It was a magneto day for me at Newbury, I thought I'd died & gone to Rusty
Iron heaven when I found a couple of BTH magnetos with the vernier end
fittings like those on the ABC vee 4 for a measly £20 each. Not so joyful
when I got them home. They are indeed like (absolutely bleedin' identical!)
the female part of the coupling on the engine, unfortunately *not* the male
part that fits into them!
Another find was the correct type of BTH magneto for the ST flat twin.
Unfortunately, it has the wrong base height - too thick.
I've been looking for a Hills magneto for the Crossley 1075 for years &
found one on Saturday. With a purportedly rewound armature, it has a nice
spark. PT-E was surprised because most of them don't work! £40.00 after a
haggle. Offering it up to the Crossley indicates that it is correct -
A complete Villiers flywheel magneto and another baseplate with coil, £8.00
for the two. This is destined for my sparkless 98cc Marvil & I've not
compared them yet.
Several Ammeters & Voltmeters for under a £1.00 each. One of those hand
operated vacuum pumps one sees from time to time for £30.00, about half what
they usually fetch. Needs a pulley & a slow engine to run it.
I'd been primed that the owner of another ST flat twin - this one on the
correct ali base plate with steel tubular frame but sans dynamo - was taking
it along to sell. Asking price £900, but one of our number found it had
regressed to £650 by early afternoon and £500 by close of play. I think he
took it home with him. I saw the WW1 Levis flat twin was still in its
owner's hands at £400, a price which - I'm sorry to say - does not sound *quite* so utterly ridiculous as it did three years ago when I first saw it
at the Sortout. There was a nicely original Scott PAB complete with oil tank
& exhaust and lower frame rails. Rather a lot at £350, but that's the way
it's going now, I'm afraid. The Taker of the Biscuit award must go to the
purveyor of a Norman Mk 1 T300, badly painted in red and green. The brief
conversation went like this.
"How much is the Norman?"
"Four hundred quid, mate, very rare."
Usually silent, I was so taken aback that I exploded "FOUR hundred?" before
walking away shaking me 'ead.
Thankfully, nothing of any size or great value called to me & as I had
brought a backpack with me, I was able, snail like, to carry my toys back to
the car without benefit of barrow.
One thing, I thought it was very poorly laid out this year - very
Come on you lot, the wife isn't watching - what caught your fancy?
Well not much actually. Price of Scott PA and S-T flat twin made them pretty
easy to resist and my usual trick of 'once more round the field and hope
someone else buys it' saved me from a £25 Douglas flat twin and a £180 S-T
P3 (still not sure if I made the right decision on the S-T!). But, had I
actually been looking to buy an engine, I would have gone for a very pretty
air cooled Japy priced at £200 - still there at close of play, I think
whoever said (referring to ebay I think) that most punters seem afraid of
slightly out of the ordinary engines was dead right.
I couldn't walk away from a Wico A twin at £10 even though I don't actually
need one and a nice Amal air cleaner (with free carb attached) for the Scott
SE also fell into my bag. A last minute purchase for another tenner was a
three cylinder compressor which I'd walked past several times. Why? For the
fun of taking it home and removing the top to watching the pistons chase
each other up and down on a 120 degree crankshaft - now how sad is that!
Mind you, once that little piece of silliness was over, I investigated the
thing further and it is superbly well built - even has 'spit and hope' oil
feed to the big ends - wonder when and by whom it was made and what the
original application might have been. I put a couple of pics up on webshots
(end of other stuff album) if any one has any ideas.
I didn't go this time around, collected to much of late and been busy trying
to get things done what with averaging two nights a week in hotels I have
very little time to myself at moment.
I did spend yesterday morning waiting by the Bedford to Wellingborough rail
tracks, got a couple of pictures of Jubilee class "Leander" a 4-6-0 loco on
her way from Tyseley to St Albans and back.
Spent most of today resting my foot with a touch of gout which kicked in
Pictures in usual place.
Kim Siddorn wrote:
Didn't see much to tempt me straight away, but then found a main
bearing housing for a 3hp Petter M, which had the all important end
cover intact. Furthermore this was one of the earlier cast iron ones,
which are far more robust than the later white metal variety-one of
these on the Petter-Light set has been severely squashed in the past.
