The Societies winter meeting took place on Saturday 4th March at the Milestones Museum in Basingstoke and despite last minute notice due to delayed arrival of our journal the meeting was extremely well attended. Around 65 members supported the meeting with around 45 visiting the museum prior to the meeting.
Our Chairman welcomed members to the meeting in our 80th anniversary year and gave a short introduction to the late Tom Paisley and his photo albums which were passed to the society after Tom passed away in 1980. The albums have been in Richard Willcox’s care since then and have formed the main focus of the scanning and archiving work carried out over the last few years by a number of volunteers (David Collidge, Paul Abbott, Gary Wragg, Simon Caudwell, and Thomas Baines).
The slide show was an opportunity for members to see some of the scanned photos from the collection and started with a number of photographs taken by our Chairman of the dispersal sale held at Tom’s farm on Wednesday 1st October 1980 along with prices each engine realised on the day. Some 200 archive photographs from a selection of the albums were shown and we include a few examples with this report for those unable to attend the meeting.
After a short break for tea and biscuits our second speaker, Chris Lord took to the floor. Chris gave an overview of the Burrell Devonshire’s history before sharing the story of overseeing the building of five 6” scale Burrell SCC Devonshire traction engines in the late 1970’s with South Dorset Engineering Company in Weymouth.
The builds set new standards in accuracy in 6” scale which even to this day are rarely equalled and even included the original Burrell pattern numbers on the castings. Sadly the venture was not a commercial success with only the prototype being completed and four partially built engines. All of these engines were sold at auction in Stockbridge in 1979. Chris continued his involvement with many of these engines and also built a sixth engine with a fully riveted boiler.
Chris along with his future son in law David Swaffield have recently started the build of another 6” DCC Devonshire 3 speed traction engine utilising Edward Georges latest castings so be prepared for another stunning super accurate build.
Thanks go to Mark and James Loader for providing and operating the projector.