Special Scenic S.R. Locomotive Lord Lascelles
'Origins of the Gray Family Travelling
By 1920 Frederick Gray was a well-established London Showman
operating travelling Fairs in the London area and with a permanent site in the vale of
Health adjoining Hampstead heath. Frederick was born in 1862, in his early days it is said
he worked as a centre engine man on a set of Gallopers owned by Hancocks in the West
Country. He subsequently purchased a half share in a second hand set of Gallopers with a
Tom Whitelegg, but at some later date Frederick sold his half share to Whitelegg and moved
to London. There he built up a sizeable travelling fair enterprise which was well known
and respected in London and the Home Counties.
Travelling Scenic Railway Fairground
First devised by Savage Bros. in 1910 this new idea developed
into production of the largest and most elaborate rides ever conceived to date. Basically
a switchback roundabout with eight coupled carriages (known as cars), these moved round a
circular undulating rail track but unlike any previous rides were entirely electrically
Previously the centre space on switchback rides had been occupied
by the steam centre engine and the related spinning frame mechanism necessary to
mechanically move the cars on their circular tracks.
Savage Brothers used this now vacant space to accommodate a mass
of painted scenery formed into landscapes, jungle scenes and caves including a waterfall
powered by an electric pump with circulating watercourses. The whole was enhanced by some
electric light illumination and in due course a mechanical organ.
These rides had elaborately carved cars fashioned as Dolphins,
Whales, Dragons for example and also of course Motor cars which were novel at that time.
Some had a full compliment of more than 100 passengers who not only
experienced the switchback ride but the concept of a journey through a scenic
landscape, unique in its day.
Each car was driven independently by a 4 H.P electric motor and
picked up remotely controlled current from a live rail.
The combined weight of eight loaded cars exceeded 16 tons. This
needed a heavy current to move them from rest, which had proved difficult to regulate
smoothly. It was predicted that a practical improvement would result if cars could be reliably slowed down to
creep speed rather than by a stop/start method for passenger loading and unloading. This
would avoid jerks and smooth out each acceleration cycle.
For various reasons the dynamo output from a typical
showmans road locomotive was not capable of regulating a scenic railway ride to this
standard. The heavy current necessary to drive the cars needed a precise method of
controlling its voltage to regulate with this degree of precision. Additionally a
proportion of the power requirements of a scenic railway ride simultaneously demanded
fixed 110 volts to power the waterfall pump, the illumination and the organ.
The extra labour to erect and dismantle the scenic rides and the
number of truck loads to move them added greatly to showman's overheads.
Nevertheless after inception, scenic railway rides rapidly became popular and very soon
Orton and Spooner of Burton-on-Trent started manufacture too and subsequently dominated
the market. Many orders were placed for new machines and for conversions of old rides to
the new all electric drive with the same elaborately carved cars and exterior sections.
Two men, Lewis A. Hackett of Southport and Ernest W. Whattam of
Lincoln recognised the potential for such an improved electrical generating and control
system on Showman's road locomotives. Their design for an improved arrangement to satisfy
the requirements of an all electric scenic railway ride was granted patent No. 28899 on
the 23rd of December 1912.
Prior to this, Showmans road locomotives were equipped with
only one self-exciting dynamo but the new patented system utilised two, a main and an
auxiliary. With the engine governed at a constant speed the main dynamo now
became capable of supplying heavy current at varying voltages and
simultaneously the auxiliary could supply a fixed 110 volts. This was achieved
by taking a small proportion of the auxiliary dynamo's electrical output
and regulating it using a new patented control gear. This then
energised the field coils of the main dynamo to control the acceleration of the
cars and maintain the best creep speed.
The control gear was small and needed only light
gauge wiring for connecting to the dynamo's output, making it convenient for
remote location in the pay box. The attendant could operate the ride
manually or by using the automatic option, efficiently accelerate the cars
and return them to a pre-set creep speed.
The former use of resistance type controllers had
resulted in throwing off driving belts at intervals especially if the
operator misjudged starting loads. The new 'Scenic' type control
system greatly reduced this risk.
These were the ideal characteristics required to power a scenic
railway ride from a single Showmans road locomotive. In the days of Steam there were
no rides more demanding than this and a Showman's road locomotive made to the so called
Scenic standard were never surpassed and capable of supplying the power
demanded by any ride.
