Sunday 6 November 2005
I need a source for parts for the Napier Deltic 18 cylinder marine engines as per Ton and Hunt Class Minesweepers/Hunters.
I am in immediate need of Starting Cartridges!
I have four Napier Deltics Two being used on a regular basis and two ready to be serviced/rebuilt.
Can anyone help?
my email is email@example.com
Dear Napier people,
I am in Sydney, Australia, and am looking for information on a Napier truck engine. I have a 52 ft fishing boat that was built in 1915. Over the years, it has had about 13 engines installed. I am looking for information on a Napier engine that it had in about 1952. The son of the owner, who was aged 15 when he worked on the boat in 1952, recently told me it had a Napier truck engine "21 hp, it had 6 cylinders but 12 spark plugs. It started on petrol but then you switched to kerosene". It had a hand crank start. Napier cars and trucks were sold in Australian in the 1920s, but I can’t see anything as recent as 1940s or 1950s. Fishermen were pretty poor at the time, so it was sure to be second-hand when installed, and may have been quite old.
Confirmation that such an engine did exist would be useful, as would any suggestions as to what exactly it may have been. Thanks Des Beechey firstname.lastname@example.org
Napier started producing 6 cylinder engines in 1903 and the last 6 cylinder engine was produced in 1924 but was not the type that would have 2 plugs per cylinder, these ceased production by WW1 SOME pre WWI Napier engines had dual ignition i.e. magneto and coil there would be 2 plugs per cylinder and were either 16 or 20hp. S. F. Edge who marketed all Napier cars produced a marine catalogue in 1904-5. So the Napier Engine in the boat would have come from an early car or Truck, we have been in direct contact with Des.
I have seen reference to marine versions of the Deltic engines being used in Navy vessels but not in the merchant service. There is one of the Cal-Mac fleet Lord of the Isles ( known affectionately as Lotti ) operating between Oban and the Western Isles that has Deltic power. Does anyone know details of the units used ?
None of the CalMac fleet had Deltic engines fitted. What is more likely is that the engines were fitted with Napier turbochargers. This is a mistake that has been made by several people over the years resulting in wild goose chases for those in search of Deltics!
There was a ferry fitted with Deltic engines, namely ‘Bass Trader’ which ran between Melbourne and Tasmania across the Bass Strait. In its time it was the fastest freight ferry in the world.
Other non-naval vessels fitted with Deltics included ‘PL1, 2 and 3’ fitted with two 9-cylinder Deltics each. These were operated by Shell on Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela. ‘PL4’ was built later for the same purpose but was fitted with 18-cylinder engines. Napier’s first merchant venture was with an ex-liberty ship called ‘Bahama King’, an ore carrier which had four 18-cylinder Deltics. One purpose of this venture was to introduce the concept of repair by engine replacement in a merchant vessel. However it didn’t work because of the way the vessel was operated commercially. It is an interesting story that can be told elsewhere.
Other non-Naval vessels included several motor yachts including ‘Naief’ owned by the Qatar Royal Family, ‘Carinthia VI’ owned by a German supermarket tycoon which reportedly held several speed records for travelling between luxury resorts on the Med. Finally there was the beautiful ‘Blue Magic’ built in 1983.
Hello Tim Sorry for the delay, we know of a number of units used in the following Marine craft, The Shell Company ferry, The Bass Trader which was a Roll on Roll off ferry, I believe used in the far East. Also in Blue Magic and Carnithia IV which were expensive pleasure craft. There maybe more that I am not aware of.
Roy Chairman NPHT
I left secondary school shortly after my 15th. Birthday. Prior to leaving school I had been attending night school for extra maths & Science subjects. I had applied for and obtained an interview at the English Electric factory on the East Lanc’s Road which was about 6 miles from where we then lived in Everton. I was successful and started at the Apprentice School in the May of ’56. I could ride my bike there in less the ½ hour or get the Tram later Bus from the end of the street.
The school was situated opposite Napier E Shop and next to the Research Dept. There where about 10 of us started at the same time and where assigned to an instructor on the fitting section. My memory for names is not good enough to remember the people I started with apart from Ray Bremner & Phil Moss and the instructors names escape me too apart for a Mr King? Who may have been the chief instructor and Mr Whittle on the Grinding Section.
