never see again I fear and in many ways history has forgotten them.
Like James Edward Smith Snr, Chief Draughtsman and one of those involved in original design of the Liberty Ships. He was one of the first to draw the "Soft Nosed Bow" back when all ships had a straight stem. Compound curves drawn using tables, formulae and brains.
The "Welsh Hat" on natural draft funnels to help clear the smoke. Another of his ideas that he and his team made work.
I digress..........sorry.........please forgive the ramblings of an old man!

Billieboy
25th March 2010, 08:40
Nothing wrong with your ramblings(?) Mike, it's stories about guys like your dad that need to be written down.

roboted
25th March 2010, 19:55
Mike,very interesting read....The K and then the K Major were arguably the backbone of British Medium Speed design and production...I think your fathers foresight and principles were carried on at Mirrlees(by his proteges) long after his sad passing.
Small world eh !!!!

Robbo

eriskay
25th March 2010, 21:19
Mike S :

Excellent anecdotal account of your Father's contributions to a fascinating industry, it was men like him who put the 'Great' into Great Britain - clever, imaginative, persuasive, bold, creative - how tragic to lose his life at such a young age. How many careers and livelyhoods were forged from his labours? Dare say he would have been proud too how his son turned out.

Thanks.

Mike S
26th March 2010, 05:05
My sincere thanks for the kind words. As the years pass and memories of these men fade I think I had better get all this down on paper sooner rather than later.
They deserve their places in history.
Even my Great Grandfather Smith who was a Loftsman on the Wear in the 1800's. He was the man who drew the lines in the loft for some of the finest sailing vessels that the world ever saw.....the ones on which Sunderland built it's reputation. He could not read or write however he was brilliant with figures and had an artists eye for lines. Inevitable I suppose that his son and grandson would be draftsmen as well.
Yes I had better get the fingers to work and get all this written down .........time is passing and the memories fade.

Abbeywood.
26th March 2010, 06:56
This has turned out to be a quite superb thread line and one draws back in amazement at the amount of production skills that have been allowed to disappear with the demise of the U.K. marine engine industry.
In hindsight, I am pleased to have been able to have worked on many of the the now defunct engine types, although I probably did'nt think on those lines at the time.
Again, in hindsight, the demise of some were a blessing, but many other types were just too well built for their own good, and would run for ever.
Amen.

bri445
26th March 2010, 15:57
As an 'English Electric' apprentice many years ago, though little to do with their engines, I'd like to hear some experiences, good or otherwise, of working with the engines, turbines and generators. They propelled tugs, ferries, coasters, submarines, locomotives and naval craft, so must have been well known.
It was surely the most versatile engineering manufacturer in the land, making tramcars, food mixers, washing machines, electricity generation and distribution equipment, television sets, aircraft, etc...... All is manufacturing history now, though, without doubt, the gear still carries on somewhere on land and sea.

Bri
ex-Liverpool Works

ccurtis1
26th March 2010, 16:42
I have to agree with Satanic Mechanic regarding the demise of engine building in the UK.
If there were sites such as this in the mid 20th century, I would suggest that the same sentiments would have been expressed regarding the loss of marine steam engines, both large and small. Steam generator sets, manufactured by such as the Sunderland Forge and the "Rolls Royce" of generator sets, Bellis and Morecambe, would with their passing have caused much disquiet amongst our predecessors. But time moves on, and the industry learned and adapted to the diesel engine. The era of perceived British supremacy in shipowning, shipbuilding and engineering has passed into history, and once more we should be moving on. It was great while it lasted, and worthy of celebration in these pages, but it is nostalgia and we tend to forget the rough times with advancing years.

chadburn
26th March 2010, 21:15
The smaller Steam Engine's are still being built in the N.E. by a family run outfit who's name at present escape's me.

roboted
26th March 2010, 22:20
I have to agree with Satanic Mechanic regarding the demise of engine building in the UK.
If there were sites such as this in the mid 20th century, I would suggest that the same sentiments would have been expressed regarding the loss of marine steam engines, both large and small. Steam generator sets, manufactured by such as the Sunderland Forge and the "Rolls Royce" of generator sets, Bellis and Morecambe, would with their passing have caused much disquiet amongst our predecessors. But time moves on, and the industry learned and adapted to the diesel engine. The era of perceived British supremacy in shipowning, shipbuilding and engineering has passed into history, and once more we should be moving on. It was great while it lasted, and worthy of celebration in these pages, but it is nostalgia and we tend to forget the rough times with advancing years.

Fair comment,but I think that if you strip it to the bone as Diesel overtook steam,people and industry did indeed adapt,but now our Diesel manufacture has gorn,what do these people and industries have to adapt to....????
And without being pedantic moving on to what ???...
A time served Marine/Industrial Fitter in his mid forties now earning his daily crust,if he can find something,almost certainly not applying the skills he has
learned and honed and been invested in,over the years.
IMHO that is not nostalgia...Sad.....
I'm not crying for British supremacy in all things engineering,but for the skill and pride in a job.....But yes,I suppose you're right,that is nostalgia............

Robbo

PS,My Angst about the demise of Mirrlees,might be caused by the recollection,that it was on a "K" Or very early "K Major" ,first engine I climbed down into the crankpit.....I was Eight or Nine years old.........

sidsal
27th March 2010, 19:08
I am very pleased that this thread has brought out such interesting discussion about engines. When our Rotary Club visited the engine museum in Poynton they started up a hot-bulb diesel - most interesting for non engineers !!
Despite the opinions expressed about things moving on, I still think we have allowed our skliied manufacturers to disappear. In the 60's I was manager of a large DIY business in S Manchester and adjoining our site was a firm making textile machinery, a textile firm, and a meat pie works. Over the years they all closed down. What replaced them ?
A big VAT office, a Lombard North Central finance company office and a large office block.
We made nothing - we just bought in goods , stuck a profit on and resold them. That 5 acre site was, in my opinion symptomatic of the whole country.

Steve Hodges
29th March 2010, 23:09
Hi Robbo,you are quite correct there are no large slow speed enginebuilders left in the UK. Under British Shipbuilders, roughly speaking all the Newcastle and Sunderland engine building was concentrated into Clark hawthorn, Scottish building went to Kincaids. and then Clark KIncaid was formed.
Eventually all enginebuilding was done in Kincaids,
A management buyout ,for I believe £3.00 by HLD,saw the compamy split and the spare parts organisation of Britparts was moved out of the main company.
Shortly afterwards in 1990 the company was sold again to Norwegian company Kvaerner, and Kvaerner Kincaids was formed.
The last engine built in Kincaids works in 1992, was a 6 cyl. Sulzer RTA62 15,480 BHPfor the LPG carrier HAVIS, built by Kvaerner Govan
The site of the engine works is now a housing complex of flats and a residential home called Kincaid House.
I actually feel quite sad every time I pass the place.
Hamish.

Was up in Greenock a couple of weeks ago, and saw the sign for Kincaid House. Made me sad, too, Hamish

surfaceblow
30th March 2010, 17:18
It looks like Caterpillar is moving some of its production lines around. The Backhoe Loaders is moving to the UK while the small wheel loaders is leaving the UK.

http://www.dieselprogress.com/news_detail.asp?pick=2566&from=N

sidsal
30th March 2010, 17:51
As a non engineer I am proud to have started such a fascinating lot of postings. I have always thought that engineers were the undervalued memebers of our country. On a lighter note - and mention of English Electric here's a mildly humorous tale.
After leaving the sea as Mate the only job I could get was labouring in a timber yard in Widnes and eventually I climbed to the dizzy height of being one of a dozen sales reps.
In those days it was usual to give the buyers of companies gifts at Christmas - turkeys, fags, bottles of booze and occasionally more personal gifts. The MD, a real character thought the gift list was out of hand and summoned all the reps to a meeting to go through the "Christmas list" and tailor it to what business the company had obtained that year. The list was combed with arguments to and fro as to whether Mt So and So deserved a turkey or a bottle. Eventually the English Electric Accrington came up and the MD said " Look here James (the rep),youv'e put down a hamper for the buyer. You have no right to specify anything. If it is a personal gift then my secretary, Miss Dunkerley will choose something suitable "
" Ah yes" said James " but last year you made a right hash of things "
Bristling the MD said - "What do you mean James ?"
"Well" said James " You gave him a set of silver backed hair brushes - and he's completely bald !!"

