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  #1  
Old 5th April 2020, 13:38
internalfire internalfire is offline  
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Steamy Stuff

Don't know how much interest there is on steam stuff but for the last two years the museum (Internal Fire Museum of Power in Wales) has been busy installing a number of steam engines including some marine.

Already running are a large Browett & Lindley compound, one of 4 originally installed in HMS Tiger (1913) for DC generation and we believe the only operating prime mover still operating from Jutland.

Also a nice little 100hp Simpson & Strickland triple expansion from a Bristol tug.

As we live on site the current lockdown is not stopping us working although we are cutting back on work that involves any risk for obvious reasons.

The current project is a replica paddle wheel on the John Penn 1879 oscillating twin, ex-PS Empress. She was to have been the featured engine for Easter but will be running later in the year when things improve. She has steamed but we decided we needed the flywheel effect that the wheel will give.

Hope the pics are of interest
Paul
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File Type: jpg browettr.jpg (383.9 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg simpsonr.jpg (450.3 KB, 44 views)
File Type: jpg wheelh1r.jpg (475.9 KB, 34 views)
File Type: jpg wheelh2r.jpg (429.5 KB, 35 views)
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  #2  
Old 5th April 2020, 14:12
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Varley Varley is offline   SN Supporter
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They are indeed. Thank you.
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  #3  
Old 5th April 2020, 16:32
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Looks fantastic Paul, hopefully will get down once all this is over.
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  #4  
Old 5th April 2020, 18:45
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Burntisland Ship Yard Burntisland Ship Yard is offline  
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Excellent pictures Paul, will be on my bucket list to visit !
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  #5  
Old 5th April 2020, 19:50
eddyw eddyw is offline  
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Excellent ! Ah, the renowned "Empress", star of David Lean's film of "Great Expectations" (1946).
https://www.paddlesteamers.org/featu...eptember-1945/
Her final trip;
http://www.kingswearcastle.co.uk/Empress1.htm

Last edited by eddyw; 5th April 2020 at 19:55..
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  #6  
Old 5th April 2020, 19:53
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Great Paul, keep them coming , brings to mind Bellis and Morcom, Tange, and others that slip my memory. These steam engines were the life blood of the NZ primary industry in the early days .

Bob
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  #7  
Old 6th April 2020, 06:04
skilly57 skilly57 is offline
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And then somebody at Bellis & Morcom decided to convert their steam engine design to manufacture diesels. The B&M Standard 22 gave me nightmares for years! We would often leave port with 3 or 4 of them running, then arrive at the next port with only 1 left that hadn't failed. Used to drop exhaust valves & destroy governors like there was no tomorrow.
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  #8  
Old 6th April 2020, 10:54
internalfire internalfire is offline  
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We have 3 cylinder S5A Belliss in Hall 5, actually runs nicely.

Not long after we first opened a scruffy looking gent would come into reception, throw some cash on the desk and wonder off into the museum, once every couple weeks.

Happened to be in Hall 5 when he came in one day, he walked down to the Belliss, opened the gate, walked up to the engine and kicked it followed by a string of abuse that turned the air deep blue. Nodded at me and wondered off. This was repeated two weeks later.

Eventually he decided we were not complete idiots and decided to communicate over a coffee one morning. His name was Miles and he turned out to be a very competent engineer who could do just about anything. He volunteered for a number of years.

The Belliss hatred came when he was a 2nd and took a trip out to the far east on a ship with two S5A gensets which did nothing but overheat. The fact there were a dozen cylinder heads sat on the floor should have warned him.

Sadly Miles passed away a few years ago but his stories (hours about Doxfords) and language live on, we had to hide him when visitors were in :-) Greatly missed.
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  #9  
Old 6th April 2020, 11:01
internalfire internalfire is offline  
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And a pic of our B & M compound, runs like a clock but HP packings are out at the moment, have to make replacements.
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  #10  
Old 7th April 2020, 12:34
Dieselfitter Dieselfitter is offline  
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Never was one for 'hot fog' power, but these look fantastic!
Amazing pictures and will definitely visit once this madness has passed!
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  #11  
Old 7th April 2020, 14:32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by internalfire View Post
We have 3 cylinder S5A Belliss in Hall 5, actually runs nicely.