The first few weeks where hard work, not only did we have to get used to working with hand tools. I was not too bad as, being a cyclist I was used to messing about with tools. But working with ‘Adults’ was a new experience. The General Stores, Metal & Tool stores where in the main workshop area, and the ‘new Apprentices’ stood out like a sore thumb and where given some stick by the men in the Machine Shop. I.e. sent for a “Long Stand’ or a Long Weight’. But you soon got used to it. Some time you would be given an item that had been ‘repaired’ and told to deliver back to the dept. it came from. This would usually be ‘B’ Shop [ fusegear ] where the assembly lines where staffed by young women and they would do there best to embarrass the ‘new kids’. Eventually you had to get used to getting around the site and put up with it.
I remember the first job we did was to do was to produce a 1 inch square block out of a 2 inch dia. piece of Black Bar, by hand, with a hacksaw, Hammer and Chisel and File. Then cut a 1 inch square hole in a 1/8 thick plate by the same method. The 1 inch square block had to be a neat fit in the hole 6 ways with minimal clearance. We also made some hand tools. Inside & Outside Callipers, Try Square and Spring Dividers. These [Spring Dividers ] tested out yours Heat Treatment skills, as it took numerous failures to get the spring tension just right. We also made a 1inch wide Vice by hand and a 2 inch wide Vice by hand and machining. [ I still have this and use it ]
After the fitting section we went on to Milling, Turning & Grinding. All the new Apprentices had a good grounding in basic Fitting And Turning no matter where in the factory you where going to be placed. I was also still doing further education at Night School to try to get on a bit better, some of the other Apprentices where from Tech. & Grammar Schools so there was a cross section of abilities. I originally wanted to be an Electrician but I don’t think my Maths where as good as some, but I seemed to be good at designing and making things.
The English Electric was a very good company to work for, at the time I was there they employed about 20,000. They had a good Social Club set up with interest groups in any activity or Sport you could name. There was a large sports field with Football Pitches. Cricket, Rouders and athletics where played in the summer. Around the perimeter of the Sports Field there was a miniature Steam Railway that the apprentices had built and maintained. This took Kids on ride around the sports field. on The annual Sports Day Gala. There where regular dances at The Grafton in Liverpool and concerts in the canteen, also a Children’s Christmas Party. When my brother and I where young we went to these parties as one of our Uncles worked there.
When I left the Apprentice School the first place I worked was in E Shop on Inspection. Checking ‘bought out’ parts. Then to Cylinder Liner Inspection. The Ports of these where hand finished and had to be checked for tool marks and polish. The bores where Honed and checked for size with a Pneumatic Plug Gauge and the bore finish with a Tally Surf Machine. I then spent some time setting 1a Ward Capstan Lathes and later was moved into E Shop Tool Room where I spent the rest of my time.
The main production at the time was Commercial and Admiralty 12 & 9 cyl. Deltic Engine.
These where some recollections of my first year at Napiers, at a wage rate of 52/8 per week.
More to come if no one objects
Arthur Cartin [ 45E 505 ] ]
Recollections of a Napier [ East Lanc’s Rd ] Year Apprentice
It is now my 2nd. year and I am in E shop Tool Room. We had also moved from Everton to Kirkby. This on the Manchester side of the factory and about ¼ of the distance to travel, and am still going to night School in Everton by Bike. The new Apprentices in the Tool Room started on Cutter Grinding. In those days all the cutting tools where reground, throw away tips had not come in yet. Drill grinding was the first job you where given, drills up to 3” where machine re-ground and you got soaked from the spray off the 12” wheel. We re-ground End Mills, Slot Drills, Side & Face Cutters, Face Mills, Slab Mills, Taps & Coventry Dies, Reamers, Lathe Tools and form Cutters. We Also Brazed our own Carbide tips onto serrated cutter inserts and Copper Brazed tips onto shanks for use on the VDF copy Lathes that roughed the out Cylinder Liners. We went on to do a whole range of work, apart from Cutter Grinding. Universal Milling, Turning, Universal Grinding, Gauge Grinding, Thread Grinding, Form Grinding, Jig Boring and Bench work. Some apprentices stayed on the machining side. I spent a fair time on the Turning section on a VDF Lathe and a Dean Smith & Grace Lathe, but eventually finished up on the Bench Section. In 1958 I signed my indentures they where backdated to my 16th. Birthday There was more Jig, Fixture and Gauge work coming in for the Eland & Gazelle Engines now, and the E Shop was machining Magnesium [ fire risk ] instead of Aluminium castings. A Blade and Diaphragm section was also set up. The Tool Room made ‘masters’ for the copying machines and produced profiling tools. One job I did was to make a ‘copy’ of an air intake hole, the shape of which had been ‘developed’ by the R&D. A strange job was making jigs to