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Hornsby Akroyd Colour Scheme

Paul Richardson

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
Paul ,I know of three ,the earliest of these was kept at a museum near Toodyay and was owned by Rex Downey ,now deceased . It was sold but where it is now I have no idea ,it was a very early one ,girder type .
This will be the engine that I watched running in a driveway at a private residence in Perth and it had just changed owners prior to my seeing it.
I'm not sure,but would guess that it has followed the new owner away as I don't think he has lived in W.A. for a number of years now?
I don't have any knowledge of any other H.A. portables over that way?
I am fairly sure the engine mentioned here is the only 'heavy' or early design portable originally located in the West,but I am wondering does anything exist there that resembles our engine in Tranters picture at the start?
I guess I'm drawing the distinction between the one we commonly call a 'girder' and those known as 'improved' having a full cast iron crankcase?
I can't recall hearing anything about the existence of others?
I think the original full count over that way might consist of the three already mentioned?
Thanks for the photo's chaps!One of the ex Rex Downey machine would be nice if anybody had one?
 

Inter Bloke

Registered
How early was the one that used to be housed at the Carlisle technical school ?

When I was there in the very early 70s it was supposed to be one of the oldest then known, but at that stage I didn't know enough to take it all in. I believe it was shifted somewhere in possibly the 80s or early 90s and would be curious to know more about what it was and where it ended up. I think it had been painted red when I was going there but I don't even know if anyone tried to get the colour scheme correct.
 

Winchester

Registered
Paul interesting you mention the engine running in the drive way of a private residence.............I am sure that would have been at the home of the late Bert Tyler who was the driving force in the restoration of that engine, the same engine depicted in the photo's submitted by Ray Freeman and yours truly. The engine of course became the property of the Machinery Preservation Club of WA . It is as you mentioned of the ''Cast Base 'type. The engine belonging to Rex Downie was of the ''Girder '' type and a very early model. Rex had a private museum called the ''Barn'' near Tooday east of Perth, I would assume that Rex may have passed on and the museum content sold .....I may be incorrect in this assumption.
There was indeed a third Ackroyd engine and I am hoping I can find a photo or at least some detail to satisfy your interest.
The engine that InterBloke refers to was I am sure not an Ackroyd engine . I am of the opinion that it was a Hornsby but not of an very early type . It was I believe restored by the apprentices at the then ''State Energy Commission '' depot at Carlyle . It then took pride of place in the foyer of the SEC head office building in Wellington St Perth. As I passed each day for the period that I was employed there I recall that was a beautiful restoration and was green.
The same engine did reside at the ''Energy Museum '' in Fremantle for a period .
As I never went to the Carlyle Tech ...it was where the ''Grease Monkey's '' went to learn to be motor mechanics, I cannot describe the engine that Inter Bloke saw there, It may well have been the SEC engine.
 

Inter Bloke

Registered
Winchester and Paul,

I did a bit of "Googling" to see if I could identify the old Hornsby I remembered as a teenager training as a "grease monkey" while attending Carlisle tech and I believe I may have found out a little. It looks like it may now be in the hands of the WA Museum. There is no photo unfortunately but on their website it states it was presented to the Carlisle technical school by Sandovers and is a 3.5 HP Hornsby Akroyd with the number 9279. They have given it a date of 1900, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is actually later.

The only reason I mentioned it is that it used to fascinate me as a teenager while I was attending the college. I saw it run on 2 separate occasions, the 3rd and last time they tried to start it while I was there I was working on a lathe in the other end of the engine section and there was a loud explosion and I was told that when they went to start it the hot bulb blew off the end of the cylinder. I didn't get the opportunity to inspect it but that was what we were told happened.

The school was very proud of this engine and we were told it was one of the oldest of its type then known, but this was almost 50 years ago and back then there was very little preservation of old machinery of any sort, and almost nobody was collecting old engines except scrappys. I remember one of my favourite class teachers, a chap named Hans VanLeeuwin telling us a little of the history of the engine, Akroyd Stewart himself and the similarity's and differences between these engines and Diesels. It was one of the engines that sparked my interest in this area so its nice to find out something about it.

Anyway, I remember it being painted red, but as I said before no idea if they even knew or tried to find out if that was correct.
 

