The Yank's Return Part 3

Friday June 22nd - Portsmouth & HMS Victory

On Friday we packed up and headed for
Portsmouth Dockyard on the south coast of England to tour HMS Victory. This was Lord Nelson's flagship during the historic battle of Trafalgar on 21 October 1805 that saw the combined fleets of France and Spain defeated without the loss of a single British ship. HMS Victory is now the oldest commissioned warship in the world, and is still manned by Officers and Ratings of the Royal Navy. Because she's a commissioned warship, photography isn't permitted inside. From front to back
she's impressive. Jim and I have a closer look at the "
officer's quarters". She normally uses four anchors; two bower anchors (one on each side) and two sheet anchors (also one on each side) as spares. Each weighs around 10,000 pounds.

At 226 feet long by 51 feet wide, things were cozy for the 821 men. Below decks the sailors had just 14 inches of hanging space for their hammocks.

Victory was a warship and carried 104 guns at the time of Trafalgar.
· Lower Gun Deck - 30 32-pounders
· Middle Gun Deck - 28 24-pounders
· Upper Gun Deck - 30 12-pounders
· Quarter Deck - 12 12-pounders
· Forecastle - 2 12-pounders and 2 64-pounder Carronades

50-gun broadside would be 1068 pounds of iron! And given that a 32-pound ball had a working range of 1000 yards and would penetrate three feet of oak at that range, it's easy to see why these were great fighting machines. That 50-gun broadside also used 720 pounds of black powder so the amount of smoke was tremendous. Dolly liked the 32-pounder!

The order to "Clear for Action" would be impressive. The men
· hooked up the hinged bulkheads
· stowed the officer's furniture in the hold
· stowed the stern windows
· prepared stern chaser gun positions
· cleared the lower decks
· secured sails, rigged chain preventers on the yards and hung safety nets (to catch falling men or broken spars)
· poured water over the sails, boom, boats, and hammock rolls (to reduce the fire risk)
· setup the ship's fire engine on the poop
· filled fire buckets, laid hoses, and sprinkled wet sand over the decks (to prevent men slipping in blood later)
· swayed boats out for towing astern (they would be needed after the action)
· prepared the guns.

Preparing and firing the guns was a skillful and highly disciplined operation. Each 32-pounder required a crew of twelve men plus a powder monkey. The powder monkey provided the flannel bag of gunpowder (stored in the hanging magazine) needed for each shot. The bag was rammed down the muzzle, followed by a wad, the round shot, and another wad. Meanwhile, the gun captain pierced the powder bag, primed the vent and set the lock. A pull on the lanyard and the gun fired, recoiling about eleven feet. A reamer was used to withdraw any smoldering pieces of the powder bag, a wet sponge followed to clean and cool the barrel. Then the loading for the next shot began. A skilled crew could fire a shot roughly every 90 seconds. This was typically twice as fast as the Spanish or French gun crews. This effectively doubled the English firepower.

In the roughly eight-hour battle at Trafalgar
Victory used 17,100 pounds of gunpowder to fire 62,432 pounds of shot!

Saturday/Sunday June 23rd/24th - Astle Park 1000 Engine Rally

Saturday dawned warm and sunny; a gorgeous day for an engine rally. The route to Astle Park passes
Jodrell Bank Observatory. No time to stop this trip, but perhaps another day.

We drove in and spotted some familiar faces. It was time to unload the engines. Dave Croft sidles up to me and asks if I'm hungry. He's got
black pudding simmering in the hopper of his Danish Uller. It was delicious!!
Philip Thornton-Evison wasn't so sure, but Rogan was attentive hoping for another morsel to be dropped his way. Dave also felt very strongly that since I was rallying a Czech built engine I should enjoy a
real Budweiser Budvar beer.

water bowser that came around filling the cooling tanks and water hoppers was a beautifully restored Scammell truck. Now THAT'S classy!

Harry Terpstra, his dad, and John Hammink check out Sophia while Philip gives me
directions to the beer tent. (Len Gillings' National is barely visible in that pic. I don't know what happened to the other pics I took of it!) Dave Croft was a true gentleman, offering to make a run to the beer tent so we wouldn't have to keep walking back and forth. And it gave him a chance to put his "exhibit" to work!