bend pipes and fixtures to hold the pipes while the fittings where brazed on and Gauges to make sure the where still the right shape, the Angles and Bends had to be within .025”. and the Banjo and Flare fittings had to align correctly. As I worked my way through my Apprenticeship I got to work on my own and picked up some good tips from the older trades men. The best one was ‘always check if your drawing is the latest issue’ often Acton changed things and we where the last to know. Pity if you had Jig Bored 40 holes in a Drill Jig and they had changed it to 45. Some other interesting jobs where taking drilling samples from Pistons that had had failed in service. The crowns where removed for testing and made great ashtrays. We often had visits from Navel Top Brass, they would be given an engraved Piston Crown from an Admiralty engine as a souvenir. That was a clever job engraving, the Napier Logo in the concave of the crown. I also made tools for my own use. Old Sabre Con Rods made good lightweight Parallels Angle plates, Angle Gauges, Marking Out tools, Pin Punches and other bit and pieces. I was now going to Walton Tech then Byrom St. Tech on Day Release. And I had a Motor Bike [ too far to Cycle into Liverpool ]. When I turned 21 and finished my time I thought I would have to do National Service as we had been exempted at 18, but as we where working on Government work we had an extension and then National Service was finished. There was no room on the Bench Section at this time for another Skilled Man so I took a job in the Engine Strip while I looked around for something. This was ‘interesting’ work. Engines that had ‘failed’ in service where brought in for stripping and inspection. Navy Engine where all washed clean but BR Engines where still covered in soot. All the parts where removed and laid out. Even the Liners where removed. Some 9cyl. Engines had a tendency to ‘Hydraulic’ and stuff the Rod up inside the Piston. Sometimes a Navy Engine had been run ‘Dry’, then the ship’s engineer’s neck was on the line. The Navy would often send a team up to watch the stripping process. I eventually got a job in the new Ford Factory and left Napiers. After 7 years working in a number of other places around Liverpool I returned to Napiers. For a while I worked on the Plano Mill, machining Paxman 12 & 8 cyl. Crankcases. As well as some Deltic Crankcases. Soon the company started to shut down [ GEC take over ]. I did have an offer to go to Lincoln with the Plano Mill but did not fancy that. I took a job at a small Tool Makers / Engineers in St. Helens and left,. I had met my wife to be by then and we had bought a house out there. So that was about it for Napiers. We came to Oz in ’83 with 2 boys and have never regretted it. Thanks for your indulgence. A.Cartin
NEW NAPIER CAR WEBSITE
This new site has been set up by the NAPIER CAR REGISTRAR Derek Grossmark.
The site covers the history or the Car Manufacture by Napiers from 1900 - 1924.
The site also has an article on the 6 Cylinder cars produced by Napiers, including a page of nomenclature with hp and capacity and type numbers etc.
See online : http://napiercars.com
Hello You are right in that it’s replica but the caption under the photo in the gallery does say "reproduction of a typhoon shot down..." The glass fiber replica was modeled on the Typhoon flown by Flight sergeant JJ Rowland, shot down by flak on the 7th June 1944 whilst attacking Mezidon station.
Normandy tour guide
See online : http://normandy-tour-guide.cpmac.com
I took My mother Iris, ex Napier Luton employee, to the gathering at Quainton yesterday and I want to congratulate you on a very interesting day out. While gowing up in a Napier family means some information is known, I learnt a lot about the earlier and later periods of Napier history, not to mention extra details about the aero engine period, when my father was involved at Luton.
As I help run a number of motor car related activities, I have some idea of the amount of time and effort that goes into such an event as this and you are all to be congratulated on a great day and it was a splendid reward for all your hard work. Pictures of the Napier Railton and the Deltic are a great treat to take, even if it was a shame the car could only lap the car park so slowly! it was still great to hear it run at all.
Thanks for a lovely day out and the weather could not spoil it! Kind regards, Gordon England
Thank you for your comments its nice to know that you enjoyed your visit and makes it worth the effort we put in to the event, to receive positive feed back. We look forward to seeing you in the future.
Roy Hon Sec
May I congratulate the Organising Committee of the NPHT for the excellent event at Quainton on Saturday 21 July. It was extremely worthwhile to make the long journey from Edinburgh to see the wonderful exhibits and to meet in person the names that I have communicated with for so long. I am just sorry that the logistics of getting to Quainton on the Sunday prevented me from attending on that day as well. However, I think I saw everything and everybody that I would have wanted to see and meet. On behalf of the greater Napier family I would like to compliment the Trust for the work it does in keeping alive the Napier engineering heritage. Keep up the good work.
