TREATS
(The Rolleston Engineering And Transport Society)
www.rollestontransportfestival.co.uk
https://www.facebook.com/RollestonTransportFestival

Dedicated Transport Festival (Enquiries): rolleston.transport.festival@talktalk.net


The 2010 Transport Festival raised so much interest in the village that some exhibitors thought it would be good to meet together to chat about cars and motor bikes and all manner of things related to mechanical and transport issues. A trial meeting was held in the Spread Eagle which demonstrated enough interest to make it worthwhile setting up the group. It was then decided to widen it to include anything mechanical, which led to the name The Rolleston Engineering And Transport Society (TREATS).

Initially the aim is to meet and chat about engineering and old vehicles over a pint. A promising number of people have shown interest and so far the talk has been very wide-ranging; from old cars to the development of fuel for engines starting with the first fuel for Diesel engines which was powdered coal, through paraffin, oil, and petrol. There was a discussion on how radial and rotary aircraft engines work and hopefully John Underhill will work an explanation into a short informal presentation. The engineering expertise among the present members is very wide and promises interesting discussions. It is hoped that if enough interest can be generated to make it worthwhile we can arrange talks and visits. Klondyke and Rolls Royce museum were suggested for visits – watch this space.

We meet at the Spread Eagle Hotel at 8 pm on the third Tuesday of the month and anyone with any interest in old machinery is very welcome. At present it is very informal and there are no subscriptions or rules – just come along for the interest and the beer.

For more information contact Phil Irwin on 521180  or John Morris on 814181 .


Autumn 2017 News - Talks at TREATS monthly gatherings

April. Tim Moss - Salt production in the Trent Valley and Staffordshire.

Salt production used lead pans heated by wood fires to evaporate the brine. In 17th Cent. This changed to wrought iron so that coal could be used. Trent Valley water had a high brine content, producing high quality salt. By 1705 32,000 bushels per year were produced. The Army, Navy and the fishing industry used vast amounts. It was heavily taxed and for every 16 shillings, 15 would be Tax. In 1830 at Hixon they built a Spa Hotel; the baths were used up to 1900. There is still a ‘Baths Lane’ in Hixon. In 1970 they found considerable deposits near Stafford that led to 3 large salt works being built. They used a vacuum evaporation process to produce the salt. These closed when there was a major claim against them.

May. Steve Booth - Fauld explosion

Fauld was chosen because of its central location and as the tunnels were wide and high they were ideal for storage. New storage areas were needed in 1942 after the US joined. However, they left a substantial wall between the two areas; this was to prove a ‘lifesaver’ in the accident. A narrow gauge railway ran through the tunnels and took the bombs to Scropton Junction. By 1944 Fauld had an enormous store of bombs plus millions of rounds of small arm bullets. Also, faulty bombs were returned to Fauld for rectification. This was carried out in a special area in part of the old mine. But as the work load increased bombs were worked on in the new area (the other side of the wall as mentioned previously).

On 27th November 1944 an explosion occurred that resulted in a crater 1/4mile across and 100feet deep. It is estimated that over 4,000 tons of bombs, 500million rounds of ammunition and other material exploded. Demand for staff was high and 189 Italians from two local PoW camps worked in the storage area. Castle Hayes Park Farm was above the mine and completely disappeared with all the people, livestock and buildings. Hanbury was badly affected, a business near Fauld was totally destroyed by a flood caused when a nearby dam broke drowning all the workers. There is a memorial to the Italians at the crater and also one at the Arboretum at Alrewas.

June. Clive Baker - Thai/Burma Railway

In 2015 Clive travelled to Kanchanaburi on the Bangkok to Wampo railway, part of the route being the infamous ‘Death Railway’ built by prisoners of war in 1943. Early steam engines were wood fired because of its abundance but changed to diesel to protect the forests. The lines were, and still are, metre gauge. In 2010 they built the Airport Express Line to Bangkok, 25kV AC max speed 90mph. He started the journey from Thonburi Station; that looked like a shack not a main line station. From Kanchanaburi he was able to visit some of the original Thai/Burma Railway. He visited the ‘Weary’ Dunlop Peace Park devoted to Lt.-Col E E Dunlop, an Australian Surgeon who did so much to help injured people during their captivity.

