Woodland Mill - steam engine, taken 40 years ago
Woodland Mills were owned by Job Beaumont and Son Ltd and were in the woollen trade. The mills closed in 1976 and the engine stopped then. I (Chris Allen) saw it about a week later and it was the first in situ stationary steam engine that I ever saw. It was to start an interest that has lasted over 30 years. The photograph was taken by my friend Colin Bowden as one of many, many engines recorded by this august figure.
This steam engine is a typical product of John and Edward Wood with the high pressure cylinder nearest the crank and both cylinders fitted with Corliss valves at the bottom. The HP steam valves are fitted with trip gear under the control of a rope driven Lumb governor, whilst the LP steam valves are non-releasing. The engine has twin slipper guides and a single web overhung crank. The jet condenser was in the basement with the air pump driven by levers from the crosshead. The flywheel is 18’ diameter and I think it was only boarded on the engine room side. It drove by ropes that passed up the end wall of the main mill block in a glazed rope race. There was also a rope drive to a generator in the rear of the engine house. It was rated at c500 ihp at 67 rpm on steam at 120 psi (in the 1970s). The engine was named Mary and I believe the name plate and builder’s plate were stolen before the engine was removed for preservation.
It originally went to Bolton Museum Services and was stored in doors until late 2012 when it was removed for preservation at the Internal Fire museum in Ceredigion. I hope to catch up with it there in due course.