Page from a journal

My great-grandfather Clarence was an engineer and steam engine designer. From at least 1912 until his death in 1947 he kept a daily journal, to begin with mainly relating to his work but later including travels and more general information. Part of his job in the 1910’s was to travel the country visiting places such as mills, factories, foundries and mines looking for business anywhere that might need a new steam engine for power in the days before electrical grids. And of course he took his camera with him.

Farme Colliery Engine

Friday 14th October 1914

Old Farme Colliery, Rutherglen, Glasgow.

The colliery is situated on the banks of the Clyde near Stewarts and Lloyds. They have a very interesting engine for winding from one of their pits. It was put to work in 1809 (probably a wrong date) and has been working ever since i.e. 105 years. The engine is a Newcomen type although Newcomen had nothing to do with it. The engine has several times been described and I have descriptions of it filed away. I took several photos of it. It is only used for hoisting now, but was formerly used for pumping as well. When pumping the valve gears were operated by the plunge rod, but for winding the valve gear is hand operated. The present engine man is an old man and he was brought up at the mine and has been the engine man a great number of years. His father ran it before him.

Mr Anderson is the managing owner of the colliery, and he kindly permitted me to take photos. His son also invited me to his house and showed me many photos of the engine and gave me particulars. The engine is an interesting relic and should ultimately find its way into a museum. There are many ways of doing things we little think of in these days of wonderful machine tools.

The parallel motion is not quite accurate Mr Anderson says. I have not seen one like it before. The engine is connected to 2 single deck cages. The cages and tubs balance.

Rope 3 cwt.

Coal 7 cwt.

Total 10 cwt.

The depth of shaft is 270 ft.

Extracts from Clarence’s journal. Part of a detailed description of the engine and it’s working. There is more but I have not yet been able to decipher it.

Farme Colliery Engine

The Farme Colliery engine is now in the Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life. Some details of it’s history are in a blog here: Mysteries of the Farme Colliery Engine.

Farme Colliery Engine