A number of ‘secret’ sketches of the POW’s life were recorded by Jack Bridges Chalker who died in 2014. Clive showed photos of Konga Cutting -Hellfire Pass. The bridge over the river Kwai, built by the Japanese was bombed and destroyed in June 1943 and ended the Japanese route. There were some chilling facts associated with the building the Burma railway; 12,619 military deaths; 85,400 civilian deaths. 56 stations built, 108 POW camps.

Philip Irwin - Secretary to TREATS
susanirwin@btinternet.com. Tel. 521180


Transport Festival May 2017

The Transport Festival will be nearly on us by the time you read this. Again, cars are booking in early to be sure of a place and it looks like another record turnout. The popularity of the Festival continues to grow year on year. Let's hope we get good weather again for another memorable day.

Parking on the streets was much better last year with the use of the field next to the Scouts. We hope to be able to use that again. The vintage buses prove to be really popular and this year we are hiring two again as some people didn’t manage to get a ride last year.

For a number of practical reasons, the management committee decided to make the Festival free entry for visitors. We hope to make up the money for charity by donations from the public and the exhibitors. This year we are very pleased to announce that TL Darby has become a major sponsor of the Festival. We are very grateful to Richard and The TL Darby team for their support.

Our raffle is always well supported and makes a significant contribution to the funds that we can distribute to our charities. We always try to find a novel major prize associated in some way with the event e.g. last year's vintage car tour of the Peak District or the previous year's day on a steam roller. This year the winner (and a companion) will be invited to spend a day with a master blacksmith forging their own memento of the day.

St Mary's Grand Garage Sale continues as the Fringe Festival event and is visited by many on the day - there are many bargains to find!

As usual we are asking for volunteers on the day again. Everyone who helps enjoys the day; it is very rewarding. We will have a helpers/stewards meeting at Rolleston Club on the Thursday before the Festival (May 25th) at 7-30 pm. If you would like to help but can’t make the meeting please contact John Morris on 01283 814181,
email rolleston.transport.festival@talktalk.net, or any committee member.

For more information on the Transport Festival, see our brand new web site http://www.rollestontransportfestival.co.uk/

John Morris
Organising Chairman


Summer 2017 News

17th January. Richard Farman - Burton History from Original Materiel.

Richard has a unique collection related to Burton upon Trent. Maps from 1640 giving a mileage chart for distance between villages; but only showing rivers and churches. Bass's carrying business was taken over by Pickfords in 1777, realised funds being used to form Bass Brewery. Lifeboats figured; photos of Redcar lifeboat pulled by horses, and then launched on the Trent! There was also pictures of 'Mission to Seaman' Cornish Crew. Industries included Peel's mills; cotton spinning and power-loom weaving. Peel employed hundreds of workers; his grandson formed the police force and was also Prime Minister. Letters written prior to 1840 were paid for by the recipient and were priced on distance! There were also early documents that had 'penny black' stamps. The original gas works, 1832, in Station Street then, 1854, in Anderstaff Lane, (Wetmore Road). The population in 1851 was 12,373 souls in 2,250 houses. Richard had illustrations of Helter Skelters at the Burton Statutes. Orton & Spooner were one of Britain's greatest amusement ride manufacturers. Briggs made copper equipment for the brewery industry supplied world wide. Timber trade was extensive in Burton,- like Sharpes and Knights. Boats would take beer to the Baltic States and return with pig iron, timber and barrel staves. In 1839 the railway arrives in Burton. The original station was each side of the track and in the centre was one of the first W H Smith stalls. An electricity works was opened by Burton corporation in 1894 on the east side of Wetmore Road. Burton had one of the earliest car manufacturers, the Ryknield Car Co. Opened in 1904, and also a number of Garages sprang up to service this new phenomenon. The Alabaster works at Fould supplied material to the USA and recently provided the plinth for the Richard III’s grave in Leicester Cathedral

21st March. John Jones - Metal Mining in Derbyshire.