Jim had his
R&V belted to the flour mill and Dolly had her water feature powered by Margaret Maytag. Unfortunately, Dolly and Margaret got "busted" by the Health and Safety Patrol.

Dolly displays the
signal flags she got at HMS Victory. Translation - I require a diver to inspect my bottom. 8->>

Considering that the 1000 Engine Rally is England's equivalent to Portland, we did a group photo of the
Stationary Engine List folks who were there.
Thanks to Dave Croft for the annotation.

Richard Walker was setup close to us with a very complete competition model "dishpan"
Fairbanks Morse Zed in amazing original condition including the all steel cylinder oiler and the battery box. The competition model was introduced in 1922 and was priced at $44.50 for a 1-1/2 hp model. The regular Zed of this size sold for $74. The engine also featured fixed jet carburetion with no adjustable needle valve. The mixture was regulated by adjusting the air shutter. Richard provided a bit of late afternoon entertainment by performing Clarke's Trumpet Voluntary (all three parts) on a petrol funnel. He also insisted that I try on his derby to see if it would suit me as a new rally hat.
(Tom approves - I think). Dare we say he looks
a proper English gentleman - NOT!

As is usually the case with rallies, meeting and greeting old friends is an essential part of the day.
Peter & Rita Forbes were by (as were camera-shy Roland & Celia Craven). Jim, John, and Philip are discussing important engine stuff. Len is telling Philip and I how much trouble he's gonna be in when he takes his new "Darwin Fish" home.

Others setup next to us included Nick Chancellor with his rare 5 hp petrol only
Petter Apple Top. Nick is the same bloke that had the hand-cranked gramophone & stacks of 78's that we enjoyed after the Anson Museum trip.

Dave Shortland was also setup just down the row. He had his early 3 hp Zed out again and it stopped on him. It seemed to be seized up. A quick
rally field teardown disclosed the problem. She REALLY didn't like being fed 90 wt. oil in the cylinder oiler. Dave cleaned and freed the rings and did a general de-coking, put her back together, filled the oiler with regular ol' 30 wt. oil and she ran sweetly for the rest of the rally.

Philip had his GORGEOUS
Petter Acorn Top powered genset out and running. complete with assorted gages and period light bulbs.

At this point I decided it was time to get out, walk around and see a bit of the 1000 Engine Rally.

I spotted two
Benz engines & a Lorenz which became the start of the "Official" Benz and Lorenz Registry. So much for having a "one of a kind" engine at this rally!! 8-))

I was prepared to see some American engines; namely IHC and FBM products. However, I was STUNNED to see single flywheel New Holland engines both
restored and in their working clothes. I've seen lots of New Hollands, but never with just a single flywheel. I spotted a lovely 1911 1-1/2 hp Stoddard "Ideal" (a pretty rare beast on either side of the pond) and a 4 hp Myric Eclipse that was a LONG way from the Pennsylvania oil fields.

There were a couple of really interesting engine-driven machines; a
nail maker
and my favorite, a kindling
wood splitter. The insurance folks would just shit watching that puppy in operation! 8-))) I also decided how I was gonna setup the Lister water pump I bought from Andy French. Jim is gonna LOVE that!! 8->>

Saturday night many folks make the trek to the
Anson Museum. The Anson Museum is located on the site of the old Anson Colliery at Poynton, near Stockport, Cheshire. The Museum is the result of founder Les Cawley's years of hard work collecting and restoring engines. Opened to the public in 1990 the museum is now open on advertised days throughout the year and by arrangement for group visits. The main building houses a large collection of engines all maintained in running order. Here's a look down one row of engines

Some Anson Museum Engines



1918 Gardner Paraffin Engine 48 hp

1918 Gardner Paraffin Engine 48 hp

1918 Gardner Paraffin Engine 48 hp

Stockport Gas Engine

Blackstone Oil Engine

Furnival & Co. Patent Express

National Gas

Natinal Gas

1886 Crossley Slide Valve 5 hp

1886 Crossley Slide Valve 5 hp

1895 Robey Gas Engine


1920 Bates and Scholes 34 hp

After giving the collection a good looking over, the call went out that they were going to start the big engines. The lads put their backs into it and are finally rewarded - take a look! Now that's some "busy bits"!!
Happiness isBig engines!!

