National Mills Weekend: Cobbs Mill
The Mill’s weekend fell on a clear part of the diary for Bill and I this year so it was decided with the owner to open the Mill to the public on Sunday 15th of May. We arrived at 09:00 and set about re-fitting the intake pipe to the venturi flange. The pipe had been removed on our previous visit so that some simple modifications could be made. This was to help silence the intake gasp due to air rushing through the relatively small aperture in the venturi. The mods were a simple, a plate baffle across the inside of the tube followed by a rolled up section of carpet (a bit like a cigarette filter) pushed in the bottom and secured by a coarse mesh.
By 09:30 we were ready for a trial start having done all the prep, oiling, water filling etc. The mighty Tangye started readily and ran superbly. The modifications proved successful ! The public started coming in from 10:00 onwards and everyone was full of praise at just how majestically this large engine runs. Bill and I had little to do apart from talking to the keen observers. By 13:00 there was a lull as people had their lunch.
The timing was perfect as the engine had just started to gently boil the cooling water! We stopped the engine and had a bite to eat ourselves. It was a beautiful day and a perfect place to be with the water wheel gently running in the background. By 14:30 people were appearing again and a quick look at the thermometer on the water pipe showed 80 degrees. We decided to dump half the header tank of water and refill it with cold. This would give us another decent run time.
The engine was re-started and continued to run faultlessly until 16:30 when the public had dried up. It is estimated around 60 visitors attended during the day. We stopped the engine and drained the water jacket, leaving it on compression stroke so both valves are closed. On reflection it had been a perfect run and surely the longest since the club restored it. remarkably it had burnt only about four inches of gas going by the condensation mark on the 50K cylinder!
We have no plan to run it again before winter so it is particularly sad that no other club members were present during the day, surely an opportunity lost!