Built by Mr A.Arnold of Hempnall, Norfolk, it occupied four years of his spare time after retirement - the engine was completed in 1953.
Born in 1884, on leaving school he served his apprenticeship with Hobbies of Dereham, moving on to Savages of Kings Lynn where he first encountered steam engines which were to become a lifelong interest.
If 1905 he set up in business on his own account, starting an engineering firm in Hempnall repairing mainly Burrell and Marshall traction engines - intimate knowledge of the full-sized machines and their construction shows in every detail of the model he built nearly fifty years later.
After some years of servicing traction engines, he expanded the business to include manufacture of the "Norvic" range of machine tools and accessories, sold through dealers including Buck & Hickman.
In retirement he set to and built a model of the type of double crank road engines he'd worked on since the turn of the century. It has all the hallmarks of a time served engineer - fit and finish of machined parts is excellent, the crank one-piece, turned from the solid.
Rather than enthuse at length about details of construction, I'll let Claire's super pictures tell the story (although look out for the beautifully proportioned Watt's governor, gear selector and regulator levers; finely fretted steering wheel taken from the solid; stitched jointing on the leather dynamo belt and split and cottered big ends - even the ends of the keys are shaped).
A letter with the engine, from the builder's daughter, states that the engine was steamed rarely although run on compressed air to demonstrate it from time to time - it was named "Mary Elizabeth" after the builder's wife, her mother.
Last sold in the 1990s, the engine has been in a private collection for over twenty years - it was steamed once during this time to give the owner a ride around his works yard.
In deference to its age, historical interest and remarkable condition approaching seventy years old, we have made no attempt to test the boiler nor steam it - if this is something you're interested in having done, with respect you're probably looking at the wrong engine!
We'd love to think that this one will go somewhere to spend another twenty years being preserved, displayed and admired by a new custodian. Sadly it won't be me - after installing "Pipit" in our garden room earlier in the month, appeals to Mrs P to find a quiet corner for this one at home have fallen on deaf ears...
|boiler maker||A Arnold|
|CE mark||n/a, non-commercial|
|safety valve type||Ramsbottom|