When we got back from the trip to the Anson museum, Jim and I joined a group around Nick's wind-up gramophone to enjoy a batch of "classic" 78's. My favorite was "The Coon Hunt." Due to Nick's "one use" policy regarding the gramophone needles, this was NOT a place to go barefoot! While we enjoyed a few beers, I was introduced to another facet of English life… The Tilley anorak. It was fascinating to listen to these guys swap lies about one rare Tilley lamp or another. "You've got one of those? Well, I've got TWO of 'em. Both new in the original packing with the dated sales slips!" Damn, I wish I'd worn my Wellies. 8-)) I'm afraid I was rather quickly sidelined in this game as a classless Yank, as all I owned (at that point in my life) was a Coleman lantern. 8-))

The first Tilley paraffin (kerosene) lamps were introduced around 1919/1920. They continued to be made into the late 1960's when the firm diversified to mainly LP devices. The patented vapouriser allowed clean burning of paraffin with a bright white light. The lamps found a ready market among folks who weren't comfortable with the safety of pressurized petrol lamps. Over a fifty-year period Tilley produced over 120 different models of lamps ranging from
fancy table lamps to work site flood lights to railroad locomotive headlights. Add to that the minor production differences and you have enough variation to keep a Tilley anorak happy for ages. 8-)) The company also produced a line of stoves, irons, and radiators all using paraffin.

For the budding
Tilley anorak, may I recommend Jim Dick's excellent 104 page history "Tilley, The Versatile Vapour Lamp, A History of Tilley Lamps," (ISBN 0 646 39330 8)

Sunday morning we had an
awesome breakfast on the rally grounds.

After enjoying the assortment of Tilley lamps on display Saturday night after the visit to the Anson Museum, Philip surprised the hell out of me by giving me one of my own; a
Model X246 storm lantern. This particular lamp was introduced circa 1949 and was in production through 1961. This is perhaps the most common of the Tilley pressure lanterns. It will be interesting to see how I'm regarded NEXT year!! 8-)))

We headed off to the sales area to pick up a new mantle and a couple of gaskets.
Philip soon had it burning brightly. Of course, if you want to be TOTALLY classy, you NEED one of these to fill the pre-heater burner. Check here for more info on Tilley lamps . And this is THE place for spares. My Tilley lamp crossed the pond with Sophia and made her US debut during the International Beer Tasting at Portland where she can be seen shining brightly in the background.

For me the real pleasure of an event like the 1000 Engine Rally are the "
differences" when compared to a typical US engine show. The beer tent is an obvious plus. 8-)) But so are the sights that just strike me as very "British."

There are also hordes of really unique engines that you just won't see stateside. In particular, are the engines that can be grouped by having just a single flywheel. I'd love to hear from someone in the English old engine community who could explain to me why there are so many single flywheel engines. This is almost never seen in the US.



Pre-1900 Albert

Little Sampson
Cambell of Halifax, circa 1900


 Robinson HR

 Robinson HR


 Crossley Brothers





Hornsby Akroyd   

Hornsby Akroyd    

1931 Hartop AV

A pair of 1908 1 hp Thompsons -1 

A pair of 1908 1 hp Thompsons - 2 

 1898 Drake & Fletcher

R. Hornsby & Sons

But there are also an equal number of really different engines with a more conventional pair of flywheels.

Other Unusual Engines

Danish Uller 5HP

7 hp Victoria
valve holdout)


1923 Ogle

Twin-sideshaft Crossley
Fat Bastard's brother?)

Blackstone Portable

1903 8 hp Allan Brothers

A&S Barker



1896 Midget Otto Gas Engine


Keighley - The Morton



Thanks to Hugh Stannard for his help with engine IDs

As Sunday wore down, one of the officials came around with the rally badges. Sophia gets her first one. Shortly after we said our good-byes and started loading the trailer. We survived the Sunday night traffic on the motorway and arrived home tired but happy. After unloading the engines we sat down to enjoy Pasta Beef Italian. Yummy!!

AND on Monday Jim and Dolly get their new hot tub delivered!! Finally…

Stamford, Phil Laight's Engine Show
London, Boston, Duxford
Portsmouth, 1000 Engine Rally
Hot tub, guns, Kibworth, Ironbridge
Abbey Pumping Station

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Text by Arnie

Pictures by Arnie and Dolly

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