Scenic Engines are easily recognised by their twin dynamos. The
term special preceding scenic implies the addition of a rear
portable jib crane to aid erection and to lift the heavy cars.
It is said that the relative sophistication of
Hackett and Whattams new control, compared with the rugged former type,
proved difficult for some showmen to manage. The unavailability of
experienced on site staff to repair and maintain the new control gear in the
1920s was probably the cause, rather than any fault of this new
design. However, reverting to the former resistance type controller
remained an option for those prepared to sacrifice preset creep speeds and
refined car acceleration.
A copy of the original provisional specification for patent No.
28899 is reproduced below for an overview of the control system.
Burrell special scenic 3886 Lord Lascelles is one of only eleven
surviving engines made new to this premier specification excluding a few that were
converted later to scenic specification.
Click on the images below to read provision patent
no.28899. (The complete specification is not reproduced here.)
Between 1919 and 1921 Frederick Gray not only ordered a new
scenic railway ride but a 110 key Gavioli mechanical organ and two new Burrell special
scenic showman's road locomotives.
One of the Engines, 3884 Gladiator, was delivered 14/3/21 and
3886 Lord Lascelles, one month later on 13/4/21. The savage built scenic railway ride
incorporated eight 10-seater motorcars.
Burrell 3886 was ordered to full 'special scenic' specification.
Frederick Gray's Motor car scenic railway
An interesting story regarding the purchase of the organ was
related in recent years by living descendants of Frederick Gray.
It seems that an organ suitable for incorporation into the new
scenic railway ride was located for sale by Chiappa Ltd, organ builders of London. This was a 110 keyless organ then operated by paper
rolls, made C1908 by Gavioli of Paris and was believed to have played in a
Belgium dance hall prior to the First World War
Frederick Gray decided to sail to Belgium with his son Harry to
inspect and if suitable negotiate to purchase this instrument. He was a shrewd man
and well aware that the best deals are usually arranged with ready cash at the point of
sale. With this in mind they took with them sufficient money in gold sovereigns and
for security reasons they had them sewn into their jackets.
On arrival in Belgium they were shocked at the cost of overnight
hotel accommodation and for economy reasons booked into a cheap room belonging to a
street café. Eating in the café prior to retiring for the night they suspected
that as business men they had attracted unhealthy attention to themselves in surroundings
that seemed full of ruffians.
Fearing a robbery and to defend themselves they did not retire to
bed but sat up all night in their room with a chair wedged against the door handle.
However the night passed without incident and during the
following day they were able to secure a deal and relieve themselves of
sovereigns to seal the purchase. Before incorporation into the new
scenic railway ride, the organ was converted to read the more common 98
key book scale
Preserved Burrell Records State
For- F. Gray Hampstead Heath London
Double crank compound 3 speed Double geared sprung Locomotive
No. 3886 Made up to order No.4393 Sent away to
Detailed Ref Book No.23 Pages 393-400
Sent away 18-4-21 Reg. No. XF 8162
Extracts from Detail Ref. Book 23 include
Gilded on each side Fred Grays New Scenic Railway
With Main Dynamo and Auxiliary Dynamo Platforms Rails and screws
With Rear crane jib, pulleys and set of parts
With Swingletree and details i.e. Ash Spreader Bar for lifting
Dynamos were not included on Burrells list of parts as they
were presumably intended for later purchase and fitting by Davenport and Hackett
It has been stated that the fitter
involved with the original building of 3886 was named Saxby but this is unconfirmed to
Frederick Grays Scenic ride and organ travelled extensively until
1936 after which it remained permanently erected at the Vale of Health, Hampstead.
After the outbreak of World War 2 in 1939 it fell into dereliction. The ride was
scrapped in 1954/5 but the organ, badly water damaged, was removed with preservation in
mind. The Jonas family of Cornwall have been owners since 1957 and
have restored it to its original key specification which makes it the only
110 key Gavioli in Europe, and one of only two world wide. The
restoration carried out in several stages is now well advanced and has
already almost regained the organ's original playing standard.
The eldest son of Frederick Gray was named Harry. Operating an
entirely separate travelling fair with a base in Battersea and later Mitcham. Harry had
built up an equally impressive selection of rides and road locomotives. Although working
independently, both Grays combined their resources when appropriate to do so and certainly
did so for Bank Holiday fairs on different parts of Hampstead heath. Their largest rides
were sufficiently different to compliment rather than compete with each other on such
It has been said that due to many relatively short distances
travelled between sites some London showmen were able to move their loads using road
locomotives in relay. Additionally that London showmen frequently loaned their road
locomotives and drivers to each other and generally helped each other more than was
possible with more widely dispersed showmen.
