I took my Stuart Turner flat twin walkies to the Wessex Rally on Sunday. It
was a quiet day & although the weather threatened in the vital hour between
9.30 & 10.30 when Joe Public sticks his head out the door & squints at the
sky, it didn't rain all day.
I've got the measure of the little ST ft now & it fires up and runs just
fine, requiring three rotations of the starting handle from hot or cold to
move the mixture along the induction pipes & into the cylinders. The
tickover was a little fast and I had to fit an auxiliary spring to hold the
throttle somewhat more closed than Mr Stuart intended.
Experiments during the day showed that it hesitates if the carburetion is
adjusted anywhere except where it is, but I did find it was quite happy to
run with the EIC magneto fully retarded, sounding a little flat to the
practiced ear, but certainly steadier and slower than at fully advanced.
The only problem I have is that some coarse handed wan*er has forced the
needle that adjusts the oil flow and has split the seat out. Thus, it smokes
from the exhaust & the unrestricted oil flow tends to overwhelm the ability
of the union & sight glass to contain it, making an unsightly & oily mess
around the place. This is now the only job left to do aside from fabricating
an exhaust system, not a real problem as it isn't noisy even with the
exhaust exiting direct from the ports!
Being small - it might weigh thirty pounds, I suppose - it looks rather lost
on the floor, so I scrounged an old wooden box from Robin to put it on. And
there it sat for several hours, burning some petrol & a little oil, not even
bolted down but so smooth as to require no attention from one hour to the
The ST ft & my usual display of old electronic instruments attracted some
positive attention & comment from the few MoP that happened by & I
established some leads on more aging electronic stuff. I also bought a
couple of decrepit but interesting magnetos, some brass filler caps, other
odds & ends and a green cover version of "Stationary Engines For The
Enthusiast" signed by Messrs Edington & Hudson, the authors. My thanks to
Eric Brain (who can count to thirty!) for spotting it for me.
Although there were still around forty engines there on Sunday morning, I
was given to understand quite a few had gone home the previous evening. Why
the rally finished at 1.30 is a mystery to me, but I thought I should turn
the petrol off when they took the rope away ;o))
Examination of the rough old lidless box I'd scrounged, revealed it to be a
pleasant rosewood chest perhaps 100 years old. I've fixed it's problems,
cleaned & varnished it & then made a decent wooden base for the ST. It now
sits neatly upon the box, a fitting support for the brass, polished ali &
copper piping above it.
Phil Irving who designed the Vincent & Velocette power plants said that "An
engine should be pretty enough for one to sit on a box and just look at it".
I find this Stuart Turner to be one of those engines.
15 years ago