If anyone is interested, I have constructed an abbreviated family tree to show the relationship between David, the founder of the D Napier & Son company, and his two engineering cousins, Robert, “The Father of Clyde Shipbuilding”, and David, who was also a shipbuilder and had a yard at Millwall for a while. It only takes up two A4 pages and I will be happy to send it as an e-mail attachment to anyone who requests it. Please contact me on email@example.com. To find out more about the greater Napier family see our web site at www.clannapier.org.
Thanks again to everybody.
Charlie Napier, President, Clan Napier Society, Edinburgh, Scotland.
I am interested in the method of operation of the scavenge blower and turbocharger on the Napier Deltic engines type T18-37K as fitted to the PTF "Nasty " boats. I can see from the sectional drawings in the Napier Manual that the impeller is driven mechanically via gearing from 2 of the crank shafts. This is necessary for good scavenging in the absence of crankcase pressure. However the exhaust turbine also seems to be connected by gearing to the impeller. Given that exhaust turbo chargers normally run free at high RPM, producing an increase in engine power from a big increase in volume flow and inlet pressure boost, it is difficult to see how the "geared in" turbocharged engine can allow 3100HP compared to 1650 HP without turbocharger, as found in the Deltic class 55 railway loco motive. Surely any connecting gearing would limit the exhaust turbine speed.
There must be some sort of clutch on the impeller shaft that allows the impeller to run free with the exhaust turbo, maybe above a certain engine speed. I would welcome any explanation or further detail of the turbo blower drive system that would explain this.
I am trying to find somewhere that might have some deltic spares. Any ideas?
Mike Handbury Production Manager - Aerospace and Defence
Cosworth Ltd The Octagon St James Mill Road Northampton, NN5 5RA United Kingdom
T: +44 (0)1604 598295 M: +44 (0)7714148188 F: +44 (0)1604 598653 E. mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.cosworth.com
Dear Napier Enthusiasts, I have recently acquired a sea recovered Napier Sabre that will be used in my UK based static Hawker Typhoon Project.So far i have built from the rudder to the engine bearers. The engine is in need of TLC and is missing its ancillaries etc. If any other your members have an interest in Sabres please feel free to contact me on 07803 286753 or email.
R H Marley
Any 1949 Graduate Apprentices still around? I was at the Park Royal Apprentice School in the autumn of that year and then went into the workshops and drawing offices at Acton and Luton for the rest of my 2 year stint before moving on to AGTD at NRS in Liverpool in 1951.So I have long lasting memories of Frank Bonney and A V Parker at Park Royal, and subsequently working in the foundry, forge, and many different shops including the Deltic Test House at Acton - where I managed to contract dermatitis from the Deltic’s diesel fuel! But what a wonderful intro to the real world of engineering after the cocoon of university life. At Liverpool I worked for Ron Morris who I met again in 2006 - after almost 50 years - when he came over to the UK from Canada. Anyone with similar memories from those days?
Incidentally I spent the rest of my career in nuclear power from 1958 on - but knew Ken Edwards well in my Liverpool days.
KEN LEIGH (email@example.com) would be delighted to hear from you!!
By chance, I looked up the NPH web-site, having noticed the local publicity (near Aylesbury) for the Quainton Weekend.
I was a Napier Apprentice at East Lancs Rd (with short spell at Netherton) from Oct 1952 - 57. From 54-57 (as apprentice) I was at NRS in various Sections - including yours. I worked in Test Rigs for Arthur Good, in the Fitting Shop, and Airflow Lab (with a fitter called Bill Spendley). From Oct 57 to early 60, I was at NRS as a Technical Assistant (I think that was what we were called) on the Airflow Lab Section. I remember LA Nevard (who later sponsored my IMechE application for corporate membership), Ron Morris, Brian Haythornethwaite - and other faces that i cannot put names to now.
Having been deferred from National Service until almost the end, we were about to be called up when the ’TA numbers’ dried up in the aftermath of the 1957 Defence White Paper. I joined the RAF on a SSC and converted to a Permanent Commission, serving for 28 years before leaving as an Engineer Branch Wing Commander. Subsequently, I became Head of Education at the Engineering Council.