Certainly this was an established fact between Frederick and his
son Harry which was not surprising anyway due to their close relationship. It is said that
Frederick had given Harry entire rides and other equipment, presumably to help him become
established in his own right and borrowing equipment one to the other was normal practice.
Soon after Frederick had taken delivery of the new Burrell scenic
3886 Lord Lascelles we understand Harry asked if he could use it. We were informed by
descendants that Frederick, recognising that Harry really needed an additional road
locomotive, offered him the choice of his fleet as a gift. Not surprisingly he chose the
new scenic 3886 and so far as we know it then remained with him except during periods when
engines were borrowed from one another. One piece of evidence to illustrate this
co-operation between the two Grays remains with us to this day.
The two scenics, 3884 with Frederick and the 3886 then with Harry
had hind wheels slightly different in their spoke construction. Burrell drawing No. 957
shows that 3886 had each spoke head riveted to the wheel T irons with 5 rivets. Today in
preservation, 3886 has the 5 rivet version on its offside but a 4 rivet version on its
near side hind wheel. Conversely we understand that 3884 has the opposite. It is
reasonable to assume that even though it did not affect their function,
Burrells would not
have turned out two new locomotives with opposite odd wheels. We must therefore
assume that in their working days, wheels were exchanged between the Grays and never
restored to their original source.
We also note that Harry Gray did not display the name on Burrell
scenic 3886 or on his Foster 14382 and his father used unnamed engines too in his
fleet. This would have confused all but those with intimate knowledge of the two
It seems that it was not unusual for showmen to purchase new road
locomotives without dynamos for they usually bought direct from the agents
of the dynamo makers. In this case the evidence is clear because the main Mather and Platt dynamo
displays a brass plate reading Davenport and Hackett Manchester No. 569.
Lewis Hackett was one of the patentees of the scenic electrical control system. On a
list of dynamos supplied by that organisation both Frederick and Harry Grays names
appear as purchasers, but dates are not stated.
The brass plate referred to also displays Owner H
Gray which certainly indicates that the electrical generating equipment was
purchased by Harry even though the scenic locomotive itself was ordered by Frederick and
initially lettered Fred Grays New Scenic Railway.
This evidence confirms that Burrell 3886 was taken over by Harry
Gray soon after its delivery and excepting for occasional use by Frederick was primarily
used with his Battersea and later Mitcham Based fair.
When new, 3886 had metal tyres and strakes but in the late
1920s these were over clad with solid rubber tyres. About this date new legislation
had restricted metal wheeled road locomotives to 5mph but permitted a legal speed of 12mph
when on rubber tyres.
During its working life 3886 was frequently observed and noted
hauling and powering all Harry Grays principle rides. We can read now that some of
these were indeed magnificent fairground rides and we know they included Four abreast
gallopers, Coronation ark, Dodgems, Swirl, steam yachts and other major rides introduced
over its 18 year operational life.
By 1937 it was noted that not all Harry Grays hauling and
generating was by steam powered road locomotives for by then he had introduced
diesel powered tractor/generator units. Two years later more Saurers had been purchased
and only the scenic Burrell 3886 remained in regular use as their last link with steam
Rumour has it that its last working appearance was
at a fair in Hatfield, Herts from where it was observed travelling along the A1 towards
London at a good pace following the declaration of war on September 3rd 1939.
Thereafter, it was laid up at the rear of Harry Grays
Mitcham yard. Subsequently the main dynamo was removed for secondary use on a
Scamell lighting set. Fortunately this dynamo remained traceable from its Brass plate
bearing H Grays name, and indeed many years later it was identified and reunited
with Lord Lascelles.
Owned by J.W. Hardwick & Sons, West Ewell Surrey,
After 3886 had been laid up for about 12 years J.W. Hardwick,
metal merchants, purchased it from Harry Gray in 1951 excluding the Mather and
Platt main dynamo.
After getting 3886 back in steam it was partially repainted
including the sideboards on which J.W. Hardwicks name was presented. Across the front
bulkhead the derby winners name Tulyar was displayed too.