John is a member of the Wirksworth Mine Research Group; also the oldest licensed cave rescuer! He started 'Pot Holing' in 1960 down the Ecton copper mine. There are about 10,000 mine shafts in Derbyshire, but not all the locations are known. He carries out a yearly safety check on mine cappings over vertical shafts. Finished mines were capped off with branches, then piles of limestone. Through time the branches rot leaving just the stones. Sitting on the top eating your butties you could be in for a shock if it all falls in. Also, beware the miner’s cabin as at one end was the shaft. You could enter one of these to get out of the weather and be standing on the mine shaft. John had a map of Bonsall moor that showed 300 open shafts. The advice is to keep to footpaths over the moor and be careful not to walk over areas of bracken that may hide open mines! It's a minefield! The temperature down these limestone mines is constantly at 6 degrees Lead ore had been extracted from these mines in Romas times and for centuries afterwards. Wirksworth was the centre of the mining industry. By the 17th century lead was second in importance in the national economy only to wool. John had many interesting photographs taken down the mines.

Future talks and trips
16th May: Steve Booth - Fauld
explosion.
24th June trip to Coventry Transport Museum

Philip Irwin -Secretary to TREATS
susanirwin@btinternet.com. Tel. 521180.


Spring 2017 News

15th November. Talk by Graham Thorne on Richard Trevithick (1771 -1833)

Little is known of Richard Trevithick's Life story. He had exceptional ability at maths and at 21 he was a consulting engineer. He married, had 6 children and his eldest, Francis, was to write his life story. Richard was from a mining background; his father being 'Captain' in the local mine. It is not possible to cover all of Graham's talk so I will just relate some important events. Cornwall played a major part in the industrial revolution due to its mineral deposits. To reach the seams mines had to be driven deep, hence the risk of water ingress. Thomas Newcomen (born 1663) invented the first practical steam engine in 1712 but these were inadequate to pump from such a depth. By 1776 James Watt had improved Newcomen's design. Matthew Boulton and James Watt were heavily involved in Cornwall. Now enter Trevithick who was looking at high pressure steam boilers. The 'Cornish Engine' was effectively a Watt engine working at high pressure. In 1798 he invented and built the 'Experimental Model Road Locomotive' followed in 1801 by the first road locomotive. In 1803 he built the 'London Road Loco'. On 21st February 1804, on the Penydarren Tramway, his engine hauled wagons with ten tons of iron; thus being the first to pull a load on a railway. In 1808 he produced a locomotive to take to London and devised an iron circular track in an enclosure.

People paid to ride in coaches and effectively this was the first public railway in the UK. He was also involved with work on a tunnel under the Thames and also a steam driven dredger. In 1815 he leaves and goes off to Peru - for 11 years but the mining work was a bit of a disaster and in 1827, penniless, he returns to England. He invented many more things including floatation tanks for raising sunken ships; but in 1833 he was to die a pauper.

On 24th November 24 of us had an excellent visit to Bombardier. We witnessed the building of the first production London Cross Rail coaches. There are about 400 employed at the site.

20th December - Make and fly an aeroplane - John Morris. John supplied all the equipment to produce flying machines of the designs that he had brought. There were a number of variations including spinning discs, small and large circular sections joined by a strut (straw). There were two sessions of 'test flight' and the longest distance travelled was made by Roger Gawthorpe, who won the star prize

Philip Irwin - Secretary to TREATS
susanirwin@btinternet.com. Tel. 521180


Winter 2016 News

Trip on 16th August to Leeds Armouries and Thwaites Mill

22 of us had a good day out and there was plenty to see at the Armouries and the restored mill.

