I visited the Midlands Model engineering Exhibition in Warwickshire on Thursday (13th). Arrived around 10AM after a good journey along the M40 and A423. Only slight delay caused by construction work for HS2 just outside Southam. Found something that vaguely resembled coffee and then started off around the show. First thing to be said is, that to me, it appeared smaller than on previous years. Particularly noticeable in Hall 2 where about one third of the space had been set aside for tables and chairs. Outside also looked a bit sparse with only twelve of the Fosse Way Steamers in action. The usual portable rail track was absent as were any other outside displays save two catering wagons.
This was my ‘Best in Show’ a diorama of Lympsham Wharf on the River Axe with an impressive model of (1) the Severn trow Ashmead by Anthony Judd. These barges were used for local trade in coal and timber on and around the River Severn. This is a freelance model based on Bridgewater built Norah (c.1868). Ashmead was build as a radio controlled sailing model and is fully operational with servos controlling the rigging and rudder. The diorama was added later. Photo does not do the model justice due to the poor lighting and crowded background. I thought this would make an excellent museum display, when her sailing days are over of course. Gained 3rd place in competition class 10.
Practically the first exhibit you see on entry is (2) this large vertical column engine, the label unfortunately described it as a ‘vertical boiler‘, hopefully the label was altered at some point in the show. Cooch & Son were agricultural equipment makers in Nottingham but I am unable to find any mention of steam engines, their speciality was potato sorters, so not much help there. Reminiscent of the Benson vertical column engines but the column appears parallel rather than tapered. Nevertheless a fine model by John Fysh and competition winner in class 5.
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Just so that there is no misunderstanding this is a vertical boiler!
On the Wolverhampton & District Model Engineering Society was this freelance model of a vertical steam boiler and associated plant (3). The boiler was sized to suit a section of 6.625″ copper tube from a club member. The boiler is based on an Atkinson vertical boiler but with larger fire tubes. At the front of the picture are plastic patterns used to cast the ash pan vent, chimney cap and base. The boiler can be used to steam a Stuart No.4 engine and future projects along with testing injectors. An excellent piece of kit by Dave Bickerton.
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