It was in this condition that it took part in the South London
Coronation celebrations in 1952 being sold immediately afterwards to J Hickey and Sons.
Owned by J. Hickey & Sons, Cheshunt. Herts, 1952-1964
An old established concern, Hickeys specialised in boiler making,
repairs and installation and in heavy haulage utilising a 50 strong work force by the
They had intended to restore 3886 to its original showland state and with this in mind had purchased a similar but burned out dynamo removed
from the Burrell 3887 (Prince of Wales).
On arrival at Cheshunt, 3886 was fully dismantled including
removal of the firebox inner plates from the boiler. As refurbishment progressed parts were placed into
stores but all the rest of the locomotive found refuge in various sections of the outside
yard. Sadly in 1954 with work only partly completed the senior director, Mr
Eight years later in 1962 the late Steve W. Neville joined
Hickeys. He already had an interest in steam locomotives, indeed 4 years previously had
purchased the Mclaren road locomotive Boadicea. Naturally he was concerned
about the dismantled state of 3886, which had not progressed since the death of Mr Hickey
and he made it his business to collect it together in the hope that the late Mr Hickeys
son would resume the restoration but a series of events prevented
this. After his marriage and moving home to Cambridgeshire a second tragedy occurred, for at the age of 44
young Mr Hickey died too, which so altered the distribution of the Hickey family holdings
that it triggered the demise of the whole business and led to a voluntary liquidation of
As a senior employee Steve Neville was authorised to oversee the
winding up process. His mandate was to retain staff until they found new employment, to
dispose of assets by private treaty or through the auctioneers and to look after the
interests of the shareholders. It was during this process that he purchased for himself
the Burrell 3886 in pieces, including the burned out P8C dynamo off Prince of
Wales. The dismantled engine was collected together and moved away to various
locations pending decisions on restoration. For the record we note that in the same year,
1964, Steve Neville started his own business Eastern Boiler Work Ltd in
In this venture he was joined by Ted Smith, one of
Hickey's time served skilled boiler makers. As a side-line they had
previously worked together on boiler repairs to the Mclaren road loco. 'Boadicea'
owned by Steve and later on had commenced the preliminary work to replace
the firebox on 'Lord Lascelles' too.
Ted continued to work for 'Eastern Boiler Work' Ltd
on boiler consultancy and repairs until the late 1970's. He then moved
overseas where he specialised in boiler work for over twenty years before
returning recently to the UK.
Owned by Steve .W. Neville, Saffron Walden, Essex,
Obviously an important early task that Steve Neville needed to organise
was the construction and fitting of a new inner shell to the
firebox. A priority for Steve was to arrange riveting and staying of
the new liner to the firebox. For this work he turned to James and Crockerell Ltd of
Durrington, near Salisbury, Wiltshire. This civil engineering
company owned and operated a fleet of steam rollers for the road making
and surface compaction parts of their contracts. Through the
experience gained over many years of maintenance and refurbishment of
their own plant they developed a niche market for this type of work for a
variety of new owners in the early days of steam engine
preservation. Mr. N Bailey of Bulford, Wiltshire states that by the
early 1960s they had already completed more than 15 reboxings with related
work and ultimately by the 1970s when they ceased trading, this figure had
tripled. Complete boilers were also made for 10" scale rail
Additionally, in their own right, James and Crockerell had entered the
preservation era by purchasing the Burrell scenic S.R.L. 'Prince Of Wales'
3887 which they had also reboxed. Incidentally this was then minus
its main dynamo following Hickey's purchase of the original, as previously
Following Steve Neville's arrangement, the various processes to
complete the reboxing were carried out by Mr. Bob Bailey, a key employee
who lived locally and was a specialist in this work.
We can now turn to the evidence provided by Cornhills insurance report
dated November 1964 which logs the boiler details and also refers to the
new firebox under construction. This states 'the new firebox is
formed from 1/2" plate with the tube and fire hole plate formed from
3/4" '. Comparing this with Burrell's drawing No. 4101 we see
that the original wrapper plate and fire hole plate were 7/16" thick
and the tube plate was 5/8" thick. This increased metal
thickness will undoubtedly extend the durability of the fire box in
The satisfactory hydraulic test was completed almost a year later by
Cornhills in October 1965. At some stage Steve Neville had arranged
for James and Crockerell to continue with the rest of the mechanical
refurbishment and to reassemble 'Lord Lascelles' into a working
condition. Again it was Bob Bailey who was principally involved in
this work. The writer has been informed that even now (September
2001) Bob can produce his original time sheets and photographs of the work
No doubt the presence of the similar Burrell scenic 'Prince Of Wales'
on the same premises proved to be a valuable reference during this period
bearing in mind that 'Lord Lascelles' had been dismantled by Hickeys many
Meanwhile, Steve Neville whose home base was perhaps 150 miles from
James and Crockerell arranged for some of the work to be completed
elsewhere. Walter Gowers of Bedford superbly replated the front tank
and it was noted with amazement that Steve successfully transported this
on his Land Rover. On such occasions Steve was able to keep his eye
on the process and render any physical assistance he could.
