April 2019 Picture of the Month

A trip to the Midlands towards the end of last month gave me a chance to explore the Victorian steam engines at Birmingham's Thinktank Science Museum, at Claymills Pumping Station in Burton-upon-Trent, and to see the wonderful Renshaw rotative beam engines at Coleham Pumping Station in Shrewsbury (above) in steam. If you could bottle the scent of a steam engine doing what it was designed to do, I'd put my name down for at least a crate of the stuff. I am indebted to Zoe Turton and Ian Colley at Thinktank, Mike Guthrie at Claymills, and Ian Payne and his fellow volunteers at Coleham for all letting me inside the barriers when I needed to take the close-up pictures I wanted for 'The Governor' book project. Frustratingly, of all the governors I saw over the trip, only three had their maker's names on them – Whitehead, and two Pickering governors made by Tangye of Smethwick and Joseph Evans of Wolverhampton under licence from the American Pickering company. If anyone reading this knows of other types of governor whose makers are identified, I'd be delighted to hear from you. Thanks.

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All images and text © John Hannavy