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Contents 30 No 293 | July 2014 NEWS 6-27 News & Events 87-89Old Glory in Miniature News
Sentinel steam tractors Although Sentinel built just 121 steam tractors, compared with 6570 waggons, we are fortunate that several fine examples survive in preservation.
Sentinel portable engines A look at the history and the survivors of these rare beasts, with just one example in the UK.
Sentinel fireless locomotives Recalling the time that Sentinel got involved in an industrial steam locomotive saga involving a high pressure fireless design.
Alignment: the technical bit Neil Gough is making steady progress on his McLaren road loco – and found that J&H McLaren didn’t always get everything right!
Gallery: the quarrymen The restored excavators and diggers working at the recent Threlkeld Quarry and Mining Museum open weekend. Eight wheels on my waggon: Pt 2 Richard Straughan concludes the story of constructing his Sentinel DG8 waggon, which made its debut last month. Preparing for Armistice 1919-built Bagnall 0-4-0 Armistice has just returned to traffic at Bredgar, appropriately for the start of centenary commemorations of the First World War.
4 | JULY 2014 OLD GLORY
News updates at oldglory.co.uk www.facebook.com/ OldGloryMag 82
Veteran Mac’s on a roll An 111-year-old Leeds-built McLaren road roller No 725 of 1903 that’s been in New Zealand all of its life.
Too Savage by half Brian Porritt constructed an Edward George design Savage Little Samson engine in half scale.
REGULARS 42 Road Roller Notes 44 Enginelines 46 Helpline 52 Vintageworld 74 Reviews 76 Steam Archive 80 Museum Guide 94 Events Diary 114 ‘Tail lamp Tom’
READER SERVICES 36
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See page 36
Front Cover: Main photo: Sentinel two-speed Super tractor No 6426 of 1924 ex-Australia on its UK restored debut at Belvoir Castle rally in 2010. BARRIE C WOODS This issue was published on Thursday June 19, 2014. The August 2014 issue of Old Glory (No 294) will be on sale from Thursday, July 17.
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Meet the team Derek Rayner
Colin Tyson Editor
Malcolm Ranieri Photographer
James Hamilton Photographer
OLD GLORY JULY 2014 | 5
Sentinel’s first 40-60hp portable, No 5795, was ‘within the capabilities of a single draught horse’.
With the engineering ﬁrm of Alley & MacLellan already well established by the late 1800s and having produced its ﬁrst steam waggon in 1905, it is rather surprising that it didn’t manufacture a portable engine until 1924. Anthony omas, Sentinel archivist, and Alan Barnes look at their history and today’s rare survivors
arshall, Ruston and Ransomes, for example, had been producing portable engines with a variety of applications since the 1870s. However, for Stephen Alley and his partner
The first 20-30hp portable, No 5797.
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John Alexander MacLellan, the formative years of their partnership lay in the successful development of industrial valves and marine machinery using the trade name ‘Sentinel’. In 1915 Stephen Alley persuaded his fellow directors to separate the steam waggon
building activities into a new factory which they had built in Shrewsbury. Then in 1917 he sold all his shares in Alley & MacLellan and subsequently bought the whole waggon factory in January 1918. This enabled him to develop his ideas for the famous new range of
20-30hp portable works photo.
A rare photo of a Sentinel portable at work, 20-30hp No 6453 in Kenya in 1926.
20-30hp portable No 7347.
Sentinel portable drawing for patent 256678.
40-60hp portable No 7480 of 1928.
steam waggons he called the Super-Sentinel which was introduced in 1923 and from which the company derived the design for the first of its portable engines. The design for the new engines would seem to have been the result of collaboration between Stephen Alley and Kyrle Willans, as the patent numbers 213,682 lodged in 1923 and 235,632 in 1924 were registered in their joint names. Willans had been employed by the firm in 1923 to work on the development of a Sentinel shunting locomotive using the Super-Sentinel engine and boiler. This was soon followed by a railcar and tractors using the same components. As one might expect from a company wellknown for its engineering innovations, the new portable engine was unlike anything which had been produced by any other manufacturer. The basic concept was to utilise the Sentinel boiler and engine with as little adaptation as possible – indeed the first model used the double cylinder engine with its 6¾in bore and 9in stroke practically unaltered, although changes were made to the crankshaft
as it required no differential. The first of the engines was initially referred to as the ‘50hp’ but later became known as the 40-60hp engine.
In Volume One of The Sentinel, Joseph Thomas and Bill Hughes described the construction details of the first portable engine: “The shaft was forged with rectangular webs and had balance weights bolted on to those adjacent to the journals. Two crowned flywheels were fitted, one at either end, to tapers on the shaft. Keyed and secured with castle nuts, the inside boss of the narrower flywheel was machined to provide a pullet to drive the Pickering governor, which was mounted to the right of the cylinder heads. Both flywheels were 36in in diameter, one being of 10in face and the other 6in.” The side frames were constructed from steel channel section with riveted end members and the joints strengthened with gusset plates. In typical Sentinel style, the ends of the crankcase were machined part-spherical, although on the portable engines they were carried on bored
out cast steel brackets rather than the pressed steel brackets used on the steam waggons. A third point of support was provided by a metal plate against the cylinder glands which allowed for both engine expansion and the flexing of the frame. As far as the boiler was concerned this can best be described as a larger version of the one used in the later ‘Standard’ Sentinel waggons and featured a square section firebox with the sets of tubes set at right angles. However, because the portable engine was not fitted with the waggon’s stoking shoot there was room for additional tubes to be fitted, bringing the number of tubes in these engines up to 80. Another coil was also added to the superheater. The prototype portable engine was fitted with a flat-topped waggon-type boiler, but the production models featured a boiler with a raised conical section to increase capacity. The chimney, as one would expect on a portable engine, was hinged at the base to allow it to be lowered onto an inverted V-shaped support which straddled the cylinders to facilitate travelling and storage. OLD GLORY JULY 2014 | 39
A classic – the Ruston Bucyrus 22-RB with its streamline cab.