When 'Lord Lascelles' was finally handed over to Steve Neville it was
able to steam out of the yard under its own power having been fully
painted and gilded etc by the late Jimmy Hopwood.
Further work was undertaken by Steve Neville at Saffron Walden of
course. This included experiments with a Railway locomotive type
brick arch in the firebox. For safer driving after nightfall
he fitted electric headlamps powered by a 'Stones' 24 volt steam driven
generator. He also replaced the boiler feed pump with a second
injector and mounted a mechanical speedometer driven by the pump gearing,
in its place. In due course these features were all removed to
Undoubtedly other refinements were carried out by Steve Neville at
Safron Walden but details are not known at the time of writing.
Steve Neville also informed the writer about the flywheel
replacement he was obliged to arrange. The original one had sustained a fracture and was
therefore beyond sensible repair. A pattern was made and a new flywheel was cast and
machined by Robey and co. Ltd of Lincoln who had been traction engine makers in their own
right. The material used for the new flywheel casting was Meehanite, which is a very
high-grade tough iron and superior to commercial iron.
At some time Steve had been able to purchase the original Mather
& Platt P8C main dynamo from Harry Gray who took the burned out one taken from
3887 in part exchange presumably for ultimate scrap, or was it?
By reconstruction we can work out that Steve rallied Lord
Lascelles in preservation for about 12 years until he sold it in 1980. In
addition to working on 'Eastern Boiler Work' contracts Ted Smith actively
participated on the rally circuit with Steve for most of this period. There is no doubt
that 3886 was driven far and wide between sites and indeed it has been said that during
this period, Steve drove further on the road under steam than anyone else in preservation.
Even overseas to Ireland, Holland and Germany.
He made the engine work hard on the road, frequently driving it
to its limit of almost 20 mph, when safe to do so. The adventures and incidents that Steve attracted with Lord
Lascelles were legion. Even now 20 years after he sold it, people on the rally scene still
relate notable occurrences that befell this engine and man in the 1970s.
Undoubtedly Steve loved steam engines and during his years of
Lord Lascelles ownership he extracted more fun out of it than anyone on any engine we
In December 1980 C.Richard Marsh of Romiley, Cheshire purchased
Lord Lascelles from him.
Special Scenic S.R. Locomotive - Lord Lascelles
Burrell scenic showmans road locomotives have refined and
patented generating equipment, which includes an additional Dynamo with special control
gear as stated.
Assuming the crankshaft is governed to 166 RPM when
generating, the belt driven main dynamo is designed to rotate at 750 RPM and by means of the second
driving belt the auxiliary at 1350 RPM.
The Mather and Platt P8C Dynamo will continuously produce 270
Amps and the auxiliary P3C Dynamo 80 Amps but are capable of handling a 100% overload
briefly and 25% overload for 2 hours. This equates to a main dynamo load of say 340 amps
plus 100 amps from the auxiliary for a 2 hour duration.
Used independently each dynamo is self-exciting and designed for
110 volts DC output. However on Lord Lascelles a switchable option interrupts the
self-excitation circuit of the main dynamo and substitutes part of the power output from
the auxiliary dynamo for finely controlled excitation. This is achieved by regulating the
current to the field coils through a small rheostat, which infinitely varies the output of
the main dynamo voltage, up to its rated 110 volts.
As wired the auxiliary dynamo supplies the 100 lamps surrounding
the canopy as well as current to feed the main dynamo field coils when switched to do
so. With all lamps included, this generally absorbs about 60 amps.
This control is accessible off the footplate. It includes the
switch to allow self or independent excitation of the main dynamo, a Rheostat with
adjacent volt meter to regulate and verify the output voltage of the main dynamo and a
central knife switch to cut off the canopy lighting circuit. The lighting voltage can also
be adjusted by means of a separate rheostat and second volt meter.
