Images representing different hobbies

Many year's ago I shared a flat with a chap who's father had owned the studio where Dougal and the Blue Cat was overdubbed into English. In the movie the blue cat decides on a name, in a broad Yorkshire accent it declares 'My names Buxton'. Apparently, his dad creased at this point and had to be banned from the studio for the duration of that scene!

This has nothing to do with steam engines, except that after seeing a Buxton and Thornley horizontal engine at Abbey Pumping Station, in Leicester, and making a model loosely inspired by it, 'Buxton' seemed a really apt name. Confusingly, the company come from neither Buxton in Derbyshire, or anywhere in Yorkshire. They were from Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire, the beer capital of the world.

This is the original engine:

Buxton and Thornley engine at Abbey Pumping Station

Buxton and Thornley engine at Abbey Pumping Station

In my bits boxes I had a cast iron cylinder I had made from meehanite bar as an experiment, a 4" flywheel and a few bits left over from building Norden, such as a spare eccentric and strap. I also had a big lump of square aluminium alloy and wanted to mill a challenging shape out of it. I ended up turning most of the ally into swarf, and came up with a nice 'cast' base and an engine with a family resemblance to the Buxton and Thornley one.

After Norden I wanted something a bit more simple, so it's all fairly basic construction. I must improve the base by covering it with brick slips. Painted bricks just don't work, at least not with my skill level.

Buxton horizontal steam engine

Buxton horizontal steam engine

It's no prizewinner, and not really worth writing up as I don't think anyone else would wish to go through the process of hacking that bed from the solid. A scale version of the original would be nice, perhaps a bit bigger.

Flywheel of Buxton horizontal steam engine

Flywheel of Buxton horizontal steam engine

Somewhere I have some pictures of this engine's little brother at Clay Mills - if I find them I will add them to this page. The Clay Mills engines are great, the beam engines are huge and all the small ones are covered in a profusion of ingenious lubricators!