Blackstone stationary engine turning again

Posted by Chris Graham on 9th December 2020

Bob Moorman reports on the great restoration progress being made on an interesting, 1936, diesel-powered Blackstone stationary engine.

Blackstone stationary engine

This rare Blackstone stationary engine was ‘run in’ using Roger Luck’s RSJ portable No 34240. (Pic: Bob Moorman)

Down at the Pierce family farm at Hadlow, in Kent, Roger Luck has been putting his 1923 Ransomes Sims & Jefferies 2.5nhp type CSB portable 34240 to good use recently, driving a large, Blackstone diesel stationary engine,

This engine was supplied new in 1936 to another local farm, Kent House Farm, to drive an ammonia plant for refrigeration. The engine eventually became redundant, and was recently obtained by the Pierce family. It’s now being restored at Goblands Farm, where it will eventually be used to drive a Weeks of Maidstone triple-throw pump, which was rescued from another local farm where it was used for pumping irrigation water. The engine has been partly rebuilt and requires running in, so they decided to use Roger’s Ransomes to turn it over for a few hours. After setting up the engine it successfully ran for several hours, producing a nice ‘chuff’ from the Ransomes.

Roger’s RSJ is the only CSB type in the country, note the straight flywheel spokes. (Pic: Bob Moorman)

The Ransomes was originally exported to Mangold Brothers in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in 1923. It eventually was brought back to this country and purchased by Stephen Brett, near Canterbury, who had it restored by Brian Hope with a new fire-box by Mendip Steam. It is apparently the only type CSB portable in the country; the main difference being that it was supplied with a straight-spoked flywheel – Ransomes usually used curved spokes – and a colonial firebox for burning fuel other than coal.

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