20th Sept Bryan Pickering - Canal Navigation and the Falkirk Wheel

Bryan started his talk with the origins of the canal system with the first operational one being the Aire and Calder Navigation that ran from Goole to Leeds and was operational by 1704. The 'golden age' for the canals was between 1750 and 1850; before the railways started to dominate. After 1850 there was a decline in their commercial use for the next century. There was a re-generation in 1947, under the Labour Government, to recognise the importance of the system and many canals were refurbished to make navigation possible. Some of the canals followed contours and although they twist and turn there were no locks; the Ashby Canal being a good example. Going through locks with a horse drawn narrow boat was very time consuming. Sometimes there has to be numerous locks to gain height. At Foxton not only can you see a flight of locks but also an inclined plane that was used to haul the boats up a slope, but it became too costly and so they reverted to the locks. One other way of gaining height can be seen in the Anderton lift that takes barges from the River Weaver up to the Trent and Mersey Canal, a height of 50 feet. This was designed and built by Edwin Clark in 1875. Originally hydraulically powered, this was changed to electric motors in 1900. During its recent restoration it was changed back to hydraulic power.

One of the latest and most significant pieces of work to be carried out by anybody on our canal systems was a Millenium project led by British Waterways and supported by various authorities. The project was to link the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. The height difference is over 100 feet and the problem was solved by the use of a counter balanced rotating wheel of a revolutionary design, in fact the only such design in the World. The lift is named after the nearby town Falkirk. It was opened by the Queen on 24th May 2002. The link also required building 28 new road bridges, two new locks and a tunnel. The wheel was fabricated by Butterley Engineering Works at Ripley, one of their last jobs before closing down.

This very elegant design uses 10 hydraulic motors to rotate the two counter balanced gondolas, weighing 300tons each. In fact the 10 motors are required to overcome the stiction, after which only about 18 Kw is required to keep it moving. It takes about 10 minutes to complete the lift and it can be rotated either clockwise or counter-clockwise.

15th November. Talk on Richard Trevithick to be given by Graham Thorne who is a long standing member of The Trevithick Society and is currently its Publications Secretary and Journal Editor. Everyone will find the subject both appropriate and extremely interesting.
20th December - Make and fly an aeroplane - John Morris.
Friday 27th January - Annual Dinner

Talks at the gatherings take place on the THIRD TUESDAY of the month in the upstairs room at the Spread Eagle. If you would like to give us a talk related in any way to Transport or Engineering we would love to hear from you.

National Brewery Centre

Work on the fire engine continues and now we have the engine running and power to the back wheels, another big step ahead. Is this the one to take to the Transport Festival next year?

Philip Irwin -Secretary to TREATS
susanirwin@btinternet.com. Tel. 521180.


Autumn 2016 News

At the April gathering Simon Hurcomb gave us a good talk on - Anaerobic Digestion , Biogas and Biomethane

Simon's previous career was supplying parts for trains and nuclear submarines. His current job is an engineer for Enitec who supply equipment and plants to turn waste into electricity or cleaned up gas to go into our National grid.

Turning waste into usable energy is not new as he said that a simple form of turning human waste into gas was common in India back in the 19th Century. The Anaerobic Digestion process takes place lacking oxygen. Process output is 50% Methane/50% Carbon Dioxide; the CO2 being stripped out in the final stages.

Simon showed a video of a plant installed at Allpress Farms Ltd. Plant output was 499kW. The feed stock in this instance comes from maize and sugar-beet . They are laid in a container alternatively. The resultant material is then fed into a dissolver to mix it up and where the 'bugs' set about breaking the material down and hence producing the gases that are the end product. To start a new batch material from another plant is used that already has bugs. The process operates at between 37 and 42 degrees C.

Gas is burnt off, to keep the vessel safe. Output from the final machine is in the order of 700HP. The residue, digestate, is used as fertilizer.

The second video was a plant at Icknield where the end product was gas that was fed into the National Grid. The output was in the region of 200/300 cu m per hour or enough to supply 2k to 3k homes. The Carbon Dioxide is separated out by passing the gas, at high velocity, through a vessel with membranes. The CO2 passes through the membranes and hence is separated from the Methane.

May - This gathering is traditionally devoted to pre Transport Festival matters.

TREATS do not organise the Transport Festival, that is the responsibility of the Transport Festival Committee, but we do have a significant input to the event. So at the May gathering it was decided to hold it in Rolleston Club function room and have an open event for all the potential stewards. I was good to see so many people turn out which was a relief to the organisers as many stewards are required to make the event run smoothly.

