Friday June 22nd - Portsmouth &
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
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
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
· 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
· 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.
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"
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
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
(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
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"
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.
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
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
is… Big 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
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
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
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.
But there are also an equal number
of really different engines with a more conventional pair of flywheels.
Thanks to Hugh Stannard for his help with
As Sunday wore down, one of the officials
came around with the rally badges.
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