Maurice Rogers completed a nut and bolt upwards restoration on this 10-RB, all carried out in the open.
THE Vintage Excavator Trust fired up its charges on May 17-18 at its Threlkeld Quarry & Mining Museum base near Keswick, Cumbria. Threlkeld microgranite quarry was opened in the 1860s and was taken over by H Harkewitz in the 1870s to supply railway ballast to the Penrith-Keswick line. In the early days output was 100 tons per year; however, by 1894 this had risen to 80,000 tons. To keep up with demand more quarry faces were opened up, first to Spion Kop and then to Bram Quarry, before ending up at St John’s, further into the Vale. They were all connected by narrow gauge steam railway using originally two Bagnall 0-4-0STs. The quarry closed in 1937 before reopening with ‘modern equipment’ in 1949 before finally closing in 1982. It was in 1992 that Lakeland Mine and Quarries Trust was formed and negotiated a lease with the intention of developing the site into a working museum with vintage machinery. Today, this includes an excellent visitor centre, underground mining tours, the 2ft Threlkeld Quarry Railway and the unique (working in some cases) Ruston Bucyrus and other excavators. The site is open seven days a week until October with the railway running daily. Next demonstration weekend is September 21-22. For further details tel. 01768 779747. Photography: Peter Love
Derek Foster has at least half a dozen machines here and the 22-RB is in excellent condition. Above: Making its debut is George Chambersâ€™just completed early 1950s Smith Super 10 with back actor that worked in Scotland all its life. It features a rare Gardner 3LW engine. Left: The narrow gauge railway is worth a trip, taking you to the quarry face and return.
This Ruston Bucyrus 61-RB features two separate governors, one on the Cummins engine and one connected with the torque converter, so the engine is constantly changing its revs up and down.
Now part of the Excavator Trust Collection is this Jones 26 dragline with Gardner 5LW power.
Tail lampTom Telling iT like iT is
Time for a National Traction Engine Museum? IT’S A miserable, wet, typical May day as I write this – one of those days where you don’t know what to do with the day, living where there is very little in the way of covered all-weather type ‘diversions’. So far this year, I have not yet attended a single steam event, mainly due to poor weather conditions, and I’m suffering from steam withdrawal symptoms. Railway enthusiasts are a little more fortunate. There are various local indoor museums in some regions of the country and of course the National Railway Museum at York and STEAM at Swindon where one can occupy oneself for a whole day wandering around in the dry looking at the exhibits. But road steam enthusiasts don’t really have anything similar. Why not? Stripping aside the likes of your Thursfords and Bressinghams, why can we not have a National Traction Engine Museum – a place to display our glorious past. Traction engines were just as important as railway locomotives in our great industrial history. Such a museum would be unique and could be a national tourist attraction – even somewhere where enginemen can keep their charges under cover until needed for taking to an event, much like Graham Atkinson does with his Flower of May Collection of vintage engines and organs at Scarborough. A ‘national collection’ could be assembled which would consist of a diverse range of both full size and miniature engines showing how our hobby developed. Perhaps individual engine owners could be encouraged to show their engines on a ‘turn-key’ basis where a specific amount of restoration or maintenance work would be carried out in the museum’s workshops for a subsidised nominal charge to the owner. Hopefully, this would allow engines, which are not currently in steam to be restored into working order for us all to enjoy again. The workshops would have an indoor public viewing gallery where visitors could see work being carried out such as at NRM York and at Crich. I took advantage of a similar facility when I visited the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida – where I was able to see modules being built
Dunrolling: engine exhibits under cover at Thursford, Norfolk. BARRIE C WOODS
for the International Space Station. You were able to take photographs from the viewing area and there were explanatory boards listing details of the work being undertaken. The museum could also house a ‘national collection’ of paperwork, ephemera and drawings, allowing restorers and researchers to access the records in person or electronically. Cinemas could show films of traction engines in their heyday, with galleries of photographs, restaurants and shops, an organ recital concert hall and an outdoor arena for regular events and rallies. The desirable list is pretty much endless. Something near to a big collection that’s all indoors and open to visitors is being proposed by John Saunders and his family. He’s jumped every planning hurdle so far but it’s now at the ‘running it past Eric Pickles’ stage. Fingers crossed John!
The views expressed by ‘Tail lamp Tom’ are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher.
▲ Hull’s hiddengem: StreetlifeMuseumofTransport
▲ Simon Vickery’s just-restored Ruston roller No 114059
l Stroud VTEC 40 years l Herts Steam Club 50 years l Dordt in Stoom l August issue on sale from July 17, 2014. 114 | JULY 2014 OLD GLORY