Not long after we first opened a scruffy looking gent would come into reception, throw some cash on the desk and wonder off into the museum, once every couple week....
.....Eventually he decided we were not complete idiots and decided to communicate over a coffee one morning. His name was Miles'.............
Sadly Miles passed away a few years ago but his stories (hours about Doxfords) and language live on, we had to hide him when visitors were in :-) Greatly missed.
Paul - fantastic stuff! As soon as the madness is over I'll come to Wales find you and if you're really unlucky I start regaling you with my Doxford and Mirrlees Nasty Gas engines stories
If you want a really big project how trying to get the Beamish Museum to part with their 58JS3 Doxford - it only weighs 105 tonnes
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  #12  
Old 7th April 2020, 15:46
internalfire internalfire is offline  
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Originally Posted by Dieselfitter View Post
Never was one for 'hot fog' power,
Plenty of diesels, Ruston is a 6VE genset in Hall 1 and the rather nice Allen is the only remaining S44 air-blast, going back together later this year.
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  #13  
Old 7th April 2020, 15:51
internalfire internalfire is offline  
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https://www.internalfire.com/pstat.php
Link above is to list of engines at the museum, the occasional video if you are really bored.
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  #14  
Old 7th April 2020, 15:57
skilly57 skilly57 is offline
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Paul,
Attached photo shows our 3-cylinder, 80 kW B & M generator after the engine room had been exposed to the sunshine during the ship's scrapping in March 1985. The gen'r is upper left - sorry for the angle but the E.R. ladders had already been cut out so I couldn't get down to the plates. This machine was the most reliable of the 4 B&Ms we had onboard.

The three empty bedplates are where the B&M 22 Standard engines lived. The ship had diesel electric propulsion, with a 220vdc tandem generator on the front of each propulsion generator, so once at sea the 80 kW machine was shut down. Photos are not too good - it was a dark & oily environment. The 3rd engineer's backside disappearing into a crankcase to check a B.E. bearing is only to show relative size of the 22 Standard engine. Have horrible memories of governor's flying apart & codpieces flying around the engine room unannounced, the never-ending task of lapping in new valves & seats all the time, and the back-breaking hours spent scraping new big end bearings all the time.

Skilly
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  #15  
Old 10th April 2020, 01:35
noelmavisk noelmavisk is offline  
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In regard to steam, I would be in remiss if I didn't mention I served my 5 year apprenticeship on steam engines. Not what you may be thinking though, I worked for Clarke Chapman's in Gateshead, who were builders of steam winches, windlasses, and capstans. I worked in the Windlass Bay. Surely one of these hard-working machines must be in a museum somewhere.
Funnily enough, my first ship in 1953 was a Sam-boat with a triple expansion steam engine but after that it was Diesel ships and I never saw steam again except from the Donkey-boiler.
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  #16  
Old 10th April 2020, 02:00
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Another little steam engine that comes to mind is the Stuart Turner built in Henley on Thames . Shackleton depended on one of these to power his generator while to ship was stuck on the ice.
They subsequently made small marine petrol engines that were widely used as auxiliary power for many NZ pleasure yachts until the post was diesels the likes of Yanmar came along as a modern substitute .

Bob
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  #17  
Old 10th April 2020, 09:15
New Haven Neil New Haven Neil is offline  
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I can't recommend this museum enough, it is fantastic, anyone with any mechanical soul at all would love it. We have been twice, once with wife's family who are Allens, who were over the moon. As a one time mere fourth it was a memory trip for me too, although I had to turn away from the Paxman.....

Paul (I think it was he) was good enough to give us some of his time, his knowledge was incredible, and enthusiasm infectious. If we lived closer I would be there every weekend helping.

