I spent more time on this Gas Engine than on the Beam Engine but even though I thought I had cracked the job the pictures do leave much to be desired. I used this engine as a rehearsal and should have gone back and taken it’s pictures again. There is always next year but there will come a time when I’m not granted a next year. Life is not a rehearsal.
I met a lass here who had a 7D camera. She wasn’t a star of film, digital or in my eyes worth taking a snap of but was just starting out. She was on a course somewhere local. She said it’s impossible here. The light is awful. I gave her the benefit of my ignorance but she hadn’t got time to position and stand guard over a second strobe for me so I was buggered if I was going to reciprocate by lending, sorry renting my Pocket Wizards and strobes. Canon 7D folk are funny, they are birders. Not flashers. Sorry Keith you are one of the few who are half okay.
This is all that I could salvage. I did get the chance to take pictures of the cylinder end and the valve gear but deleted them in camera and forgot to re-take them. I really must get a note book and use it, there is just so much to think about. I get distracted by the subject. The Lord knows what I would be like taking pictures of Uma Thurman! I’d be lucky to get her in the frame at all.
This engine is a twin cylinder Gas Engine built by Richard Hornsby in 1914. It is really two single cylinder units with separate cranks driving a common central flywheel. It is the largest Gas Engine in Europe and the only one of it’s type still running in the world. As far as I know.
…. It runs on natural gas today but previously it ran on coal gas or water gas or a mixture of the two. There is still a gas producer here but they don’t use it. Gas producers were fine as long as the engine was running continuously but on shut down any excess air creeping into the system could cause an explosion. They had two uncontained explosions here, the last being in 1955 when the gas producer was retired and the engine switched to Town or Coal Gas.
This engine was originally started by a TVO or more likely a petrol Donkey Engine. ( I failed to get snaps of it…sorry). Today it is started on compressed air which turns half the engine. Once the other half fires on gas then the compressed air is switched off and the gas supply turned on and the jobs a Good Un! I used to be in charge of a converted trawler with a superb six cylinder Gardner Engine. I used to have to decompress four cylinders…not any four but the correct four and feed air into I believe numbers two and five. Once oil pressure was up I’d wind the handle to shut the valves, turn the tap for diesel to the injector pumps on and away she would go. Good as gold she was. She did have a hand oil pump to give pressure feed to the bearings, I used that as well just to be on the safe side. Those were the days. They even had bits made of copper, brass and gunmetal that one could polish to show ones appreciation. When I finished work it was big Mann or Caterpillar diesels with wet exhausts, gen sets and air con units. Service engineers with aluminium cased computers. The job lost it’s appeal. The engines were better and gave a sexy burble when docking. It’s wasn’t the same though.The shiny black thing is the drive belt for the pumps. It’s made of half inch strips of leather. It is a work of art on it’s own. It is worth remembering that without these belts Harley Davidson Bikes would not have the posh Kevlar ‘V’ groove belt but still be on chain drive and be horrid. They still are awful but do allow room for my old age spread. A Fireblade makes no such concessions but is the pinnacle of bike design at sensible money. The Fireblade is twice as fast and much more agile. Anyone got one I could borrow?
The pump end of the job. I didn’t realise How few images I had of this piece of pumping equipment. It’s what I calls a Cock Up! This is me being trying. Very trying I was trying to act professional. Don’t worry you proffies. I’m along way from your standards.
I’ll have to stop using excuses as I’m off to see and snap some really posh cars tomorrow. I must not Foul Up, Cuckoo or Display Muppetry with them….. It may be okay, he has seen my blog and I have supped a gallon or two of the falling down water in his company. I meant I have spent an hour or two Networking. I wasn’t out on the piss but I want a drive of a couple of his cars. He will still have to pay for the snaps.
Tomorrow I’ll tidy up Tees Cottage with a few Traction Engines and bits and bobs from around the site.