Dumah54
18th April 2010, 16:09
Speaking as a "Colonial" I believe that engines of UK manufacture were, in the most part, over complicated and unreliable. In my poor, but honest opinion, the best all round marine engines come from Germany or Scantinavia. Have sailed MAK and Deutz with less than average grief, Paxmans, Merrlies, and to a lesser extent Rustons were only used because of the low initial purchace price. No surprise that more money to be made in service than manufacture, especially with Paxman. Fail to understand why the Admiralty diesels weren't further developed for civvy use, in my experience they were actually a fairly good engine with lots of enough robustness to stand further upgrades. Think about it, any engine that will tolerate extended "snorting" should be able to take a decent boost of power. I realize that this may start a "spirited" discussion (hopefully...........lol) but I have fount an engine of a "V" variety will NOT out last an inline, power output equal.

Hope this stirs the pot, somewhat...................

Cheers, Dumah,
Halifax, NS

sidsal
18th April 2010, 21:22
Dumah 54
Anglo American Oil - later Esso had tankers built in Germany in the 30's with twin MAN engines whicj were an unmitigated disaster. I was a year on the F J WOLFE and we sepent ,ost of the time in port whilst the engines were repaired. She was in Vickers at Barrow for 3 months where MAN engineers were working in Peroxide propulsion of submarines ( 1947). It was fekt they could sort the problems but the engines were just as bad after their attentions. I have other experiences of German industry apart from the marine side and found them pretty ineffecient, contrary to popular opinion.

eriskay
18th April 2010, 22:27
Got to agree with Dumah54, the MaK, as well as the Deutz, were superb engines, albeit not inexpensive. When procuring engines for the Middle East many years ago I specifically tried to avoid the cheaper and faster delivery alternatives of fast revving turbo-charged V-type engines from the Far East in favour of the slower revving in-line European designs such as Mak, Kelvin, Mirrlees and the big American De Laval diesels, old-fashioned design but robust and reliable with low maintenance outages and costs.

uisdean mor
21st April 2010, 08:59
Eriskay
ever came across Daihatsu.
Excellent machines - but as you say slow revving in line. Many say that they are a direct copy of the Allen engine.
Certainly we had no problems with them although exhaust valve maintenance was a regular work load. Mains were Nippon kokan Pielsticks and although they had been improved somewhat from the various SEMT designs they still had some build quality problems. In this instance oil cooling coil in piston crown and gudgeon pin oilways.
I believe the old far eastern wallahs were pretty good at getting the best out of most things.
Rgds
Uisdea Mor

stevesherratt
21st April 2010, 10:05
Nostalgia is not what it used to be but its worth pointing out that Rolls Royce Marine Business now equals the Aero engines

http://www.rolls-royce.com/marine/news/

Ever the optimist

Steve R770014

Andrew Craig-Bennett
21st April 2010, 17:25
Eriskay
ever came across Daihatsu.
Excellent machines - but as you say slow revving in line. Many say that they are a direct copy of the Allen engine.
Certainly we had no problems with them although exhaust valve maintenance was a regular work load. Mains were Nippon kokan Pielsticks and although they had been improved somewhat from the various SEMT designs they still had some build quality problems. In this instance oil cooling coil in piston crown and gudgeon pin oilways.
I believe the old far eastern wallahs were pretty good at getting the best out of most things.
Rgds
Uisdea Mor

Yes, in CNCo we were were Daihatsu enthusiasts for the reason given - they were remarkably like Allens!

Conversely the East German SKL was an abominable generator engine.

We had a ship retrofitted wity two Daihatsus and two ships with four SKLs. There was no doubt which set up was better.

uisdean mor
21st April 2010, 19:21
Ahhhhh Steve
but were you ever around their marine diesels. Re another thread in here I blame my deafness on the screaming 8's. What a pain - a completely useless set up for cargo vessels especially those trading with river passages and shallow coastal ports.
I know of no redeeeming quality from this suposedly superior set up.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_C8SFL these were the engines which were "supposedly " marinised as generators - Oh what fun we had - in the dark.
Rgds
Uisdean

Ian J. Huckin
12th May 2010, 20:12
Mmmm, was the Hagenuk governor on the Bremer Vulkan MAN KZs better than the Europa panel that Paxman fitted to (at least BPs) Paxman alternators?

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGHHHHHHHHH! !!!!!!!!

Did somebody say Hagenuk?

(curls up on floor in fetal position sucking thumb sobbing quietly.....)

Abbeywood.
22nd May 2010, 06:03
Sailed on a couple of Japanese built 'bulkies' with Sulzer mains, built under licence, (IHI and Sumitomo), 'Gennies' supplied by Daihatsu.
Following a routine overhaul I was surprised to find that when setting the tappets, etc, the firing order was 1,2,3,4,5,6, the only time I ever came across this arrangement, and which most certainly accounted for the huge counter-weights fitted on the crank webs.
The crankshafts gave the appearance of being manufactured in 100 throw lengths, and cut off, as required, to order.
Nevertheless they seemed to be pretty reliable in operation.

chadburn
22nd May 2010, 19:36
Sulzers had the habit of building "strange" engine's, their first Marine Diesel/Electric came out in 1904 and is of historical interest in that when running ahead an electric magnetic clutch enabled the propeller shaft to be coupled directly to the Diesel engine and when manoeuvring astern it was accomplished electrically, the engine being dis-connected. It apparently worked very well but was an expensive installation.

jrg
9th July 2010, 11:28
I understand that there are no engine builders left in the UK-Rustons, Mirrlees, Paxman, Allens, Blackstone, et al all gone.
Having just returned from a docking in Singapore, I was informed whilst there that Wartsila are moving their entire operation to China.
It appears that in the UK economic wealth creation (Heavy manufacturing) is being replaced by wealth transfer-service industries. This does not bode well for the future.
As an aside, I recall that there were over 15000 engineering jobs in Lincoln post-war. Now there are 1000. JRG

albatross1923
11th July 2010, 12:20
What happened to British Polar engines?
I sailed with them as main engines, a mixed bag, but I believe they saw a lot of service driving generators.

Bob
HELLO BOB

POLAR ENGINES ARE STILL ALIVE AT 133 HELEN STREET GOVAN

YOURS ALBATROSS
FORGOT TO ADD GLESCA

Gordon Knight
29th July 2010, 22:38
I cannot let Dumah54's remarks go without comment. He dismisses British
built marine diesels as over complicated and unreliable. I can only assume that he never had the pleasure of working on a 6 legged Doxford...certainly reliable and by no means complicated. Unlike B&W & Sultzer engineers I never lost any part of my fingers having to grind in valves. If memory serves me right, the Doxford double acting two stroke had the highest thermal efficiency rating of any marine diesel of the time.
Regards
Gordon Knight
Ex BP Tanker Engineer

eldersuk
30th July 2010, 00:38
If my memory serves me right Doxfords never built a double acting engine.

Derek

Gordon Knight
30th July 2010, 20:41
If my memory serves me right Doxfords never built a double acting engine.

Derek

Apologies if I got the terminology wrong, it was over 40 years ago.
Perhaps I should have referred to dual pistons vertically opposed.
The top piston being connected to the crankshaft via side rods
and additional throws on the crankshaft. I don't think my memory fails me with regard to the engine's outstanding thermal efficiency.
Regards
Gordon

spongebob
9th August 2010, 07:01
WE talk about the demise of British diesel engines over the post war period and an above mention of English Electric brings to mind a similar demise of UK electric motor manufacturers.

Companies such as British-Electric, British-Thomas-Houston, Metropolitan-Vickers, Brush, AEI, GEC, etc. all went the way of amalgamation or demise and down the scale the likes of Laurence Scott, Higgs, Newman and other names that escape me did likewise.

When I retired 16 years ago most of these names had gone from the list of availability by then and after a brief honeymoon with the continentals like Brown Boveri, AEG, ASEA and Siemens etc the cheapest 3-phase squirrel cage TEFC industrial motor in the common 10 to 250 KW range were Chinese manufactured units whose prices blew the others away

British Machine tool manufacturers must have sunk in the same boat and all that is left is we older set that still remember them all for better or worse.

