Was looking at JohnR's pix from Beechgrove. Interested me sufficiently
to want to vist, but ...
Where is Beechgrove? Couldn't track down anything on Google. Is it open
to the public? Do the Blackstone & the Handyman live there? I have one
of each, & always like to see others, especially as complete & original
Seems to me that we could benefit from any knowledge of local
collections open to the public. I think SEM started to this a few years
back, but not sure if they posted the info they gathered.
I know there are several old buildings which are open as mills, punping
stations etc which just happen to have a large Blackstone in there ...
but I've never seen them listed in the SE press.
Similarly, it was only through this NG that heard of, & was able to
photograph, the Blackstone Cold Start in Leicester Museum's reserve
Some individuals used to have Open Days, & I'm sure some still do. I
used the know of the Ed Bolton/John Jeffries days, but there must be
others -- but usually with little publicity. A month's notice would
help us negotiate with SWMBO ....
Some individuals have private hoards! The most awe-inspiring I knew was
a 3-storey water mill in Berkshire which had literally hundreds of
British open cranks on all 3 floors, the outbuildings, & the grounds --
collected by a charming, 'tho slighly eccentric (surely not), couple of
Also had veteran De Dion Bouton & all manner of stuff. They had an
interesting style. They'd come up to you if you were exhibiting
something they had, & say "I've got some of those. Do you want to come
& look". I was amazed first time I went, but when they died their
remaining sister said "enough is enough", & it all went to auction --
before it went 'thru the floors of the mill .....
A local here in West Wales had a superb private collection just behind
Cardigan High St. Contained many very rare engines, including 3
horizontal Walsh & Clark Victoria portables. Was a splendid collection,
which also included a mass of country artefacts. On his death, it was
bequeathed to the National Trust who promptly dumped in all in a field
for several years. It's now under cover, & inaccessible. They tell me
it will be "partly open to the public" is several years, when they have
Even some of the Trusts, like Anson & Internal Fire, are still often
known only to the hard-core like us .....
Reminds me, engine-starved folk in the sticks would love to see folk &
engines coming to the Internal Fire end-of-season crank-up on Oct 9. IF
has a great collection of large, running, lumps including some I'll
wager will be new to you. Even with those riches, it's always nice for
locals to see some additional toys to dribble over ....
16 years ago