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A Day at Crofton

Steam power, Compilation No.55
World's oldest beam engine working in original location

A Day at Crofton
Steam power, Compilation No.55
World's oldest beam engine working in original location

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Beam floor at Crofton pumping station. No.1 engine on the right, No.2 on the left.Background

Crofton Pumping Station near the village of Great Bedwyn on the Kennet and Avon Canal in Wiltshire was built in 1809 and has two working steam beam engines still pumping water to the summit pound at the top of the Crofton locks.


End of the beam of the No.1 engine and Watt parallel motion.The Number 1 engine - built by Boulton and Watt of Birmingham was installed in 1812 and rebuilt as a Cornish engine in the 1840s as a single-acting, condensing engine.

It is the oldest beam engine in the world still doing its original work on its original site.


Valve gear of the No.2 engine.The Number 2 engine was built by Harvey of Hayle in 1846 as a double-acting Sims patent combined cylinder engine. It was rebuilt in 1903 as a single-acting, condensing Cornish engine.

Converting both engines to the Cornish cycle made them more efficient. They ran until the chimney became unsafe in 1959.


Water from the pumps of both engines entering the canal feederIn 1968 the station was bought by the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust.

The engines were restored, the existing boiler was replaced with second hand one of the same type and both engines brought back into steam by 1971, each pumping a tonne of water per stroke into the canal feeder.


Raising steam in the Lancashire boiler.This DVD closely follows a working day at Crofton in 2001: preparing and stoking the boiler, warming the engines through, starting and running both engines by hand, and then allowing them to run self-acting. Insights into procedures and many details of equipment are shown such as the Cornish valve gear, condensers and water pumps.


Bottom floor - drivers position on the No.1 engine.Special thanks to Andrew Pearce and all the volunteers at Crofton, The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust and Tony Conder of the National Waterways Museum for their help in the making of this recording.

If you want to visit Crofton and see the engines in steam please visit the Crofton Beam Engines website for details.


Crofton pumping station, Wiltshire

Details

  • This compilation has no commentary.
  • NGR: SU 2615 6227
  • £ 12.00 - DVD (Full-feature)
  • Running time: 31 mins.
  • Recorded: 2001
  • Price includes worldwide delivery.
  • 'PAL' and 'NTSC' versions available.


A Day at Crofton - DVD case

 

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