Bob

Don Matheson
9th August 2010, 14:33
Albatross Post #63 and Sponge bob British Polar are still on the go in Glasgow at the address Albatross has given, this was in fact where they started.
They dont build Polar Engines anymore but have taken over Kelvin Engines and mostly build Kelvins. Lot of their work is done servicing Polar engines built by themselves and Wartsilla and they can supply crankshafts for a Wartsilla cheaper than Wartsilla.
Was just reading one of my old service books before I came on here today and it was of rebuilding a Polar Engine out in Goa.
A lot of work is done now servicing and loadtesting generators and in fact I have been involved in them fitting a new engine just recently.
Day of the Northern Ireland Agreement I was with another engineer and ended up in the drive at Stormont. Was invited to leave by RUC and the Army all waving guns and as we turned around discovered we were holding up Tony Blair and the signing mob. Never see Polar on the news about the signing though but you do see Blair.
Left them a while ago to start my own company but still in touch, hence the new generator.

Don

bob francis
9th October 2010, 11:17
I think the same applies to Paxmans, in Colchester.

Of course, many people think that was what Paxmans should have done in the first place, but then they never really designed engines for sea service and there were aspects of Paxmans engineering, particularly, I gather, on the controls side, that MAN wanted.

i sailed with paxman if i rember rightly wernt they a train engine

Old Engines
6th December 2010, 19:35
I understand that a Merseyside firm which made big ships' propellors is no more meaning the UK has to go abroad for them.
Some few years ago the firm that built the boreing machines for the Channel tunnel were bought out by the Germans and closed down ( a Doncaster firm I believe )

"Economics is war by other means". Bismarck

chadburn
7th December 2010, 11:47
As far as I am aware it was the "tuning" firm Ricardo that made Paxman's into a useful marine engine with their modification's.
How true those word's are that you have quoted "Old Engine's" and don't we know it being in the "Common Market".

JET
8th December 2010, 13:32
Ricardo only provided their Comet indirect injection system for Paxman engines designed in the period from 1934 - 1952.

The following webset provides an excellent source of information on the history of the company and its products, including marine applications.

www.paxmanhistory.org.uk

Regards John

chadburn
8th December 2010, 17:49
John, I have no doubt that the period you define is correct but the importance of the connection between Ricardo and Paxman should not be forgotten especially during the Wartime period when Ricardo made the Paxman into a useful marine engine when the more powerful petrol engine's were in short supply. Thank's for the link to the Company history.

Winebuff
8th December 2010, 18:02
i sailed with paxman if i rember rightly wernt they a train engine

Bank Line used Paxman's as back up/port use generators. They were also used in trains. Think they were "Deltec" but might be wrong.

They were designed to be held in a cradle and inverted so any crankcase work could be done at waist height through the open sump cover.

A fine idea if we had had the cradles, we were left with less than a foot of space to get under to do any work. I never saw one serviced or surveyed on any of the vessels I sailed on.

A classic Naval Architectural tradition of "I drew it, of course you can build it"

If the service hours were getting close they would be pushed out so the next poor 3rd Engineer got the job.

Sad but true. I would have liked to have had a go at one.

Peter Smith
74-84
Bank Line

david m leadbetter
13th February 2011, 06:29
Hi
Reading this thread gives me more than a little pride as it does you. We "did our time" and sailed our ships in a time of great demand. I recall that Europe, Britain and others took a pasting in WWII. What more natural than to rebuild. Good on us we wus there and ready to be involved and at a time when the evolving technologies were on our doorstep. That made us famous. Such as Doxford's , Sulzer Bros. Mirrlees, and all the others, were there. What a a time it was.. I agree most whole heartedly. I was there too, however time and a dollar have moved on also. Unfortunately those who we call master have forgotten us and our prowess. I see that ...They can build (better or cheaper) than us. Let them do it. Or the other one ... If it costs more than a dollar you can't. have it. Unfortunatly pride do goeth before a fall. I am retired now but had a rare old merry go round before I stopped . (Even now I'm still doing something). To be useing my skills I have changed jobs several times,keeping that base knowledge that I was given as an apprentice. Happily I can say I did get a chance to pass on some of my skill and knowledge. I do mourn the passing of the technology and the people and see that too many are "standing on the backs of giants" and not attempting to become giants themselves.
As an apprentice I worked many a long hour on some steam engine or some boiler. As a seaman, every ship I got was diesel. There were many steam auxy's. Finally , when I came to Australia, I built jet aircraft turbines.
What a strange world.
Before I retired I was asked to be an engineer and look after an historical paddle steamer.
To teach wannabees about steam, boilers, engines, links, eccentrics. gave me that feeling that all was not lost and some who were interested would pick up where we left off. I saw this again when I visited England and met with several enthusiasts at several "steaming days".
All is not lost gentlemen, Just changed. Like old warhorses our ears ***** up at the the trumpets call.

david m leadbetter
13th February 2011, 06:37
Hi
Reading this thread gives me more than a little pride as it does you. We "did our time" and sailed our ships in a time of great demand. I recall that Europe, Britain and others took a pasting in WWII. What more natural than to rebuild. Good on us we wus there and ready to be involved and at a time when the evolving technologies were on our doorstep. That made us famous. Such as Doxford's , Sulzer Bros. Mirrlees, and all the others, were there. What a a time it was.. I agree most whole heartedly. I was there too, however time and a dollar have moved on also. Unfortunately those who we call master have forgotten us and our prowess. I see that ...They can build (better or cheaper) than us. Let them do it. Or the other one ... If it costs more than a dollar you can't. have it. Unfortunatly pride do goeth before a fall. I am retired now but had a rare old merry go round before I stopped . (Even now I'm still doing something). To be useing my skills I have changed jobs several times,keeping that base knowledge that I was given as an apprentice. Happily I can say I did get a chance to pass on some of my skill and knowledge. I do mourn the passing of the technology and the people and see that too many are "standing on the backs of giants" and not attempting to become giants themselves.
As an apprentice I worked many a long hour on some steam engine or some boiler. As a seaman, every ship I got was diesel. There were many steam auxy's. Finally , when I came to Australia, I built jet aircraft turbines.
What a strange world.
Before I retired I was asked to be an engineer and look after an historical paddle steamer.
To teach wannabees about steam, boilers, engines, links, eccentrics. gave me that feeling that all was not lost and some who were interested would pick up where we left off. I saw this again when I visited England and met with several enthusiasts at several "steaming days".
All is not lost gentlemen, Just changed. Like old warhorses our ears pick up at the the trumpets call.

surfaceblow
12th April 2011, 19:34
ULTRaMo is developing a new engine in the sleepy Sussex countryside of England

http://articles.maritimepropulsion.com/article/New-Engine-Offers-Twice-the-Thermal-Efficiency-of-Conventional-Units52016.aspx

Joe

John Farrell
12th April 2011, 20:15
This may stimulate debate but one of my favourite Engines was the Crossley Pielstick PC 9 2L. And that from an otherwise Steam man.

exhausted
1st June 2011, 23:39
I know that it's going back in time but the Sirron engines built by the Newbury Diesel Company, mainly for the Everard Coasters were robust and reliable. Two stroke reversing diesels. They ceased manufacturing in the late sixties and I guess most if not all the old ships are now gone along with their engines although two remain unloved in the diesel fire museum ex MV Balmoral, now fitted with two Danish Grenaa engines, German gearboxes and Singapore made props.
I have had some experience with marine diesels in the RN. My favourite little engine was the Foden FD6 which powered the smaller generators on the old Ton class minesweepers. The old straight 8's on the A class diesel electic, thumping away and the screaming ASR range of supercharged V16 diesels. Both of these engine types can be seen in preservation. The former on the submarine Alliance at Gosport and the latter on the submarine Ocelot at Chatham. The ASR diesel certainly needed a lot of air when on full tilt dived. A few minutes with the snort head below the surface and your ear drums were sitting on your shoulders. Those were the days.....

chadburn
2nd June 2011, 11:46
As an ex Ton man you may be pleased to know that the Deltic engine live's on as they are now using a privately owned Deltic Loco to haul heavy freight in the N.E. and I believe that her spare's are ex Kellington.

exhausted
5th July 2011, 22:10
For those who may have stood alongside a Sirron engine, the history of the builders, the Newbury Diesel Company, is on the web. Newbury Diesel no longer build diesels but manufacture engine/ship control equipment under the name of Radamec. Here's a link http://rowifi.com/ndc/index.html

jim garnett
1st August 2011, 13:49
Sulzers had the habit of building "strange" engine's, their first Marine Diesel/Electric came out in 1904 and is of historical interest in that when running ahead an electric magnetic clutch enabled the propeller shaft to be coupled directly to the Diesel engine and when manoeuvring astern it was accomplished electrically, the engine being dis-connected. It apparently worked very well but was an expensive installation.