Trip to The British Motor Museun at Gaydon on Tuesday 28th June. This museum has been completely re-vamped and holds a vast collection of British manufactured cars. There are lots of prototypes and first and last off the line vehicles. There are also cars that have competed in most of the important races and rallies - Monty Carlo winning minis and Le Mans Jaguars. We also visited their store where there were 150 cars that could not be fitted in the museum. Unfortunately the Jaguar Heritage Collection could not be seen as they had moved them out to paint the floor!. .

Talks at the gatherings take place on the THIRD TUESDAY of the month in the upstairs room at the Spread Eagle. If you would like to give us a talk related in any way to Transport or Engineering we would love to hear from you.

Our next trip is Tuesday 16th August to Leeds Armouries and then on to Thwaites Mill. Leave Rolleston at 08.00 and return about 18.30hrs. Visit to the Armouries is free but there is a small charge at the mill. Cost to non-members is £20.00.

If you are interested in going on this trip please contact me, details below.

National Brewery Centre.
Did you see the Barrel Van at the Transport Festival - looked super.
Philip Irwin -Secretary to TREATS
susanirwin@btinternet.com. Tel. 521180.


Summer 2016 News

January. Phil Irwin on The life of Frank Hornby. Frank was born in 1863. He ended his schooling at Liverpool Institute High School and then went to work as a clerk in the meat import business. He was greatly influenced by the works of Samuel Smiles, a writer on motivation and self development. He married Clara in 1887, they were both very musical and sang in choirs. They had two boys and he loved making them toys. He developed the idea of producing strips perforated with holes. Frank took out a Patent in 1901. Frank called the toy 'Mechanics Made Easy' and it was on sale for Christmas 1901. The name 'Meccano' and Meccano Ltd was formed in June 1908. He was opening retailers all over the world and in 1912 had his sons running the business in France and Germany. At the 1915 British Industries Fair he showed his first clockwork train set. The first Meccano Magazine came out in 1916. He produced his first electric 'O' gauge train in 1925. Dinky Toy Cars first appearing in 1934. Meccano first had colour in 1928. At the age of 68 he was elected MP for Everton but he was suffering from diabetes and at the next election in 1935 he stood down. He handed over the running of the Firm to George Jones. Frank died in 1936.

His sons did not have the passion for Meccano Ltd and the firm was never quite the same, finally being taken over by Walter Lines under the Tri-ang Empire.

February. The Evolution of the Motor Bus – by Clive Baker. Clive gave a well illustrated talk on the development of the local motor buses right from the start of the horse drawn trams in 1903 through the introduction of the motor bus and their dominance by 1928 and on to the more refined buses after WW2. The post WWII era witnessed a boom in the bus industry. By 1969 nationalisation of all major bus operators had happened.

March - Simon Chapman - Rallying
Simon is MD of Yee Group Ltd who install Air Conditioning, Security Systems, Fire Protection Systems etc., when not in the hot seat there he is rushing around stage rallies. He is also President of the Burton Chamber of Commerce, a role that he relishes. He has been Rallying for 30 years and is rated in the top 5 for tarmac stage rallying. His talk was illustrated with clips from inside the car - very exciting.

Talks at the gatherings take place on the third TUESDAY of the month in the upstairs room at the Spread Eagle. The May one being on 17th and June on 21st. If you would like to give us a talk on a subject related in any way to Transport or Engineering we would love to hear from you.

TREATS are organising two trips.

Tuesday 28th June to the British Motor Museum at Gaydon. This has just had a massive refurbishment and now includes the Jaguar Heritage Collection. We have a coach that will leave the Spread Eagle Rolleston at about 08.45 and return about 18.00hrs. Cost to non-members inc. admission and coach £24.00.

Tuesday 16th August to Leeds Armouries and then on to call in at Thwaites Mill. Leave Rolleston at 08.00 and return about 18.30hrs. Visit to the Armouries is free but there is a small charge at the mill. Cost to non-members £20.00.

If you are interested in going on either or both of the trips please contact me, details below.