So although it is a bit out of the way place please make the effort to go there and support them when things improve, it really is worth the effort.
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  #18  
Old 11th April 2020, 12:26
jerome morris jerome morris is offline  
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Oh I would love to visit this museum. Beautiful stuff!
Too many miles away for me though.
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  #19  
Old 17th April 2020, 10:47
colcur colcur is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelmavisk View Post
In regard to steam, I would be in remiss if I didn't mention I served my 5 year apprenticeship on steam engines. Not what you may be thinking though, I worked for Clarke Chapman's in Gateshead, who were builders of steam winches, windlasses, and capstans. I worked in the Windlass Bay. Surely one of these hard-working machines must be in a museum somewhere.
Funnily enough, my first ship in 1953 was a Sam-boat with a triple expansion steam engine but after that it was Diesel ships and I never saw steam again except from the Donkey-boiler.
My career was very similar to yours. I served an apprenticeship at the Sunderland Forge, building and repairing steam generators, winches and windlasses. went to sea at 20 years of age on motor ships and apart from a couple of steam boiler feed pumps, never again saw a steam engine. Honestly, never missed them.
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  #20  
Old 17th April 2020, 17:14
sternchallis sternchallis is online now
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My career was very similar to yours. I served an apprenticeship at the Sunderland Forge, building and repairing steam generators, winches and windlasses. went to sea at 20 years of age on motor ships and apart from a couple of steam boiler feed pumps, never again saw a steam engine. Honestly, never missed them.
Yes my apprenticeship was similar, but repairing Trawlers on Hull Fish dock.
Got to work on the trawl winch, the steam side and the winch barrels as well in the workshop. Think they used to replace the bearings on the barrels. Also the steam windlass, main engine which was often a CD Holmes triple expansion, Gwnne pump with a single steam cylinder to drive it, Reader and Robey (I think) single and compound for the 110v dynamos, Boiler fan engine. Was in the crank pit of one ship scraping out main bearings after they removed them, skimmed the crankshaft and remettalled the bearings. That was real fitting that, engrs blue and taking leads.
I always wanted to work on the diesel trawlers though. Spent 10 years at sea on Motor, asked for some steam time, but dead mens shoes. After coming ashore spent 10 years inspecting boilers fire and water tube, mainly the former.
Internalfire:
Yes I think I will have to have a holiday in Wales, one of my gadjets lives in the Mumbles and works for the Svitzers as Chief.
Never come across a Bellis & Morcom, but knew of them in the steam form and as a gas engine I think.
A BOT aquaintenance put me wise to small steam museums South of Lincoln, they were steam pumps to keep the Fens drained.

We have such a heritage in invention and manufacture and so much goes under the hammer as scrap.
It is great that you have been able to find them and restore them.

The Green and Red livery is much better than Sulzer washed out green or B&W cream.

Last edited by sternchallis; 17th April 2020 at 17:17..
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  #21  
Old 17th April 2020, 17:46
david freeman david freeman is offline  
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I remember my days at Constantine Tech Middlebrough, and its heat engine lab, the tests on the boiler and the compound steam engine, exhausting in to a condenser. Then I year later at South Shields Tech on phase 3 of the apprenticeship [alternative scheme] in the ocean road and westoe workshops-Here the only steam equipment I can recall, was a weirs single cylinder boiler feed pump.
I am not sure of turbine machines or pumps? maybe I am wrong.
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  #22  
Old 17th April 2020, 17:53
david freeman david freeman is offline  
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note blog# 15 Here you mention Clark Chapmans, and their deck machinery, here I remember the turbine driven capstans, quite a hunk of a machine in the 1960's on BP's supertankers. Are there any around in this modern era?