Nordberg built some sulzer type engines during he war.They had two engines driving the shaft via reduction gears and magnetic couplings.Trouble free engines and a pleasure to manoeuvre.One engine running ahead the other astern,just energise the coupling on the engine you required .A piece of cake
Jim Garnett

Mike S
2nd August 2011, 02:27
A significant number if the NZS/Federal ships had that arrangement. The system was used as it gave two engine reliability as well as single screw efficiency and the added advantage of rapid ahead and astern movements.
There were some impressive moments on the Bridge when after a long ocean passage the stbd engine was stopped and run astern. If they were a little exuberant down in the ER there would be a very loud explosion from the funnel and a small mushroom cloud.
Nearly killed a number of pilots that were getting on in years with that trick on the Northumberland!

Powertrain
6th August 2011, 19:32
What actually happened to W.H. Allen?
The engine business was taken over by Rolls Royce and they still build their engines in what was left of the Queens Work in Bedford. The S12D still has a major spares business attached to it - I served some of my WHA apprenticeship testing these engines. The history can be found at:http://www.allen-diesels.com/about-us/

LTS
7th August 2011, 04:08
Has anybody ever come across the Beardmore Tosi marine two stroke?

http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel/marine/beardmarine.htm

The cylinder liners alignment were offset to that of the crankshaft alignment which was supposed to give greater power and efficiency going ahead but I imagine it would have been a nightmare trying to get it going astern.

jim garnett
10th August 2011, 06:44
A significant number if the NZS/Federal ships had that arrangement. The system was used as it gave two engine reliability as well as single screw efficiency and the added advantage of rapid ahead and astern movements.
There were some impressive moments on the Bridge when after a long ocean passage the stbd engine was stopped and run astern. If they were a little exuberant down in the ER there would be a very loud explosion from the funnel and a small mushroom cloud.
Nearly killed a number of pilots that were getting on in years with that trick on the Northumberland!

We had bit of trouble leaving Marseilles while in manoeuvering mode.A new second mate didn't know the set up to get full power,and we down below didn't know we were being blown onto a fully laden tanker tied up to the breakwater; no explosion luckily or perhaps I wouldn't be writing this.
Jim Garnett

david freeman
14th August 2011, 09:01
Boys boys where are the Pamatrada, GE, Bacocks, Foster Wheeler, Brotherhood, Allens, David Brown and a host of European Turbine marine steam turbine, boiler and gearbox manufactures Gone not forgotting the auxilary pumps by Weirs and Sulzer. They all produced gods engines, not a pisss fart machine that need a big hammer. Gentlemen in White Boiler Suits? Howaz that for a googly.

loco
20th August 2011, 05:21
British Railways/British Rail used English Electric (CS-series?), Sulzer, and Paxman for many of the locos built in the late 50s-early 60s. I think the Paxman ones were withdrawn quickly due to problems with the main engine; they were found to be dirty, and I think, prone to siezing or catching fire. However, the use of Valenta/Ventura in the High Speed Train of the mid 70's was very successful, though I think the HST remaining power cars are now re-engined.
2750 hp Sulzers had, I think, teething problems though later rectified, but may have been de-rated later. The 'Deltic' was used as a two-engine set up in one loco very successfully, but I think the engine was swapped if faulty rather than repaired in situ.
The English Electric series was seemingly successful, being used widely in different power ratings and cylinder numbers; one class of locos was re-engined with EE after the original Mirlees engines gave trouble. These engines were, though, I think refurbished and re-used at sea.
Maybach engines were built in the UK under licence for some locos; I think MAN were likewise built under licence.

Just a few notes from some-one interested in railways who used to be at sea (on deck).

Martyn (loco)

poxydoxy
8th September 2011, 22:57
Surely the venerable Ruston RK3 Series and all of its' variants was responsible for power, not only at sea, on the rails but also floating about exploring for oil to quench their own thirst.

chuckgregg
14th September 2011, 11:17
Boys boys where are the Pamatrada, GE, Bacocks, Foster Wheeler, Brotherhood, Allens, David Brown and a host of European Turbine marine steam turbine, boiler and gearbox manufactures Gone not forgotting the auxilary pumps by Weirs and Sulzer. They all produced gods engines, not a pisss fart machine that need a big hammer. Gentlemen in White Boiler Suits? Howaz that for a googly.

Hi David Parmatrada only was a test station for turbines , Parsons Marine was next door .The Wallsend Slipway Eng Co Ltd built turbines for Swans, Thompsons of Sunderland and the RN , also Doxfords and Sulzers. It was a great place for to serve your time .
Not Out

DaveO
14th September 2011, 15:53
Boys boys where are the Pamatrada, GE, Bacocks, Foster Wheeler, Brotherhood, Allens, David Brown and a host of European Turbine marine steam turbine, boiler and gearbox manufactures Gone not forgotting the auxilary pumps by Weirs and Sulzer. They all produced gods engines, not a pisss fart machine that need a big hammer. Gentlemen in White Boiler Suits? Howaz that for a googly.

GE still make turbines, Babcocks are now an engineering and services company (they look after the RN nuclear subs), Foster Wheeler are one of the main engineering contractors with offices all round the world, Peter Brotherhood are still going in Peterborough but were recently bought by Dresser, Allens still make medium sized turbines (in Brazil) and are part of the Weir Group, David Brown gearboxes are still in Huddersfield and are part of Clydeunion (who bought Weir Pumps) and David Brown Pumps are still in Penistone and also part of Clydeunion (I know this as I work for Clydeunion).
Sulzer still make pumps in Leeds and around the world. Weir pumps was bought by Clydeunion and still manufacture in Glasgow as well as around the world.
It is a popular misconception that we don't do big engineering in this country any more. If you could see what goes on in Sulzer Leeds and Clydeunion Glasgow you would be amazed. Pumps with 30Mw drivers (RB211's). All is not lost.
Dave

skilly57
18th September 2011, 14:53
Ah, the memories this thread has bought back! As an apprentice in the late 60's-early 70's I worked on many types of marine diesel (Gotaverken, MAN, B&W, Doxford, Allen, Fairbanks Morse, Caterpillars, Ito, Daihatsu, (and a few types I am sure to have forgotten) as the various ships would stop over in Wellington. Joined the RNZNVR and got to play with supercharged Foden Mks 1 & 6, steam recips on the minesweepers, and the occasional boiler & turbine job (Blackpool) for added experience.

Then went to sea on little Leith/Dundee-built bulk carriers that had:
1. Russell Newbury gennies and 2 x British Polar mains with supercharger piston on the front, along with nine ton electro-magnetic couplings between the engine and intermediate shaft (don't forget to put the excitation on before starting or the mercury will go everywhere!)
2. English Electric 8RK main engines (always threw timing chains) x 2, with diesel electric propulsion, twin screw, and Paxman V4 gennies (would only start from one position!). Eventually got so temperamental we sent it back to Blue Circle Cement, UK, in 1979.
3. 3 x Bellis & Morcomb 22 Standard engines (600 v dc diesel electric propulsion, feeding to a 1200 hp double-wound propulsion motor on single shaft), along with a 3 cyl, 100 hp Bellis & Morcomb gennie, and another in the other corner that I cannot remember the type of, but was about 50 or 60 Kw.
I still have 2 pistons from the 22 Std engines - now powdercoated, and sitting on my deck - they make good seats!
4. 2 x Ruston 12RK3CM mains, plus 2 x Paxman RPHCZ. The mains have hardly stopped in 32 years, but are getting a bit like grandad's axe, with so many parts having been changed (to be expected!).
5. Now at sea on Caterpillar 3516B V16 mains, with Cat 3406 gennies. Have only just done 6,000 hrs on the mains, so no major dramas yet. Ship is not UMS, so everyone gets a good sleep!
6. Just come off a month on a virtually brand new Soton-based ship fitted with six Caterpillar-MaK's - all 430 mm bore (bought a book in the bookshop onboard that stated the ship was fitted with Wartsila 40S engines, but showed a photo of Cat-MaK!). Was not down below long enough to really form an opinion of the job, but there was heaps of new technology.
Skilly

chadburn
18th September 2011, 15:15
Recently in the Gallery a photo of a 1955 built VTE engined vessel appeared which left me wondering when was the last VTE built by a British Company. Smith's built their last VTE in 1955 and as it was the last of the VTE's built by S.D. those that worked on it (like myself) witnessed popped their initial's on the side's of the Bedplate. Anybody out there either worked/served on a VTE built after that?

eldersuk
19th September 2011, 00:35
4. 2 x Ruston 12RK3CM mains, plus 2 x Paxman RPHCZ. The mains have hardly stopped in 32 years, but are getting a bit like grandad's axe, with so many parts having been changed (to be expected!).

