Bolnhurst Rally is on this weekend, not a bad little do, light on stalls for
us but plenty to see for you and the Boss. I shall be there with my engine
but a word of warning, look out for a lady driving a Mobility Scooter, it
will be my wife and her first attempt at getting around on, it wont be going
fast as she thinks reverse is to quick :-))
It is, as mentioned before, the Lister-Tyndale rally this weekend. The local
news tells me it is also the Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford, blessedly some
thirty odd miles away!
Allow extra time north of the M4 as Gloucestershire roads are going to be
Wow! Have you had it running yet?
I went after one of those on eBay a year or so ago but even incomplete and
butchered it went for an amazing amount of money.
They seem to be rarer than rocking horse poo, how did you find it?
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I have so far confined myself to cleaning and a few rudimentary checks.
Though I know my way pretty well around IC engines and 'toy' stirlings, this
is a different kettle of fish and my first priority must be to 'do no harm'.
It's true that there aren't many about, no one seems sure how many were made
and a large proportion ended up in technical college thermo labs being
hacked about by successive generations of students. OTOH, they are out there
and now appeal to a pretty limited collectors market (hardly everybody's
idea of a desirable engine), so prices like the one advertised in SEM a few
months ago are pretty speculative and of course ebay is a law unto itself
when it comes to the more unusual items.
I had a tip-off quite some years ago from a college lab tech (friend and
fellow engine enthusiast) about one which had been written off the inventory
during a 'clear out' and squirreled away by another (non-enthusiast)
technician. It didn't appeal to my friend so I made it clear that I would
like first refusal should tech II decide to part with it. Then I waited, and
waited - perhaps dropping just the odd hint now and then - in fact I had to
wait until tech II retired and cleared out his hoard. I didn't have to sell
the cat (or Helen) for medical experiments to pay for it, but I definably
owe him one big time!
On Friday evening (the Lister-Tynedale is 30 miles for me) I was looking for
my pass when I found the uncompleted form.
So, Saturday morning at the crack of sparrow fart, I'm on the little Honda &
away to North Nibbles to be a spectator. I parked up and wandered about, met
Eric Brain who says "Hi" and a few others of note. I was told PT-E was about
and Nick Highfield was expected, but saw none of them.
It was a hot, airless day & frankly I was just as happy to be able to get on
my 500cc single & crack on purposefully on A roads home in the heat of the
day. The alternative of joining the slowly roasting exhibitors about their
Lawful Occasions in the H&S cow pens lacked any real attraction, I'm afraid.
There were some interesting cycle motors (push bikes with engines), one or
two interesting motorcycles and lots and lots of tractors. Some steam stuff
too, I believe, although not my thing these days.
The one person I spent some quality time with was Len (erm?) Riddings with a
very nicely restored Stuart Turner Model H, a two stroke Diesel single that
ran cleanly and well, although I understand it is hard to start. I'm
surprised to note I took some fifty pictures & the best of these I'll post
later this evening.
I found a Bosch 180o magneto with a very well designed flick fitting from (I
believe) a Dutch chap. Only thirty quid & probably destined for my C-V
Neptune. Its total lack of spark was readily cured by - as usual - cleaning
An interesting ex WD telescope-cum-microscope I found for £3.00 completed my
rummaging. Hazel likes me going to events on the bike!
Nice Philips Stirling device, Nick. I reckon you deserve it for patience and
Chieftain tank engines sounded great, but I don't think I'd like to hold the
throttle wide open at maximum revs & no load as they both did. I thought it
was odd that having rebuilt them from scratch they were not tidier -
viz-a-viz our recent discussions.
The Petter S bounced once off compression & ran beautifully. Only second
Ex Brian Sharp ST Model H - Len *Gillings*, BTW - is a little gem.
So it ought to be Kim, as I haven't got round to finishing mine off
yet, I have kindly allowed Len to 'borrow' some of the whirly oily bits
wot make it go :-))
The S-T diesel is a rarity, only about 200 ever produced. they are
definitely made up to a standard not down to a price, perhaps that's
why the were so expensive!