Tuesday 7 October 2008, by Roy Gasson
The main exhibits at the event included Deltic locomotive D9009 Alycidon , loaned by the DPS at Barrow Hill which arrived by road on the Friday The loco ran throughout the weekend on the short demonstration line giving Napierans the chance of hearing one of their greatest products running once again. Visitors were also given the opportunity of visiting the engine room and seeing those Deltic engines in situ, although only one was run-up while hauling the 2 coaches.
There were four full size engines on static display that weekend, including the Trust’s CT18-42K engine of 4000bhp, Napiers most powerful put into production. Whilst the Bucks Railway Centre could never be seen as an ideal location to see a Deltic loco perform, it was the ideal place to bring together the different products of D. Napier & Son within the excellently reconstructed “ Rewley Road” station, where the Trust had on display a wide range of Napier ephemera. A display “in the Napier Drawing Office” included original drawing boards and D.O. instruments from the Company, along with many drawings and engine components plus tools and equipment that had been used to manufacture and test these Napier products. Also of great interest was a pictorial Napier Time-line exhibition, portraying many main achievements of the company over the last 200years. From printing presses to todays Turbochargers.
Also on show was the newly restored Acton Works clock which is destined for the DPS Depot where it should in working order. Larger exhibits within the station included a beautifully preserved Napier Lion engine out of a Schneider Trophy winning aircraft courtesy of Solent Sky Museum, Southampton. The Rolls Royce Heritage Trust (Coventry Branch) was also generous in making various Napier items available. This included a Napier Sabre and newly restored Napier Eland engine from Rolls Royce, Hucknall. Also on show were three Napier rocket engines; a double and triple Scorpion along with a rocket motor from a ‘Red Shoes’ missile. Along with these large exhibits were smaller items including various components from Deltic engines.
Amongst many fine models displayed were Norman Lawrence’s surperbly machined 1/3 size Dagger engine, Clennel Tomlinson’s intricate ¼ scale model Deltic and Sabre engines sat alongside Alan Vessey’s 5in gauge Deltic locomotive D9020 “Nimbus”. Typhoon, Tempest, Hector, Rotodyne and Wessex aircraft models were to be seen alongside Naval and Air Sea Rescue launches, plus a 14 ft model of a Ton Class minesweeper M1175, named “HMS Quainton”.
Brooklands Museum had loaned their priceless 1933 “NAPIER-RAILTON” racing car for the weekend, and member Geoff Dovey drove demonstration runs with her to everyone’s delight, its Lion XIA engines mellow-bellow sounding powerfully great after each push start. NPHT is indebted to his brother, member John Dovey, for transporting the big charged cooled turbocharged Deltic engine to Powerex, from where he stores it for the Trust at present.
During the event NPHT organisers and volunteers were recognised by the fact they wore Napier badged traditional white overalls, reminiscent of the Service Dept staff and Testers. The Napier-Railton was displayed alongside locomotive “Alycidon” and other early Napier cars, making a fabulous backdrop for all the attending Napier Staff to then be photographed together.
Visitors to the event had the opportunity to learn more about D. Napier & Son and its product as well as being to meet many of the people who designed, manufactured, installed and maintained them. This opportunity at Powerex has now passed, as it seems unlikely that such a gathering will ever occur again.
Hopefully an hour long DVD record of the event will be available in October/December, if you are interested please check the Sales section of the website.