Hence my delight in finding a replacement. That, and a nice new head
gasket from MacMcGowan completed my purchases and I went home a happy
If I had deeper pockets and an emptier shed I would have bought one of
the New Zealand made Anderson engines, very nicely made pieces of kit.
Oh, and there was a fairly good 5hp Appletop for sale but the big end
was poorly, and one of the flywheels had started to come a bit loose on
the crankshaft. The owner said that he'd had a pair of bronze big end
shells made 20 years ago, and had rallied the engine regularly. I have
a nasty feeling the the big end journal would have been well torn up by
Oh, THAT one! I did see it & stared at it for a while as it is not
dissimilar to the L'Aster.
Diplomacy done, plates spun, fires fought,
maidens eaten - well, three out of four ain't bad
"Kim Siddorn" wrote
Yes, both look so French you can almost smell the garlic! I guess it's the
strong De Dion influence in that part of the world, and not only on the
aesthetics - operating speeds of 1000 rpm and over were common while our
stationary engines were still largely plodding along at 500 or so.
"Prepair Ltd" wrote
Quite so, and I'm sure both approaches have their merits. Another curiously
continental feature is fan cooled multi-tubular radiators, as used on many
Bernard/Conord engines and incidentally on some Latil trucks. Vive la
difference! It all adds to the fun of studying and collecting engines.
Norman T300 flat twin engines
I have a marine variant of the better known T300 stationary engine. As such,
it is not governed, but has a throttled and choked carburettor. It shows
traces of Admiralty grey paint, so is probably one of the few supplied to My
Lords for light duties.
In 1930, the Marconi Company asked the Norman company for a lightweight,
air-cooled petrol engine capable of driving a one-kilowatt generator. The
three prototypes were of 250cc, but by then the requirement had risen to
1.25 kilowatt, so the capacity was raised to 300cc. Production commenced in
1932 and continued in one guise or another until the factory closed down in
1968, the Mk2 being introduced at the end of the war. Certain features were
modified in an attempt to keep the price down. The oil filler is different,
the Mk 1 has a detachable starting handle and the bottom of crankcase is
finned, but the most noticeable difference is that the top of the main
casting behind the mag is rounded whereas the Mk2 has a flat top with tapped
holes for attaching a fuel tank. The flywheel doubles as a very efficient
fan and is cast in aluminium. Mk1 flywheels bolted to a steel hub but Mk2
are fitted direct onto the mainshaft. Whilst the bigger T600 has fan
cowlings, the T300 never needed them & the engine rarely reaches anything
approaching a working temperature.
The exhaust pipes curving around the engine leading to a common silencer are
the the alternative to the canister type silencers that fitted directly onto
the exhaust ports. The latter were optional from about 1948/9. Some engines
were also available with a paraffin conversion.
As a stationary engine, the Mk 2 was largely used on battery chargers and
lighting sets and, from 1938, large numbers were bought by the War
Department. The Admiralty bought them for use in charging sets on MTBs and a
marine version was also made, basically the same but without the governor.
Some were supplied to Imperial Airways for use on flying boats as Auxiliary
Power Units (APU's) and typical tasks would have been charging batteries,
bilge pumping and fuel lifting. They were also supplied to various firms for
driving compressors and Auto Diesels purchased large numbers of T300's to
power lighting sets.
The serial number on these engines is found on the left side of the
crankcase and is repeated on the brass plate on the top of the governor.
That said, many of the WW2 engines do not have a serial number and in any
case, the numbers frequently do not agree as parts are readily swapped from
one Mark to another and most parts are interchangeable. About 5,000 MK 1's
were made and around 7,500 Mk 2's. Confusingly, Mk1's have serial number
commencing with TE whereas MK2's begin TA. For Mk2's, the post war numbers
ran:- 1945 TA1001, 1950 TA4673, 1960 TA8034, 1968 TA8590.
From a practical point of view, the engines are very light to carry about,
easily started and are smooth in operation, but Mk1's are said to be
noticeably smoother than the later engines.
If you want to know more about these interesting little engines, Stationary
Engine magazine published a comprehensive article by Phillip Gallimore in
numbers 95, 96, 98 & 100.
J. Kim Siddorn,