Skilly 57
Would this by any chance be the cement carrier "Golden Bay" on which I did the alignments in the Caledon yard, Dundee round about 1979. She was destined for NZ.

Derek

skilly57
19th September 2011, 13:44
Hi Derek,
Go to the top of the class!! Right first time.
I have included a link below to the site where I have written up most of this ship's history, (and the other NZ cement ships operated by Golden Bay Cement) but she was about the last vessel out of Robb Caledon (572) and was built like the proverbial outhouse.
She's been operated by the same company since 1979, and only now are they starting to look for a replacement.
Skilly


http://www.oceaniashippingforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=145

Macahooch
30th November 2011, 23:25
Gents,
Having worked for Rustons from 2002 to 2006 I will let you in on the history. 2002 we moved from Newton Le Willows The Vulcan Works a factory and village set up by Stephenson. We set up at Hazel Grove and the only engines built in the factory were the Paxman YP185 suppose to replace the Valenta in the class 53. The RK215 was produced for the Iran Railway along with Syria, Sri-lanka and Malaysia. These are now made in Iran after UIC testing. It still holds the record as the worlds most poerfull traction engine. The RK280V20 has been remouved to Ausburg Germany again the worlds most powerfull medium speed engine. The RK270 is now made under licence in the Dallian locomotive works China. The machine tools endeed up in Korea. So as an island nation we do not have a engine manufacturer. Quality management from all governments.

Long gone
1st December 2011, 14:56
Hazel grove would be Mirlees? The Vulcan Foundry was set up by Earle and Tayleur (hence Earlestown). VF all demolished now, very sad

Jocko
24th January 2012, 12:15
British Polar were taken over by Nohab (Swedish) who in turn became part of Wartsila (Finnish). When I worked for Wartsila UK I seem to recall Nohab still had some representation in - I think - Glasgow. Twas a good few years ago now (mid eighties).
Speaking of defunct marques, I well remember the gennies on my first ship - the makers plate proudly proclaimed them to be manufactured by "The National Gas and Oil Engine Co" - who were they or what did they become?
ray

I served my apprenticeship with British Polar Engines, 133 Helen Street, Govan 1953-58. The Polar Engine was a Swedish design and was built in Glasgow under licence (I presume) hence the British heading. They not only built Generators but larger engines for Coasters and the ocean going tugs like the Bustler and the Turmoil.
They also built a V type engine for the RNs Leopard class Frigates. A grand firm that no longer builds but still supplies spares around the world.
As for Paxman they couldn`t have been all that bad as I`m positive the WW11 Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs) had twin Paxmans. They weren`t as fast as the German E boats but they served them well.(Wave)

chadburn
24th January 2012, 17:15
I served my apprenticeship with British Polar Engines, 133 Helen Street, Govan 1953-58. The Polar Engine was a Swedish design and was built in Glasgow under licence (I presume) hence the British heading. They not only built Generators but larger engines for Coasters and the ocean going tugs like the Bustler and the Turmoil.
They also built a V type engine for the RNs Leopard class Frigates. A grand firm that no longer builds but still supplies spares around the world.
As for Paxman they couldn`t have been all that bad as I`m positive the WW11 Motor Torpedo Boats (MTBs) had twin Paxmans. They weren`t as fast as the German E boats but they served them well.(Wave)

The as built C&N WW2 MTB's and re-engined with Paxman's were converted into "cargo vessel's" for the Ball Bearing run to and from Sweden, they were if I remember correctly V16's and did have snapped crankshaft problem's. It was Wartime and these engine's were rushed into service and the Company did well in solving the problem as did the Civilian Crew's who manned them.A truly remarkable story of bravery in adverse condition's.

Peter Short
16th April 2012, 03:36
I came across this 19 minute film Polar Power about British Polar from 1974:

http://ssa.nls.uk/film.cfm?fid=3268 (http://ssa.nls.uk/film.cfm?fid=3268)

Ideal for marine engineers who can't get off to sleep....I noticed a couple of odd things: the plastic-sheeted frames used in the factory to isolate engine building areas. Any ideas why? An attempt to create a clean area, or perhaps to keep the heat in....

Also, at 12:50 the V-12 engine arrives in France - it looks like one of the valve covers has fallen off! :eek:

jamesgpobog
16th April 2012, 05:55
My old Navy ship had Fairbanks-Morse opposed piston diesels running the aux. generators. They were used in some U.S. subs too. What do you experienced engine guys think of the Fairbanks-Morse?

surfaceblow
17th April 2012, 03:45
My experience with Fairbanks-Morse engines was that they were loud, cranky and hard to do regular maintenance on them. The biggest problem was the outboard generator was to close to the skin of the skin of the ship. During an overhaul of one of the Generators a fuel leak developed on the remaining engine. In order to fix the fuel leak we had to transfer the load to the shaft generator before shutting down the engine online. This normally wouldn't been a problem but we were at anchor and the Deck Watch did not call the Captain. So when we clutched in the Main Engine to run the shaft generator with the CP at zero pitch and about 100 rpm the Captain ran up to the bridge in his PJ's thinking he sleep through his wake up call and we had orders to leave.

While we where doing the overhaul of the inboard engine the person guiding the vertical shaft in place got stuck in the crankcase. The longer he was in the crankcase the more bloated he got an could not slide pass the vertical shaft. So the engine gang started to close up the crankcase doors leaving him with only one way out of the engine. In the process of climbing out of the engine he torn up his clothes and cut up his chest legs and arms.

Joe

Malcolm K.
17th April 2012, 12:08
I came across this 19 minute film Polar Power about British Polar from 1974:

http://ssa.nls.uk/film.cfm?fid=3268 (http://ssa.nls.uk/film.cfm?fid=3268)

Ideal for marine engineers who can't get off to sleep....I noticed a couple of odd things: the plastic-sheeted frames used in the factory to isolate engine building areas. Any ideas why? An attempt to create a clean area, or perhaps to keep the heat in....

Also, at 12:50 the V-12 engine arrives in France - it looks like one of the valve covers has fallen off! :eek:

Thanks Peter for the film about British Polar Engines. Like Jocko I also served my apprenticeship with British Polar. 1965 - 1970. It was expected that once your time was out that you went to sea. As was said to me " We have taught you the basics now go to sea and become an engineer".

Happy days

gleniffer
9th January 2014, 21:16
Hello everyone - my first post here.

Does anyone have any leads on Gleniffer engine spares ?

I know they were taken over by Kelvin in Glasgow.

I need some piston rings for a 1930s DB2 ( 4 3/4 " dia bore), which we have in a narrow boat here in the UK.

I gather Gleniffers were quite popular in Australia and New Zealand. Used as lifeboat engines, as well as for small ships.

Thanks for any help.

Steve Hodges
13th January 2014, 11:24
While we where doing the overhaul of the inboard engine the person guiding the vertical shaft in place got stuck in the crankcase. The longer he was in the crankcase the more bloated he got an could not slide pass the vertical shaft. So the engine gang started to close up the crankcase doors leaving him with only one way out of the engine. In the process of climbing out of the engine he torn up his clothes and cut up his chest legs and arms.

Joe

Reminds me of my cadet workshop experience time in Hawthorn Leslie when we were building the one and only Doxford Seahorse prototype. One of the fitter's mates, a somewhat intellectually-challenged individual who rejoiced in the nickname of The Blob, was delegated to clean some machining swarf from the bottom of the crankcase. He managed to slide in around the crankshaft, but when he was finished he found there were no hand- or footholds to enable him to climb out. His requests for a hand to climb out got more and more vociferous as knocking-off time approached, which , of course, his workmates thought was hilarious. By the time I left the volume and profanity had reached astronomic proportions. Someone must have relented eventually because all was back to normal the next morning.(*))

berbex
13th January 2014, 19:54
Thanks for reviving this thread. Brings back memories of a lifetime.