Adjacent to the main dynamo is the main knife switch, an ammeter
and further voltmeter registering the main dynamo output.
Some 30 metres of two core electric cable is stowed adjacently to
carry the output of the main dynamo.
The dynamo driving belts are endless, leather faced, and have a
sandwiched reinforcement, which positively prevents stretch. These are capable of
transmitting several times the load they would ever be required to perform on any possible
A Recent Practical Load Test
Boiler steaming capacities, engine performance, belt transmission
and electrical capabilities are simultaneously tested on a showman's road locomotive by
accurately measuring the dynamos output and converting the results into KW and brake
With this test in mind and in order to observe and verify the
accuracy of newly calibrated volt and ammeters for the main dynamo these tests and
observations were arranged in Hyde, Cheshire on July 22nd 2000 with the
Present J Watson, R Houghton, L Fisk, M Allcroft, B Fisk,
C R Marsh
Independent observer A Woodward (With digital checking
Boiler fuel used Welsh Steam Coal
Steam Pressure During Test Controlled at 190-200 PSI
Reversing Lever 2nd notch then 3rd and finally 4th
Voltmeter 0-150v calibrated and NAMAS certified on
Ammeter 0-500A calibrated and NAMAS certified on 20-4-2000
Main Dynamo Mather and Platt P8C Rating 270Amps
continuous, 340Amps 2hrs, 540Amps briefly
Auxiliary Dynamo Mather and Platt P3C Rating 80Amps
continuous, 100Amps 2hrs, 160Amps briefly
Belt Drives Endless leather, reinforced
Engine Revolutions Under control of Governor at all times.
Electrical Loading Metal plates immersed in a water/soda
solution. Variable by increasing or decreasing the solution strength
500 amps was briefly loaded on the main dynamo during the test
It was noted that the steam raising properties of the boiler were
more than adequate for this range of tests. Consumption of water was satisfied by the
boiler feed pump only with no recourse to use the injector.
The Governor would pass sufficient steam at all times to satisfy
the electrical loads imposed.
The Governor response over its range was tested by disengaging
the knife switch suddenly when the dynamo was on full overload. Then the opposite,
by engaging the knife switch suddenly, taking the load instantly from 0 to 440 amps. This
was repeated several times and the governor was observed controlling correctly under all
A few seconds of overspeed would follow instantaneous shedding of
440 amps to zero. This would last only until the inertia forces had decayed enough
to allow the Governor to take control. However we must accept that this extreme test
is well outside the scope of normal duties.
The same instantaneous zero/max/zero load switching also tested
the transmission properties of the reinforced leather driving belts. The power from
the engine was at all times transmitted by leather belts to the dynamos without stretch, tracking,
slip or squeal. The high electrical output was readily absorbed by an
adequate load cell with
an upper limit well exceeding 500 amps.
In addition to the above main dynamo loads the coupled auxiliary
dynamo on this occasion had a reduced lighting load and including the
current used for excitation was estimated at 18 amps in total.
When the maximum overload was applied for this test it was
notably beneficial to even out the power stroke peaks by engaging the reversing lever into
The above measured test was conducted only to prove the
prime condition of the rebuilt engine and its ancillaries, although surprisingly high maximum loads proved sustainable on test, it would not be prudent to
consider these extremities for routine use.
The specially built load cell may be borrowed at their own risk
by engine owners when available.
Subsequently the main dynamo was switched from auxiliary
dynamo excitation to self excitation and further tests in this mode proved
almost identical with the same governor setting. Fine-tuning of the output voltage was achieved in either
mode by using the Rheostat and voltmeter on the footplate.
The newly calibrated volt and ammeter agreed with the on site
digital checking, but the ammeter indicated slight stiffness near the centre of its range
which read correctly when the instrument was tapped (since corrected). It was noted with satisfaction that
440Amps at 110 volts output equates to 65 net brake horse power not counting the power
absorbed by the auxiliary dynamo. This performance is not likely to have been exceeded
even when the engine was new in 1921.