In one RAF job on the early-1970s, I had an MOD job related to aero-engine development, and worked with civil service colleagues in the MOD(PE) as it then was. One guy with whom I worked (Ray Wilkins) was clearing out his cupboard and found a brochure about NRS - apparently he had been involved with commissioning the place fro the Ministry of Supply. A couple of years ago, I went to a RAeS lecture at Boscombe Down about the Fairy Rotodyne - waiting for the lecture to start, I spoke to the person next to me. It was John Love, also of the NRS (upstairs office) at the time. He had travelled from Manchester for the event! In the mid-70s, I went to the wedding of one of my young engineer officers. We met some family friends the night before - I recognised a face - it was Steve Stevenson, who was in charge of the Turbine (406?) rig.
I did get involved with NPH in the earlier days with Alan Vessey, but regret to say that I was not much help. I was involved in too many other things at the time. But, as I live in Wendover - only a few miles from Quainton - I will try to make myself useful if wanted over that weekend.
I don’t know much about the Deltic loco side - just remember the blue prototype at Netheron works in 1953, when I worked there before coming back to ’the lancs’ at NRS. Of course, I started at East Lancs Rd in the Apprentice School just outside the NRS gate by E-shop. My only contact with Acton was when I had to go for a job interview in 1957 at the end of my apprenticeship - and came back to NRS Airlow Lab.
Having got into this subject, I rummaged in the back of a bookshelf and found some pages from the NRS Airflow Lab Data Book - one was entitled ’Three Quarter Radius Pitot Tube Flowmeters’ dated 8th Nove 56, signed by K.M.Leigh and L.A.Nevard. That source has now uneathed some more ’team names’ R.Clare, D.Small, A.Rixon, P.Egan, A.Penny.
I also recall buying a blue Riley 9 Lynx AXR525. Sadly, no longer mine!
I have been back to my school (St Mary’s, Crosby) and ATC Squadron (1128 at Crosby) within he last decade - so maybe in 2008 it is Napier Time.
Peter Swindlehurst Wendover Aylesbury Bucks
Getting bored at work one recent afternoon I stumbled across your request for information about Harry T. Vane
I’m sure you’ve found out he was a director of Napier’s.
My connection is that he married my grandfather’s sister Elizabeth Burley and that my father served his apprenticeship at Napier’s around the same time
If you can get hold of a copy of a book called:- Men & Machines – A History of D. Napier & Sons, Engineers Ltd. 1808-1958. It was written by Charles Wilson and William Reader Published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 7 Cork Street London W1 in 1958 there is quite a bit about him and his work at Napier’s.
Attached are a photo of HTV at some exhibition I found in the book, A copy of my great grand parent family bible “Marraiges” and a photograph of I believe Elizabeth Burley, I’ve no idea when it was taken. Well I thought I could.
Good luck in your hunt for information
The Gazelle and Eland both used a Magnesium alloy which included radioactive Thorium, which I understand was done to improve the creep properties. As a result Royal Navy Wessex aircraft have a warning label "Thorium hazard"
Can anyone tell me if this led to restrictions on maintenance operations in Royal Navy service - or RAF service of the Belvedere with similar engines? It would be particularly helpful if any data was available about the radiation levels, presumably in rems etc rather than the units now used. This is a practical question, not just a matter of historic interest.
I have tried to get some information for you but have been unsuccessful, we were informed some time ago that the amount of Thorium was very small. May I suggest that you contact Rolls Royce Heritage as they inherited both engines in the late sixty’s and produced the Gazelle engine for a number of years. Sorry we could not be of more help.
My wife’s maternal grandfather allegedly worked as a Salesman for Napier cars early in the 20th century, and toured South America (mainly Argentina from his postcards) Trying to sell these cars there..
In sorting out some old family photographs we have come across a picture of a large open car fitted with two spare wheels onthe right hand running board.
I have scanned this picture with grandfather at the wheel and would be interested to hear whether you would be interested to see the car
There are also a number of anecdotes in the family regarding his work for Napier. We would be interested to know if this is a recognisable Napier. Or a piece of family legend without foundation in fact.
I am trying to locate a Lion engine to ground run, I have recently finished an Alvis Leonides which is now run at various aero meets and gives everybody a smile.
If anyone can help, please contact me and hopefully we can see and hear a great engine running again.
Andy Lloyd firstname.lastname@example.org
I recently shifted the Nizam of Hyderabad’s surviving Napiers to the Chowmahalla Palace where they will be displayed as a museum exhibit, and would like to ascertain the correct model year and type of these cars along with any other relevant info regards their purchase/ order/ manufacture/coachbuild. They are chassis numbers 1178 and 1181
Any assistance would be much appreciated.
Deepak Kant Gir