I owe an interesting and fruitful career in engineering to an early encounter at age five or so with a two stroke Petters that use to scare the s*** out of me with its backfiring every half minute or so. One day i saw it dismantled with failed bearings and there and then I decided to be like the guy who trounced that beast. Later in life I had many encounters with many of the names that appear in this thread, including the last Sulzer RND** (I still think it was 105).

Further up bri445 asked about English Electric. I had some experience with the last of the EE fullagars at an underground station from the late 1930's. They were good workhorses that did their job when called for. Everything in the pics is EE made.

If i manage I'll attach two photos of the plant, still all there, but crying for mercy. Its underground at a place known during the war as "the caves". Maybe someone heard of that.

Rgds.

chadburn
13th January 2014, 22:00
Interesting photo Berbex, do you know if these engines were fitted as Emergency Gen Sets on the ROTOR system?

berbex
13th January 2014, 22:46
These are land based units in a power station, British services, later DOE as I recall.

There used to be nine engines. Three early units with air blast injection. They were scrapped before I got there. The other six were a later model, three installed between 1934 and 1939 (in preparation for war evidently), three during the war. Fullagar square-four opposed piston, three pairs of liners.

Everything inside the plant was English Electric, to answer an earlier request by bri445.

chadburn
13th January 2014, 23:16
Thanks for the info berbex

chadburn
14th January 2014, 19:17
Just a bit more info on the engine from my own records which you may or may not know Berbex, the Fullagar engine started its life off as a marine engine in the early 1920s, they were built by either Cammellaird or Palmers Shipbuilding. It is as you say of the opposed piston type with four cylinders, bore of 24 inch diameter and a piston stroke of 36 inches.
The caves may well be the vast underground complex near Bath some of which are still in use I believe to store Equipment. For a number of years I have been trying to find which make of engine was used as the E.G. on a particular RADAR system, the only info I had was that they were as big as a ships engine and they were housed in a building which was disguised to look like a Chapel with the exhaust going up what would have been the Bell Tower. For many reason this engine could fit the bill, in later years these engines were replaced by two smaller R.R 6cyl E.G. Sets.

berbex
15th January 2014, 00:31
The pictures are from the last remaining lot of 'square four' fullagars, six in no, in an underground station in Malta. The last I heard about these machines was that only one other machine of this type remains.

I have the booklet of the earlier lot, dated 1925. It says they were Cammell-Laird patents.

About 'the caves' I heard from two Parsons top staff who came to see the place while still operational, some 35 years ago. They wondered if the place was it. Spares for the machines came from a similar station in Singapore, closed down about that time. From pics I've seen along the years there apparently were quite a number of these installed. The Spitfire factory power house had those engines.

Duncan112
15th January 2014, 17:45
Look very similar to the one in Napier (see my photo gallery).

I have a pdf of the Fullagar brochure but it is 32Mb so too big to post - anyone wanting a copy please pm me

retfordmackem
16th January 2014, 11:53
I would have happily given the Luftwaffe the co ordinates to assist them in closing them down. Bloody awful machines(Cloud)

More on topic, the world has moved on - we (sort of) invented, if not the technology, then certainly the standard off that technology - it then moved on to other places and evolved over the years. To be honest I don't think we could ever compete in the modern day market, most engines and indeed plant are built under license away from the companies home country. Sometimes you just have to sit back and be proud of what we done and accept that we have given so many countries the chance to improve themselves based on our technology. The technology seems to pass on to the next place after a while and so on over the years, at the moment China is in the ascendancy and Korea's time will soon start waning -in time it will move on to the next place. The interesting bit is where that next place will be.

It will be many many years before China wains and money men move elsewhere for technology/and cheap labour. . So perhaps they will come to England then ? as we will have forgotten all we know by then. Just a thought ,as this country is slowly slowly(sorry quickly quickly)being de -skillled .

chadburn
28th January 2014, 21:42
The pictures are from the last remaining lot of 'square four' fullagars, six in no, in an underground station in Malta. The last I heard about these machines was that only one other machine of this type remains.

I have the booklet of the earlier lot, dated 1925. It says they were Cammell-Laird patents.

About 'the caves' I heard from two Parsons top staff who came to see the place while still operational, some 35 years ago. They wondered if the place was it. Spares for the machines came from a similar station in Singapore, closed down about that time. From pics I've seen along the years there apparently were quite a number of these installed. The Spitfire factory power house had those engines.

The engines appear to be inside the Gib tunnels, used in the Power Station.

berbex
29th January 2014, 19:14
The engines appear to be inside the Gib tunnels, used in the Power Station.

Hi,

They are in tunnels. If by Gib you mean Gibraltar- no-Malta.

chadburn
29th January 2014, 19:26
There must be others, I was watching the programme about Gib last night and part of the programme was showing a 'Ghost Hunt' in what was the Power Station hidden in the tunnels, there were two of them with 'English Electric' cast on the side.

Duncan112
29th January 2014, 21:02
Some other survivors here http://www.imarest.org/Portals/0/IMarEST/Divisions/Notices/ANZSPAC/Newcastle/Newcastlenewsletter0110.pdf

Don't know if this will work or not https://www.dropbox.com/s/rub613nl2z0exty/English%20Electric%20Fullagar%20Engine.pdf

chadburn
29th January 2014, 23:08
Well done Duncan with the drop box information(Applause)

bri445
29th January 2014, 23:51
Many thanks, Duncan, for the brochure. Now we know exactly how the engine works, thanks to the detailed description. There were some interesting installations there, including UK towns wanting dc supplies before 'nationalised' ac came in.
Note that on page 10, they sold one to Japan! Ok, it was land based and not in a ship!

So, may I ask if the brochure is dated; there may be a code at the bottom of the back page, which was how the company listed its publications.

Duncan112
30th January 2014, 10:52
I'm afraid I don't know a date, I found the booklet on the web, but can't remember where and so far my attempts to refind it have failed, I'll keep looking..

I've mentioned it before but can I commend this website and museum to your attention http://www.internalfire.com/index.php?sid=8319a26e22e4e5a5ae8d231e8aac6f9b I visited it about 10 years ago and found I was at school with the owner - my overriding recollection of him is building and running a pulse jet engine in the metalwork shop

bri445
30th January 2014, 13:35
I somehow assumed you had the brochure. I'll have a search, too.

Correction: The Japanese reference is in Pg.28, Fig.30, not Pg.10.

Thanks again, all, for renewing my interest in the remarkable English Electric Company, where I was apprenticed far too many years ago.
Brian

chadburn
30th January 2014, 13:57
Just a check, did English Electric actually machine and build the engines themselves or did they buy them from Cammellaird and stick them on their own bed plate?

berbex
31st January 2014, 13:58
Thank you Duncan112 for the brochure. Interesting. Re date I checked on Guernsey PS at their site for machine order - last page. The Fullagar 8Q was installed 1936.

There may be other engines. Admiralty supplied fullagars to a number of places apparently, from the brochure list. But most are no more. According to a Diesels magazine only 1(NZ)+6 remained. They may be wrong. There were none left in UK because 25yrs ago someone called to purchase one from Malta. They were still operational then.

Since there seems to be interest in drawings, find attached drwgs of the earlier type, blast injection.

Peter Short
1st February 2014, 15:07
I wrote the following a couple of weeks back, but have not been able to post. I changed a setting, and it seem to work now....

Berbex, thanks very much for your Fullagar photos and comments. It is great to hear these engines survive. It would be great to hear any of your impressions and memories of these unusual engines.

According to the reference below, there were 11 Fullagar engines supplied to Malta, the first five had blast injection. Remaining engines still on standby in 1992?

There is an early Fullagar at the Faraday Centre in Napier, New Zealand; I was able to examine this engine some years back and was very impressed with the design. The power house has become a museum.

The NZ engine is a type 4Q, four cylinder, 600 bhp driving an alternator. It was started in 1925 and remained on standby until about 1970 (I think). This engine still has blast injection and appears runnable.

