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The 29th Stationary Engine Show, Nuenen Holland 2017

By Richard Amos

Travelling this year with Martin Chamney, we embarked on the midnight ferry from Dover travelling through the night to miss the usual traffic around Antwerp. Arriving in Nuenen at dawn with very few people awake, we headed for the hotel, only a few miles away. Luckily they had one of our two rooms free so we got some well needed sleep before returning to the showground to set up.

The theme for 2017 was Gardner engines and I had borrowed a Robinson hot air engine to display since some of these were built by Gardner. Martin took the Drummond of Guildford engine and a small George Waller and I added my newly restored New Way vertical to the line up. After sorting out the engines and our ‘rally kit’ we headed for the sales stalls, always numerous at Nuenen. Quite a few nice engines for sale but nothing tempting except a small Lavalette magneto that shouted ‘Japy’ at me so I had that. For sale was a Rider hot air engine as found, the same size as the one we restored and run at High Beeches but you needed deep pockets for this one… it had gone by Sunday.

Nuenen attracts so many interesting and unusual engines. This year, the star attraction was the 1875 Brayton Ready motor, this was exhibited by the Deutz AG Technikum Historic engine collection in Cologne. This 2-3hp engine was running at certain times during the show and operates a constant pressure cycle as air is passed from the compressor cylinder to the expansion cylinder. On the way fuel is introduced and ignited… look it up if you are interested. On equal par was the 1hp 1886 Daimler hot tube gas engine  no 1179 built at Cannstatt, Germany.

There are probably only a few of these engines surviving and it was run up at various times during the weekend. Noisiest exhibit at the show was the 1989 VEB 135 hp  gas turbine running at 31,000 rpm.  The largest was either the twin cylinder Brons Motor or the 67 hp Crossley HH11 built in 1967, both beautifully restored. Nuenen is an exhibition of the weird and wonderful world of the Stationary Engine and most of the time I felt like a kid in a sweet shop with so much to look at. Next year is the 30th Nuenen show, the theme as yet undecided but it  promises to  be an event not to be missed.

Picture: Brayton Ready Motor engraving (to follow).