National Brewery Centre

We have been working hard on the Barrel Van as we are hoping to exhibit it at the Transport Festival.

Philip Irwin - Secretary to TREATS
susanirwin@btinternet.com. Tel. 521180.


Spring 2016 News

November: The subject of this month's gathering was, 'My Favourite Tool'. This was to be an event where members participated by bringing along items and in the end it made for quite an informative evening. I took a pen that I had turned; a hammer and an electric drill, all of them have specific meaning to me. Colin Hammond had a very old fixed blade spokeshave and the oldest adjustable spanner, made by Mathieson of Glasgow, I have ever seen. Mathieson Tools was founded in the 18th Century and at the Great Exhibition of 1851 they won a Prize medal for joiners' tools in the class of Cutlery & Edge Tools. One of the sons, 'Taso' Mathieson was a very famous racing driver in the 20's and 30's. Their woodworking planes are highly collectible. Vernon Docksey brought a floor board lifter, but had blanked out the description, so we were all trying to guess what it could be used for. Brian Fennell had a set of automobile bodywork hammers used for shrinking metal, which he explained how they were used. Steve Lewis had three different sizes of 'rat tooth' forceps used for lifting skin to aid stitching. The smallest of which required a magnifying glass to enable the tip to be seen. Brian Pickering had a Stanley paint scraper and John Morris described an ENCO combination multitool made in the 60's that he finds very useful. I thank all the people who talked about their equipment and we all learned a bit more.

December: Bob Webb - this year's TREATS event and others.
Bob started with views of Sheffield, mainly in the railway station area, some were taken from the 'big wheel' that gave extensive views over the city.

This was followed by a motor cycle event held in 2010 called 'Run to the Wall'. About 4 thousands bikes went to the National Arboretum at Alrewas. This event takes place in November every year; quite a sight. Bob showed Burton Television coverage of the opening of Rolleston Station Site that took place in November 2014- how time flies.

Bob had a good selection of railway locomotives taken at various places over the years. There was a good account of our last Rolleston Transport Festival held in May showing the vast array of cars and vehicles that were in attendance.

Nation Brewery Centre.
Work on the Everard's Barrel Lorry is continuing apace. The graining coat has been finished and the protective varnish had been applied. The wheels have been removed and after much huffing and puffing the tyres removed and the wheels sent for shot blasting and power coating. We have started to reassemble all the lights and fittings.

Advent Tree looked good, in my opinion. The book chosen was ,'The Polar Express' Thanks to John Morris for making the house and characters and Roger Gawthorpe for the railway track.

Philip Irwin -Secretary to TREATS
susanirwin@btinternet.com


Winter 2015 News

July TREATS 5th AGM.
July's gathering was the AGM where, as there were no new nominations for the positions, the existing post holders found themselves re-elected.

John Morris - Mechanical Music.
There are many different types of machines that play mechanical music, pianos and organs being the most well known. His talk had many good illustrations of all types of instruments. Types of organ have been known for centuries and early versions of the Sheng Chinese organ date from 14th Century BC. The ancient Grecians and Romans were depicted playing versions of an organ, indeed there are pictures of a Roman Hydraulic Engine worked by compressed air. More recently the Saltzburg Organ, built in 1582 had 350 pipes and giant bellows, hand cranked. During the Puritan period (1564 - 1660 Ed) churches did not have music, but there was a revival in the 18th C and the first use of organs was in churches. The church in Peak Forest had an organ in 1700. However, organists were rare, most churches had musicians who played different instruments. Churches could not afford 'proper' organs so had barrel organs. To enable the barrel organ to play a different tune the barrel was moved horizontally to register a new set of pins. Hymns had to be sung to the tunes that were available on the organ, sometimes only four tunes being available. Later, finger organs allowed a much wider range.

