|Museum News 2002|
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On the 8th of January the museum took delivery of 3 marine engines, which have been kindly loaned to us by the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. They are:-
1927 Sissons vertical, triple expansion. Cylinder sizes 6ins, 8ins. and 11ins bore x 8ins stroke. This engine was installed in the 105ft long Thames River Steamer ‘Mapledurham’.
1906 vertical, compound, by John Samuel White & Co. Originally installed in a 56ft steam pinnace (high-speed launch), which serviced the HMS 'Agamemnon’.
Another vertical, triple expansion engine, built in 1941, by Charles D Holmes & Co. of Hull.
In addition to these we have also acquired, from the same source, a rare side-lever engine, which was the port engine in the paddle tug 'Reliant',(formerly called 'Old Trafford'), built in 1907. Worked on the Manchester Ship Canal before being sold for service on the river Tyne. The starboard engine has been fully restored and is on display in the National Maritime Museum.
|Unloading the base, crankshaft and column assembly, of the Charles Holmes triple expansion engine.|
The 'Reliant' engine:- cylinder casting, with side beams attached, already unloaded inside the museum.
Proud owner, Tom Nuttall, keeping guard.
Note! to the right are the cylinders for the Charles Holmes triple expansion engine.
As you would imagine the museum is now a hive of activity. Excavation has started on the concrete foundations to support the Charles Holmes triple expansion engine, which is estimated to be in excess of 20 tons.
The Sissons triple expansion engine has now been completely dismantled with all its parts ready to be cleaned and inspected. The only major problem to come to light so far was the discovery that the piston in the intermediate cylinder was badly damaged and was not the original.
"This old piston has been left in as a pattern. The piston from this engine went to USA in the Oxford's engine."
Work has also started on dismantling the larger Samuel White vertical compound engine.
The crankshaft side main bearing, on Agnes, has been getting warm on a couple of Wednesday steaming days. It was decided to remove the top brass for inspection. It showed distinct discolouring at one end of the shaft journal. Further inspection was required, but this was not straight forward. A cradle had to be fabricated, from RSJ's, to allow two 20 ton hydraulic jacks to lift the weight of the crankshaft and the flywheel off the bottom brass. The brasses were then bedded into the shaft by scaping, after which it was all re-assembled.
17th Feb. Major Disappointment!!
On further inspection and removal of the cylinder end covers it was found that the steam pistons and valves were missing on the Charles Holmes vertical triple expansion engine. Apparently this crucial information was not disclosed when negotiations were taking place with the National Maritime Museum about the loan of the engine. There seems to be no trace of these vital parts.
24 April 2002
Assembly of the Sissons triple expansion engine is well underway. The damaged piston has been repaired and refitted.
On 17th April the museum took delivery of yet another vertical, compound marine engine, built in 1937 by Yarwood of Northwich, Cheshire. This time on loan from the Seiont II Maritime Trust, Caernarfon Maritime Museum, North Wales. It was fitted to the dredger 'Seiont II' , which worked in the Menai Straits.
1st May 2002 - 'Reliant' Paddle Tug - side lever engine Work has started on sorting out the various parts that make up the paddle wheel, quite a few bits are missing and will have to be made "in-house".
Work has started on sorting out the various parts that make up the paddle wheel, quite a few bits are missing and will have to be made "in-house".
|The hub of the paddle wheel (attached to the severed crankshaft) and in the foreground is the engaging and disengaging mechanism.|
When dismantling the condensate/air pump a sealed plastic bag was found inside the cylinder. It contained a newspaper of South East London and Kentish Mercury dated Thursday May 21st 1970. Written at the top of the paper was the inscription
Built in 1907 - Rebuilt here June 1970 By William Cory Ltd of Charlton and the above craftsmen"
Also in the plastic bag was the following:-
|Contents of the 'Time Capsule'.|
It's possible that these crafstmen are still around, so if there is anyone that knows of them or their whereabouts it would be interesting to hear from you.
26th June 2002
The 1927 Sissons, vertical, triple expansion engine, which came to the Museum in January, has now been completely rebuilt. A temporary steam supply was fitted to enable it to have a trial run, which went off without any major problems.