Paul Richardson

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
Paul interesting you mention the engine running in the drive way of a private residence.............I am sure that would have been at the home of the late Bert Tyler who was the driving force in the restoration of that engine, the same engine depicted in the photo's submitted by Ray Freeman and yours truly. The engine belonging to Rex Downie was of the ''Girder '' type and a very early model. Rex had a private museum called the ''Barn'' near Tooday east of Perth, I would assume that Rex may have passed on and the museum content sold .....I may be incorrect in this assumption.
There was indeed a third Ackroyd engine and I am hoping I can find a photo or at least some detail to satisfy your interest.
Thanks Winchester and Ray for those photo's.The early girder style 6.5hp was owned by an acquaintance while he lived there in Perth.It might be 10 years ago when I was there looking at it?
I never met Bert Tyler,and I'm sorry to confuse the story by not giving you all the information.
I regret now not taking any photographs of the 'Barn' engine as it was quite an interesting engine.It was similar to my own in form but you could clearly see that 10 years was quite a long time at the time when it came to the issue of finish,fittings etc.The drive pulley on that engine for instance was quite a large diameter approaching that of the flywheel,and having a very heavy profile to it's rim plus a large embossed part number that appeared to match the style of other cast component numbers.The centre ball of the governor resembled the one on the green engine that you and Ray posted,but having a much more stunted parallel section at the top between the ball section and the top bead.The brass valves and cocks etc were much more distinctly steam related in style,and if you remember it at all the nameplate was curved around the back of the cooling tower and was very large,perhaps being several kgs of bronze if I remember it correctly.
It was quite a learning experience while attempting to start the engine and I instantly learned one of the possible reasons why the preheat blowers were both superseded by the manufacturer,and why some were discarded by owners.While preheating the hotbulb in the usual way the little furnace or lamp usually burns dry of kerosene and the top 1/3 or so of it glows red hot.This is all very fine and well until you find that perhaps you bungle the first attempt at starting.From there,every continued attempt means another gulp of cool air,cooling the hotbulb again.If you wish to maximise on the heat that you had initially built up on the first try,it means that you must think about refuelling a still very hot preheat furnace:uhoh:
That was our experience on the day I was there,and the owner took the risk in filling the furnace again.The engine was inside of a double garage with the door open,but the result was that the whole shed filled from and to end with a thick blanket of white kerosene vapour.I think relighting at that stage would have been disasterous!?We opened up all doors and windows but eventually decided to roll the engine out of the shed for the next try which was successful.
Of the original portables I have known of,some were stationed long term inside a barn or shed for supplying power to a chaffcutter.In this kind of situation it's very likely that failed starts using the original furnace preheater would have been the source of plenty of annoyance and delays.Having the steady supply of warmth from the pressure lamp in starting I think would have been a world of difference.
I would enjoy taking a look at the other engine if you can manage to find a picture,thanks.
 

Winchester

Registered
Thanks InterBloke ..........your recollections are I am sure more accurate than mine. As you attended Carlyle Tech I stand corrected. I recall that the engine that was in the foyer of the SEC building was an ex power station unit......perhaps it is still in the foyer.
Paul .I will try and find details of the third Akroyd engine .
 

Paul Richardson

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
Winchester and Paul,

I did a bit of "Googling" to see if I could identify the old Hornsby I remembered as a teenager training as a "grease monkey" while attending Carlisle tech and I believe I may have found out a little. It was presented to the Carlisle technical school by Sandovers and is a 3.5 HP Hornsby Akroyd with the number 9279. They have given it a date of 1900, but I wouldn't be surprised if it is actually later.

Anyway, I remember it being painted red, but as I said before no idea if they even knew or tried to find out if that was correct.
Inter Bloke,i think your suspicion would most likely prove to be right about the age of that engine?It is getting fairly late with the number #9279.Certainly it's early enough to be an Akroyd patent engine.It's most likely a 1904 arrival here, possibly only a few months earlier than Tranters portable Akroyd?Mine has a shipping date in 1903 with the number #6988.
Sometimes a local oral history will inadvertently change things around a little,as I'm sure you have experienced yourself.I'm not sure how official the term is,but quite a few times in literature about Hornsby Akroyd engines the 'improved' models like Tranters,(and most likely the Carlisle Tech engine) are referred to as "1900 style Hornsby Akroyds".
It's likely that you were subject to the best available local information at the time?
 
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Inter Bloke

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Winchester,
I think that when I found out the Carlisle engine had been removed from the tech school whoever it was that told me said it was for a short time put on display somewhere in Perth alongside another Akroyd. This apparently didn't last for very long but it may have been on the SEC site you are talking about. There havn't been very many Akroyds on public display that I am aware of so this just "might" be the case.

Interesting !

Graham
 

Winchester

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I have source who will in all likelyhood have the answers we are seeking . I am surprised that he has not as yet joined this discussion . I will contact him and get his opinion........better still I hope he can join this group.
 

Merv C

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There is a very early Hornsby Acroyd S/n 1951 at Dardanup in WA. It is not a portable but it is a big engine.

Merv.

Australianenginephotos078.jpg
 

Winchester

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Thank you Merv ,you have solved the mystery, that is the engine that saw at Busselton. I am sure it is a later engine than than the one owned by the Machinery Preservation Club of WA.............I remember that copper pipe work which I felt did not look right! However we now know where it is . I should get down to Dardenup .
Regarding the very early Girder model ,the story is that it was sold to someone in Queensland who at some stage moved to WA and then back to Q/land ....so as far as we know it is somewhere in the land of Banana's .
I feel that the engine that I saw at the SEC building foyer was a Hornsby but not an Akroyd ..............I will make a couple of phone calls .
 

Paul Richardson

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
There is a very early Hornsby Acroyd S/n 1951 at Dardanup in WA. It is not a portable but it is a big engine.