FYI, Hugh Francis Fullagar, His Work and Engines by Robert Cox is a 28 page article found in Stationary Power No.19; The Journal of the International Stationary Steam Engine Society. Not exhaustive, but good coverage of Mr Fullagar and his many patents, the marine Fullagars and the more successful stationary engines.

The stationary engines as built by English Electric at their Willans Works were distinct from the marine Fullagars built by Cammell Laird and their six sub-licence holders. Nevertheless, English Electric were also licenced by Cammell Laird.

From the above article: there were approximately 100 Fullagar stationary engines built at Willans Works, Rugby, the last before the mid-1950’s. Most were exported, 16 installed in Britain. There were multiple engines sent to Khartoum (8), Bermuda (8), Malta (11), Guernsey (5), Singapore (12), Nauru (5), Gibraltar and no doubt other places.

There are probably quite a few survivors, e.g. Malta (Type 6Q x6), Australia (Type 8Q x2), Gibraltar (3?) and NZ (1). None known to survive in Britain.

I wonder if any engines survive on Nauru or Ocean Island, or at Khartoum etc.

BTW, there were two main sizes offered by English Electric, the Type Q (14” bore, 16” stroke, each piston) and the Type R (19” bore, 22” stroke, each piston). Both types were made in four, six and eight cylinder versions. The Q type had the prominent “square” scavenge pump, the single-acting pump being the top cross head. The R type had a more conventional circular, double-acting, scavenge pump above each upper piston. Blast injection gave way to direct injection from around 1931, some of the older engines were upgraded to airless injection.

Apologies for dwelling on the land-based Fullagars. There were nine ships fitted with Fullagar engines and some work done on submarine versions, but it seems to have been a sorry tale of failure – all except two engines had been replaced by 1930.

I should also mention that the earliest Fullagars were gas engines with spark ignition, not oil engines. They must have been quite impressive for their time, e.g. Belliss & Morcom built a 2,000 bhp six cylinder Fullagar engine, installed in 1917 at the Weardale Waste Heat Power Station at Spennymore. This engine ran on waste coke oven gas and drove a 1250 kVA Vickers alternator. Lots of initial problems, running well in the 1920’s, in service until the mid 1930’s.

berbex
1st February 2014, 19:58
Thank you for that informative post. A quick reply for now.

The Malta units, the remaining 6x6Q were still operational up to 1983, having been pressed back into service when demand picked up after the oil shock. They also doubled as ‘black start’ and remained so for some more years.

Spares were got from the Singapore PS when it was broken up, but there were many parts that were not interchangable. Injectors were still obtainable; but a cam shaft cost as much as a new car, a few pounds less in fact. Main consumables were oil pipes to pistons and piston rings. Other than that they were like most other machines.

But you watched out for the cross rods linking pistons, for any loosening or other trouble. Years earlier at a ship repair yard I had seen some ugly incidents. A Doxford upper piston after one rod parted, if that happened in a fullagar?!

On the whole they were reliable, and they did their job.

namyar
3rd February 2014, 03:59
There were a pair of these in the powerhouse of Nauru Island when I was there in the 80's.Both were in running order but kept for emergency use in case the Rustons broke down. They are probably still there, not worth the hassle to remove.

chadburn
3rd February 2014, 15:15
Thanks for the further info Peter, do you or Berbex know if there were any of these engines fitted to GB RADAR stations as an E/G? although I accept that as the stations were Top Secret at the time it may be that they are not listed down to the Air Ministry.

berbex
3rd February 2014, 15:40
Namyar, it seems that according to a KEMA report on Nauru's utilities the fullagars are no more. From pictures it seems not even as scrap.

http://www.ppa.org.fj/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/NUC-report-5302012.pdf

Chadburn: re your question--no idea.

chadburn
3rd February 2014, 15:42
Thanks Berbex.

Peter Short
4th February 2014, 12:53
chadburn,

In the Fullagar article by Robert Cox (see post #124 for details), there are some War Department engines mentioned, but I am not sure if they are the ones you are interested in.

To summarise:

-Several engines supplied to the War Department, radio stations and other government establishments in the U.K.

-April 1925, Ratfyn Power Station on Salisbury Plain for Boscombe Down Airfield. 4Q

-1938, another 4Q installed in same power station, then a 6Q installed early in the war. At the same time the first 4Q was overhauled and fitted with airless injection.

-Also early in WW2, a 6Q engine installed at Tidworth Power Station on Salisbury Plain. Scrapped in 1975. There were already 2x English Electric conventional diesels at this station i.e. 1 x 1922 Willans type and 1 x 1935 EE L-type.

-Ratfyn engines probably removed in 1961-62. One of these engines may have been moved to the Gibraltar Military Power Station.

-There were/are three Fullagar engines at Gibraltar in a cavern (seen in 1998), the Fullagar Engine Register states that three engines installed at RAF Burton Wood airfield in 1941 were moved to Shahibar in 1947 and then to Gibraltar in 1951.

There is more information on the Salisbury Plain installations, e.g. other engines used at Tidworth.

BTW, as of 1984, there were 4 x Fullagars at the Burry 1 Power Station at Khartoum, out of service.

All of the above taken from the ISSES article by Robert Cox.

chadburn
4th February 2014, 20:20
Thank you Peter, I am trying to find out which type/make of engine was used as the E/G for RADAR Stations mainly along the East Coast of GB both during and shortly after the War. Possibly as the whole Chain System was Secret it could be down to the Ministry of Works. All I know was that they were the size of a ships engine

Duncan112
5th February 2014, 16:09
Peter, Re the Napier Fullagar Engine, although complete it is not runnable, having no exhaust system, I understand that the pit the electrical end is in flooded rendering it useless (I believe that towards the end the preferred method of starting was to run it up using the dynamo as a motor) There is a motor connected to the flywheel that can be used to turn it but it aparrently slips badly so isn't used.

If you look in my gallery there are some photos of the running gear etc.

bri445
8th February 2014, 23:12
Ref. berbex's 106 and 108, that was SOME CAVE with 6 Fullagars installed!
I've 'processed' the photos for a better view.

bri445
9th February 2014, 00:08
Here are the EECo land-based list and the marine list of installations. It's obvious they developed in two entirely different directions but why were the marine versions so unsuccessful?
They appear to be of a heavier pillared construction. Was that because of the height and top weight necessary in the design? Lack of development control between the different building yards? Poor salesmanship?
They were apparently very economical in fuel consumption.

bri445
9th February 2014, 00:13
Stills from that Gibraltar tv programme:

berbex
9th February 2014, 15:22
Bri445,

Thanks for the info, and the 'processed' photos. Can we know how it was done?

The caves are very large and extensive. Four parallel caverns, three housing 3 fullagars each, the fourth had two parsons turbines (early fifties) and three Lamont boilers. But the system of caverns was much more extensive than that.

Following the Guernsey history of their Q8 machine that appears on the list it says that the earlier Q6 ordered in 1938 was diverted to Malta during the war and is one of those six machines. It was very interesting reading. Now I know why one serial No did not match the others. Thanks.

bri445
9th February 2014, 18:50
A mind-boggling installation!
'Processing' is done in ACDsee (no electrical connection!) using its easy manipulation and storage features, thus:

chadburn
9th February 2014, 20:29
It looks like the Doxford Sales Team were very good at their job. I have read somewhere that they also offered a very comprehensive world wide back up service.

bri445
10th February 2014, 21:26
Two compilations from books, on the ship's history:

chadburn
10th February 2014, 22:19
That explains the limited information I have as it indicated that all the Engineroom auxiliaries would be electrically driven. The ships were diesel/electric driven rather than just diesel powered. British Shipowners were not keen on changing from steam to diesel as the diesel Engineroom was far more expensive than steam (VTE) and with the extra expense of electric propulsion along with their mistrust of electric power propulsion. There are were/are not many British Flag Cargo Vessels with electric motor powered props. The Americans and indeed the Japanese like this type of propulsion and have built many vessels with either diesel electric or steam turbine electric.

Varley
11th February 2014, 01:30
For ships in conventional trade the equation is simpler. Conversion loss mechanical to electrical around 10 %. Conversion back for propulsion, something similar.

Diesel electric can be an efficacious outfit when the vessel does not simply carry a dumb cargo from A to B but who would otherwise build a 20% loss of efficiency into the design.

berbex
11th February 2014, 19:27
I recall in the early seventies there was a move away from the single large diesel to multiple engines/gen matched to single screw/motor.

