Well, I had a really good time. Those who didn't go missed an enthralling day out, the M6 traffic jam was well worth it and I don't begrudge a minute of the seven hours on the road to have the four-and-a-half hours there. My photos are in the usual place under "Anson Museum, Open Day Oct '03"
There were far more people there than I expected and Geoff was also taken aback - I'd say around 150 at two o'clock, but others came as early arrivers departed. It was actually hard to find somewhere to park the cars!
At one point I was bracketed by the two big four cylinder Gardners and sat watching the 4FHM as the knife edges opened and failed to open the inlet valves. With its spark plugs AND heated inlet chests to keep the paraffin vaporised it must surely be the most complicated and elegant solution to using paraffin as a viable fuel.
The other 4T5 Port Build Gardner was a hot tube two stroke requiring some
15-20 minutes of pre-heating before the 200psi air start would fire it up. Driving a Heenan & Froude water brake, it was as impressive as one might expect. Both were a real credit to their builders and the man who renovated them - and I'm sorry I failed to record his name.
Various big engines were tuffing away to themselves in both main halls and an unconcreated gallery had several engine and hot air models running on display.
Outside, a well patined (not to say mossy!) Blackstone hot tube gas engine with a fourteen inch bore resisted the attempts of four stalwart souls to make it run, but it gave in eventually and then - of course - ran without missing a beat until it was turned off.
There was a small engine display, such as one might find at any event or rally with (for instance) an ST P5 rigged up to a compressor pumping air through water in a milk bottle! Simple, but an effective way of showing what it was doing. There were perhaps ten engines being displayed, including two vintage lawnmowers.
I was unable to resist the chance to snap up two Iron Horse engines from different vendors, both of which were running earlier this evening. They are not the usual WD generators, but a strap start and a kickstart stationary engines. They have interesting carbs, quite sophisticated and I've no doubt frugal. What looks like (and doubles as) a float chamber drain is also a main jet needle and crucial in adjustment. I can tuck them under my arm, a real consideration as one gets older ;o))
I was pleased to be able to put a face to Arthur Griffin and Dave Croft and to see Martin Perman and Patrick Knight wandering around and taking photos. I saw others I'm sure I know but was unable to put a name to.
Geoff Challinor had his birthday on the Saturday (I was there on Sunday only) and I suspect that he could have had no better present than to see how many people of all ages appeared at his museum (and I use the term advisedly) more or less at the drop of a hat. He well deserves any success and praise that might come his way and how he has achieved what he has with two pairs of hands and a coterie of willing volunteers is a mystery to me.
My sincere thanks to everyone associated with the Anson that provided me with a great day out.