Merv.

View attachment 294181
Gday Merv,that's certainly a picture worth sharing,thanks.
I have to admit at first glance I was cautiously in agreement with Winchester in assuming that this engine was likely to be a later build date than the other early green stationary model posted above in the previous picture in our thread.
I was a little bit surprised when I saw the low engine number you have provided with the picture though,and it was enough to stir me into action to go through a few old magazines here to see if I could find the W.A. Machinery Preservation Club engine so that I might compare the two numbers.
Somehow Merv,it appears that either in your own notes,or in the magazine article,the wrong engine number has been attributed to one of the the engines?
The T.O.M.M. article I have here on the Midlands Railway shed exhibit quotes it's subject as also being engine #1951.:shrug:
 

Inter Bloke

Registered
Paul seems to be right, the Old Machinery club on their website state number 1951 for their engine.
Probably just a case of crossed numbers in the notebook, I know its happened to me a few times.

http://www.machinerypreservationclub.com.au/gallery/pic1.html

Merv,
Is it out at the heritage park ?
I have been out there on one of their open days but don't recall seeing this engine !

I suppose I was getting dragged from pillar to post by the kids and must have been dragged right past it if it was there !
 

Merv C

Registered
My apologies Paul and Inter Bloke,
Something went wrong with my recording of serial numbers.
You are correct 1951 is the number of the engine shown in Peter's and Ray's photos, and the my photo below as well. fortunately I had a photo of the display board.

The engine I photographed at the Dardanup Heritage Park was in a shed along with another big multi cylinder engine and it I remember right it was up a slight rise away from the main display buildings.

I would have noted the serial number of that engine, but no longer have it. It goes to show that if you photograph the engine you should also photograph the number where possible as well.

Having an interest in Hornsby's I like to record the serial numbers of all the Hornsby's I see and hear about.

Merv

Australianenginephotos018.jpg
 

E27N

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/06/2020
Paul seems to be right, the Old Machinery club on their website state number 1951 for their engine.
Probably just a case of crossed numbers in the notebook, I know its happened to me a few times.

http://www.machinerypreservationclub.com.au/gallery/pic1.html

Merv,
Is it out at the heritage park ?
I have been out there on one of their open days but don't recall seeing this engine !

I suppose I was getting dragged from pillar to post by the kids and must have been dragged right past it if it was there !
It was there Easter 2016 when I was last there, Graham. Pretty sure that one has a unique crank in it too being forged from a single piece of bar, but don't quote me on that.
 

Inter Bloke

Registered
Speaking of things getting "crossed up" and verbally inaccurate I notice that Akroyd Stuart must have been very talented ! According to the Machinery preservation website he built "their" engine at the age of 12 ! I kind of think 1876 might be a touch early even for that engine. Yes I know it should be 1896, but it just shows what happens. A lot of people have probably noted it down and have been telling all and sundry about this VERY early engine !

Andrew,
I must get out there and check it out !
If there was an Akroyd around and I missed out on having a look you can bet I will try and make amends !
Hope to see you blokes soon, (maybe this weekend, not sure but hope to)

Graham
 

Paul Richardson

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
01/05/2020
Graham,when you do get the chance to get down to Dardenup to check out that large Akroyd that Merv shared,i trust you will drop in here to this thread to tell us the details,about the engine number and horsepower?
Perhaps another photograph or two?.Please?
I'm going to go out on the limb a bit and guess that the horsepower on that one is 12.5?It's pretty big!,..if it's not 12.5 then I will say 16hp.
The engine number I am not so brave with,and it would be a bit of a science crossed with a shot in the dark.Another collector contacted me outside of the thread here the other day and gave me some information that I had not previously heard,about a phase in production just prior to 1900 where some engines around that time in the old or heavy style were referred to in some of the company records as 'revised' being the early 'heavy' style but having been upgraded to utilise some of the new technology being applied to the newer engines that were coming to be known as '1900 style' or 'improved' models.I had previously seen engines matching that description in lithographs in text books etc,and it had previously added some confusion to my own understanding of the models produced.Without going too deep into that story the governor shape tells me that it will be very unlikely to be later than 1901.
I am inclined to go with the recent advice on 'revised' models a little which would have it perhaps late in the #3000s?It still has it's mechanical oiler,which is usually a reason to think it's quite early(and earlier than my guesstimate),but then to balance that out there is no sign of the old style preheat setup.I can see some lugs and studs where the blower might have once lived,but there's a chance that it may have left the factory with a pressure lamp and minus the preheat blower and furnace?
I suppose you know where on the engine you might find the hp stamped?
Let us know please?
 

Inter Bloke

Registered
I suppose you know where on the engine you might find the hp stamped?
Let us know please?
I will have a look when I can get to the heritage park, I am a bit miffed that it must have been there and I missed it !
THAT WON'T HAPPEN NEXT TIME !!

The Hornsby's I have seen have the HP stamped into the rear end edge of the cylinder, is there anywhere else they put the numbers other than the ID plate ?
 
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