There are multiple benefits. Higher engine efficiency, running units as required. Lower probability of total power loss. The large engine cost more than smaller units of equivalent power (it was so ten years ago for land based power). Cost of electrical generator is relatively much lower than engine.

Having the knowhow may also figure in the formula.

Varley
12th February 2014, 01:33
I recall in the early seventies there was a move away from the single large diesel to multiple engines/gen matched to single screw/motor.

There are multiple benefits. Higher engine efficiency, running units as required. Lower probability of total power loss. The large engine cost more than smaller units of equivalent power (it was so ten years ago for land based power). Cost of electrical generator is relatively much lower than engine.

Having the knowhow may also figure in the formula.

No argument with any of that but this is nothing to do with efficiency which is engineering, if not physics, defined. Other wants and necessities may make a form of propulsion more economic over-all than another, as may the cost of a particular choice of fuel. That is not efficiency that is economics.

alaric
12th February 2014, 12:02
That explains the limited information I have as it indicated that all the Engineroom auxiliaries would be electrically driven. The ships were diesel/electric driven rather than just diesel powered. British Shipowners were not keen on changing from steam to diesel as the diesel Engineroom was far more expensive than steam (VTE) and with the extra expense of electric propulsion along with their mistrust of electric power propulsion. There are were/are not many British Flag Cargo Vessels with electric motor powered props. The Americans and indeed the Japanese like this type of propulsion and have built many vessels with either diesel electric or steam turbine electric.

WW2 American T2 tankers were the most numerous of the turbo-electric ships. The reason was simply that the USA did not have the gear cutting capacity to produce straight geared turbine machinery, but they had surplus capacity to build large motors and generators.
T2 machinery proved to be excellent, if a little thirsty in service, and there where many conversions where the original tank section of a T2 was scrapped but the engineroom was retained and used in a 'new' ship. Indeed, I think there are some lakers still in service that can trace their roots back to a T2. Not bad for a war time stop gap effort.
After they took out licences from Charles Parsons to get them started, the Americans went on to build very good turbine ships, usually well in advance of what UK was building at the time.

berbex
12th February 2014, 15:10
The pros and cons of electric drive are very well explained here:
http://www.navweaps.com/index_tech/tech-038.htm

One also avoided the hazard of blade resonance in steam turbines. eg the QE2 maiden voyage ended quickly due to that.

berbex
18th February 2014, 19:25
On the subject of engine makers, and going back another half century or so:
Who were the builders of the more common steam engines used for marine drive?

Many years ago as an engine fitter apprentice i was detailed to an old French ship undergoing servicing/repairs to its steam engine, triple expansion, then very ugly compared to the new sulzers. Never saw another one, except in films. Now I regret not looking it over more closely.

Some decades later I tried to find info on steam engines manufactured by Brush for power generation, as in attached pic. Any info is most welcome? The plant in pic was switched 'on' in Dec 1896. The alternators were Mordey type 100Hz. Unfortunately only the pic remains as memory.

chadburn
19th February 2014, 21:56
It would be quite a task to list all of the steam engine builders around the time this photograph was taken, but the varnished wooden slat type enclosure around the cylinders reminds me of the oldest VTE I was on, the VTE was built by Blair's in 1904!! and she was still going in the 1950's. Some might think they were ugly but to me they will always be a thing of beauty.

internalfire
22nd February 2014, 00:22
my overriding recollection of him is building and running a pulse jet engine in the metalwork shop
And I still have it :-)

Fullagar brochure is very interesting, been a pet project for some time.
The Gib engines are sadly in a very poor state and nobody seems to be interested in preserving them.

Paul

internalfire
22nd February 2014, 00:43
I remember a very old horizontal Gas & Oil engine at a Barry Island Fairground, it was used to drive the Dodgem emergency generator, fuel was gas oil or paraffin depending on what the boss did a deal on. It was a hot bulb engine and to start it the blow lamp had to be running for five to ten minutes. Can't remember the date of the engine, but I think that it was close to 1919.

She was a 100hp Fielding built in 1923. Still there until a couple of years ago with the original cooling tanks and air bottle (with 100 psi in).

The new owner offered her to the museum for 10k and we had to remove and leave the place tidy! Sadly that was not practical.

Regular visitor told us she went for scrap two years ago.

Paul

NEM
28th February 2014, 15:45
Hello hamish, I worked on the first Clark/Sulzer built at Geo.Clark(1938)Ltd.in1950.lt was the TPD36. for M.V.Portsmouth.Stevie C. Co.Then the next was for M.V.Ardingly same company.We later built the TPF 48. Six for a Power St.in Australia.
These were the transition from Steam to Diesel.

A.D.FROST
1st March 2014, 12:06
Hello hamish, I worked on the first Clark/Sulzer built at Geo.Clark(1938)Ltd.in1950.lt was the TPD36. for M.V.Portsmouth.Stevie C. Co.Then the next was for M.V.Ardingly same company.We later built the TPF 48. Six for a Power St.in Australia.
These were the transition from Steam to Diesel.

Worked on the last Clark/Sulzer from Southwick 6RD90 for INDIAN CITY 1967(Cloud)

NEM
5th March 2014, 16:38
Hello, A.D.Frost, Sorry to hear the last Clark-Sulzer was built. Did you work in the South wick Works? In my day Jock McPharlane was the Erecting shop 'gaffer' with Jack Spithray in New Fitting shop & Benny Forbister Old Fitting shop.I also worked on the Triple Ex.engines.These were for the Colliers Hackney,Deptford,Brims down, to name a few. Pickersgills built them,we engined them.That was when Sunderland was the biggest shipbuilding Town in the world.

funnelstays
5th March 2014, 16:45
What happened to British Polar engines?
I sailed with them as main engines, a mixed bag, but I believe they saw a lot of service driving generators.

Bob

Taken over by Wärtsila a while back.l believe the Polar works in Govan @ Helen Street is now an ASDA and Toys R Us.

A.D.FROST
5th March 2014, 17:04
Hello, A.D.Frost, Sorry to hear the last Clark-Sulzer was built. Did you work in the South wick Works? In my day Jock McPharlane was the Erecting shop 'gaffer' with Jack Spithray in New Fitting shop & Benny Forbister Old Fitting shop.I also worked on the Triple Ex.engines.These were for the Colliers Hackney,Deptford,Brims down, to name a few. Pickersgills built them,we engined them.That was when Sunderland was the biggest shipbuilding Town in the world.

Sorry but the names don't ring a piston crown,I was serving my apprentice ship at the time.NEM Wallsend continued building Clark/Sulzers for a while (which muddies the water)then they were named Clark-Hawthorn/Sulzers(which took up a bit of space on the crankcase doors)

Iain Crosbie
25th March 2014, 20:41
Hello everyone - my first post here.

Does anyone have any leads on Gleniffer engine spares ?

I know they were taken over by Kelvin in Glasgow.

I need some piston rings for a 1930s DB2 ( 4 3/4 " dia bore), which we have in a narrow boat here in the UK.

I gather Gleniffers were quite popular in Australia and New Zealand. Used as lifeboat engines, as well as for small ships.

Thanks for any help.

Seaward Engineering in Glasgow have some Gleniffer spares.

cdsc123
3rd June 2014, 20:51
Pictures I took in January 2011 of the engines in Gibraltar;

cdsc123
3rd June 2014, 20:53
More;

cdsc123
3rd June 2014, 20:55
Last ones;

Basil
3rd June 2014, 21:14
cdsc123, That is so sad:(

bri445
3rd June 2014, 23:24
Thanks cdsc123. (Your photos 'processed' here. Hope you don't mind.)
Much corrosion showing, except for the 'oily' bits!

bri445
3rd June 2014, 23:27
Last two here.

chadburn
3rd June 2014, 23:34
What a shame.

berbex
4th June 2014, 19:48
cdsc123 thanks for posting the pics.

I wonder if they are still there. The painted words on the generator of one engine "sale 39" does not augur well for their survival.

But the pictures will survive, thanks again.

chadburn
4th June 2014, 21:41
In a recent television programme on Gib it would appear that they are still there. As you are aware Berbex on some military installations it's harder to get them out than it was to put them in. The Services floor at my old Base at Pitreavie was blown up with the equipment still in there I understand.