Belt drives are vital links to convert engine horsepower to
dynamo kilowatts. The superior driving surface of leather was at one time sustained with
stretch resistance properties when the best belts were made from along the spine of
selected hides. These properties have now been restored and indeed exceeded by
leather faced belts reinforced with a non stretch internal laminate. Endless belts
with their inherent safety can now be sensibly adopted as a result of the same non stretch
internal properties. The old rule of thumb formula of 7 h.p. per inch of belt width
in these circumstances is now well underrated.
Scenic S. R. Locomotive - Lord Lascelles
The Rebuild 1981 - 1993
By 1981 Lord Lascelles was 60 years old. From
preservation point of view events have not been kind to it. Eighteen years of hard
showland use were terminated by the outbreak of war in 1939, however it had endured a
further 25 years either laid up in various yards or scattered about in pieces. It was only
in 1964 when the late Steve W. Neville took possession of the pieces that its future
After reassembly etc by James and Crockerell it was
extensively steamed in
preservation by Steve until 1980 when it was sold to the present owner. We should not be
mislead into thinking that Steve's interpretation of preservation was an easy option; for
he drove Lord Lascelles almost as hard and long as it has been in showland
The new owner decided that this scenic Burrell, their
foremost model, now deserved an exceptional effort to completely restore it to near new
condition. Starting with the advantage of a lifetimes experience in machine construction
and practiced in all the engineering processes involved, Richard Marsh commenced the rebuild in
The firebox and boiler were confirmed sound as expected except
for minor remedial work in the smoke box. Otherwise the whole road loco was dismantled
down to its component parts. Every piece was checked for authenticity and inspected for
damage and wear to support the decision to restore or remake it. Bushes, journals, slides
and keyways and the like were all checked and as necessary restored to legitimate fits
Copies of every preserved Burrell drawing relevant to scenic
models were obtained in order to check and keep details authentic. Missing information was
pieced together by correspondence, research and the help of fellow enthusiasts .
Some of the tasks were challenging and time consuming, frequently
requiring the construction of special equipment so that various engineering process could
be carried out on a home workshop site.
The hind wheels were dismantled, replated, restraked and
reriveted. Then, after remachining the brake rim diameters, the bores and outside diameter
of the strakes to restore concentricity, they were retyred using Dunlop fork truck tyres.
These needed to be cut, opened to a bigger radius and joined
together again into larger endless hoops before pressing onto the wheels. This latter
process very much stiffened the whole wheel construction.
Cylinder bores were honed, new crosshead guides made which were
carefully lined up and squared to the crankshaft and cylinder bores. All link pin and
motion bores were honed and repinned, including hand lapping the quadrant slots to remove
wear and making new quadrant blocks to suit.
The hind axle, front axle and second shaft were all replaced but
only after rebushing and in line boring the axle, second shaft, crank shaft, brake shaft
and boiler feed pump drive bores in situ.
All spur gears, compensating bevels (now known as differential
bevels) and steering worm and wheel were either built up prior to recutting or renewed and
splines were restored to reasonable fits by electro-plating and lapping. The high gear
spline flights and root diameter were reground in position after making special equipment
for the task and before fitting the replacement high gear drive pinion.
Whilst the mechanical and electrical rebuilding tasks absorbed
the majority of the 19,000 hours necessary for the whole job, the work to derust and
restore pitted surfaces to the standard attained for a Burrell class 'A' show finish
certainly occupied 10 to 15% of this time.
Areas considered at risk from future rusting were blasted and hot
zinc metal sprayed prior to painting (the best anti-corrosive pre-paint
treatment known to the writer). By far the most time consuming tasks on the paint
finishing process was the elimination of corrosion and bruising especially on the riveted
wheels. Various paints were used to good effect on finish coats. These included Tecaloid,
Taylors Epifast, Thornley & Knight and Masons Brush Varnish.
The painted surfaces at year 2000 are now on average 12 years old. Their
present condition is proof that time taken in careful preparation prior to final coats is
justified in the long term.
Excluding only the gilding and lining, all the work has been
undertaken by the engineer owner and his helpers in a purpose built home workshop or to
his detailed instructions.
Having completed extensive shed testing under steam, "Lord
Lascelles", finally emerged from its workshop on 13th April 1993, its 72nd birthday
after a 12 year rebuild.
Whenever the opportunity and time permits it is now driven under
its own steam on public roads. Single runs up to 35 miles to and from its hilly Pennine
home base are made at comfortable open road speeds of 12 mph, (its legal limit) to average
about 8mph over typical journeys, excluding stops.
Accuracy and History Certifications
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