Last edited by david freeman; 17th April 2020 at 17:55..
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  #23  
Old 17th April 2020, 22:22
dannic dannic is offline  
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As second engineer on an elderly tanker with steam deck machinery, we had finished discharge in Birkinhead and were to go out to anchor, for at least a long weekend as no orders.
Got phonecall down to engineroom from bridge, could I go up forward - 2nd mate had reported something broken between the steam bit and the hydraulics on the windlass!! So headed up there wondering what the....to find focsle wreathed in steam and lots of oil on deck, and 2nd mate still walking out port anchor! Obviously steam engine had cracked, but then had to do more damage to get anchor back up and lower starboard one. So weekend spent removing engine for landing and repair.
Good fun!
Dannic
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  #24  
Old 22nd April 2020, 06:05
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Steam , that was the real glory stuff for marine engineers for a long time, a lot longer than the glory time of ships Radio Officers that didn't quite span the 20th century .
It's mostly gone now , internal combustion engines are now long rulers of the roost.
I remember my father , an electrical substation operator for most of his working life, saying ex marine chief engineers held all the top jobs in his State Hydro Electric Department .
They were the superintendents of the coal fired power stations and also in charge of the hydro generators , electricity was the by product . Ex Marine chiefs were to be found heading up the engineering aspects of most of our freezing works, dairy factories and hospitals and a marine steam ticket was the one to get you to the grand ball.
That changed rapidly post war as steam was superseded ,at sea via the more efficient motor ships as well as on shore when natural gas and electrical energy replaced the coal and steamy stuff .
I worked on main engine overhauls on Loch class frigates, Bathurst class mine sweepers , Bird class sweepers , I could almost claim that scraping white metal bearings was the most common task over those training years but the bonus was the many short trips to sea for engine trials.
There was an awesome thrill in standing on the plates between the triple expansion engines of a Loch class at full speed of about 20 to 22 knots , the mind boggling sight of all those piston and valve rods thrashing up and down , the air moist with escaping steam vapour and the odour of soluble oil.
Then on the tops to take indicator cards for the Dockyard engineer to determine how best screw a bit more out of the beast that was throbbing under the top plates.
My last experience was on the Bird class ship Tui which had been converted to a fleet auxiliary vessel , 12 to 13 knots tops
but little invaisive noise and poetry in motion .
It was only a few weeks after that trial trip that I joined Rangitane with her twin six cylinder Doxford diesels , popular and respected engines ,but the noise and the smells, they could never compare,

Bob
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Last edited by spongebob; 22nd April 2020 at 21:10..
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  #25  
Old 22nd April 2020, 18:23
dannic dannic is offline  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spongebob View Post
Steam , that was the real glory stuff for marine engineers for a long time, a lot longer than the glory time of ships Radio Officers that didn't quite span the 20th century .
It's mostly gone now , internal combustion engines are now long rulers of the roost.
I remember my father , an electrical substation operator for most of his working life, saying ex marine chief engineers held all the top jobs in his State Hydro Electric Department .
They were the superintendents of the coal fired power stations and also in charge of the hydro generators , electricity was the by product . Ex Marine chiefs were to be found heading up the engineering aspects of most of our freezing works, dairy factories and hospitals and a marine steam ticket was the one to get you to the grand ball.
That changed rapidly post war as steam was superseded ,at sea via the more efficient motor ships as well as on shore when natural gas and electrical energy replaced the coal and steamy stuff .
I worked on main engine overhauls on Loch class frigates, Bathurst class mine sweepers , Bird class sweepers , I could almost claim that scraping white metal bearings was the most common task over those training years but the bonus was the many short trips to sea for engine trials.
There was an awesome thrill in standing on the plates between the triple expansion engines of a Loch class at full speed of about 20 to 22 knots , the mind boggling sight of all those piston and valve rods thrashing up and down , the air moist with escaping steam vapour and the odour of soluble oil.
Then on the tops to take indicator cards for the Dockyard engineer to determine how best screw a bit more out of the beast that was throbbing under the top plates.
My last experience was on the Bird class ship Tui which had been converted to a fleet auxiliary vessel , 12 to 13 knots tops
but little evasive noise and poetry in motion .
It was only a few weeks after that trial trip that I joined Rangitane with her twin six cylinder Doxford diesels , popular and respected engines ,but the noise and the smells, they could never compare,

Bob
When Dad came ashore in 1955, after being combined Chief with Benline then MacAndrews, job he got was with British Sugar Corporation, as the senior guy there would only employ former marine engineers, even tho he had to start back as shift fitter. Soon was back in driving seat and stayed until retirement.
Dannic.
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