Brilliant 16th Stotfold Mill Steam Weekend
Posted by Chris Graham on 1st February 2023
John Webber reports from the 16th Stotfold Mill Steam Weekend, which attracted a good number of stationary engines to a historic venue.
The 16th Stotfold Mill Steam Weekend was held in the village of Stotford, in Bedfordshire, on October 8th-9th last autumn. There has been a water mill on the site since 1516; it being one of four local mills mentioned in the Doomesday Book of 1086.
There were 15 engines booked in with a few larger engines to be found dotted around the show field. Stuart Lindsey brought along two engines from his large collection; one of which was a Pilter/Stover model YA built in 1913 that was driving a Richmond & Chandler corn mill. This engine had, for some time, been used by Mr Castles in his Blacksmith’s Forge in the village of Baldock, in Hertfordshire, where it drove engineering equipment and a generator. The other engine that Stuart had on display was a 1¾hp American-built Stickney, dating from 1912.
Elsewhere on the showground, a very unusual exhibit was a large box-mangle made by J Beard & Co of Notting Hill, London, in the early 19th century. The box was filled with a few bricks and stones for added weight on the three rollers. The outfit would originally have been powered by hand but, in this instance, it was by a 2hp open-crank engine. The plate of the engine states ‘MacLeod Ltd, Winnipeg, Canada’, but it’s actually a Nelson Brothers engine of circa 1922/23. In operation the engine pulls the box back and forth via a chain and gear, rolling the washed garments, sheets etc, thus squeezing out the water. These box-mangles were used in laundry rooms of prisons, hospitals, work-houses and some large country houses.
A French-built Bernard air-cooled type W318A engine was exhibited by Sophie Felstead. It’s fitted with a large air-filter which encases the carburettor to keep out dust etc. Mick Bull was showing an engine of unknown make; if you can give it a name Mick would be delighted!
Dominic Crawley was showing a lovely, very original, engine built by the Domestic Engine Company of Shippensburg, USA, circa 1918/20. Domestic engines were imported into the UK by Millars Timber Trading Company Ltd of Pinners Hall, in London EC2.
There were two Bamford engines on show, in a different compound; one was a 2½hp Tulip Top model driving a winnower, and the other was a 5hp model, driving a Bamford Rolling & Grist Mill.
All-in-all, this was a truly wonderful weekend with most of the engines doing a good job of work.
This report comes from the latest issue of Stationary Engine, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE
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