Chamber organs started to be produced in the early 19th C., by firms such as Rushworth and Draper of Liverpool. The 'Applonica' organ of 1817 had 1,900 pipes, some 24ft long and 2ft in diameter and the 'Orchestrion' built in 1862.
Organs with rolls of music in the form of punched card were introduced in the late 19th C. The Viennese table organ was cheap enough to be seen in ordinary houses. The 'Serinette' was a small, table, French machine designed for teaching song birds to sing. Street organs were very popular, with some people but as they were exposed to all weathers they deteriorated and went out of tune and hence some people paid for the organ grinder to go away! At this stage John read out a poem with many a 'double entendre' written about an organ grinder and his love, Betsy Morgan! Jacquard, in 1801, produced a punched card system on a grand scale. Punching the cards is a bit of an art.

15th August. Trip to see S.S. Great Britain at Bristol
We had a guide to take us round the ship and then we went on to walk over Brunel's suspension bridge.

September 24th Toyota Visit. Mike Jobson organised this visit. Built in 1992 it is still using most of the original equipment and turns out over 400 cars a day; most being exported. A real 'eye opener' on modern vehicle production.

National Brewery Centre. We have now sprayed the primer paint coat on the barrel lorry. There was a considerable amount of sanding down to get to this stage but we think we are now on the home straight. The hood is fitted to the model 'T' Ford and all that is left is to make the upper part of the windscreen.

Rolleston Station Project picked up another award under the 'Burton in Bloom' banner. Congratulations to Clive and Rosemary and all the volunteers.

Future Programme

17th November. “My favourite tool”. Bring along a 'tool' that you regard as being especially useful. It could be a workshop tool; household tool; pen; book or a piece of equipment used in your job, anything it's up to you.
15th December - Bob Webb - visual and sound record of year's events.

Philip Irwin -Secretary to TREATS
susanirwin@btinternet.com


Autumn 2015 News

21st April gathering. John Morten - The Cromford and High Peak Railway.

John had a photo collection showing the Cromford and High peak railway from Whaley Bridge to Cromford. In the early 19th Century there was a need of a link between the Midlands and Lancashire. A canal was impractical due to lack of water on the moors. The alternative, a railway, was proposed in 1824 by Josias Jessop (son of William Jessop the canal builder). By 1830 the route of 331/2 miles was operational. Originally stone sleepers with short 4ft rails were employed, later being replaced with conventional rails and sleepers. Because of the terrain 8 beam engines were needed. At the Whaley Bridge incline the waggons were attached with hemp rope to the chain that hauled them up the incline. Originally horses were used to pull the waggons up. Access to the main line was made in 1853. The incline at Hopton was modified to enable later locomotives to tackle it. Passengers were carried in the early days but journey times were long. Vulcan Foundry built special locomotives for this line in 1856. Waggons picked up stone from the many quarries on the route. Diesels were introduced towards the end of the line's life and special trains were organised for enthusiasts - these had open coaches. The line closed May 1967.

16th June, John Ward - The History of Rolls-Royce.

John has spent his working life at Royce's. Born in 1863 Henry Royce was first an apprentice at the Great Northern Railway Works at Peterborough then at the Electric Light and Power Co. in London but in 1884, he moved to Manchester forming, F H Royce and Co. producing all manner of electrical machines. In 1904 Henry built his own car, the 'Royce 10hp'. The Hon Charles Stewart Rolls, born 1877, came from a more privileged background. Charles went to Cambridge and obtained a degree in 'Mechanics and Applied Science'. In 1896 he had a 33/4hp Peugeot, the first car at Cambridge. This he maintained himself in the University workshop. He formed C S Rolls & Co. selling automobiles. He met with Henry Royce in May 1904, to try out Royce's car. By the end of the year a partnership was formed and Rolls-Royce was born. The 20hp cars and later the 40/50hp Ghost were made in Manchester. In 1908 a new factory was opened in Derby. In 1906 Charles won the I.o.M. T T race in one of the 20hp cars. Success was also gained in the Scottish Trials and endurance running. Henry Royce suffered from ill health, moving to West Wittering and France, he died in 1933. Charles Rolls was keen on flying and met with the Wright brothers. He tried to get the board of Rolls-Royce to buy the rights to manufacture Wright planes but they were not interested. Charles went on to learn to fly and competed in air races where ultimately he crashed his plane and died, he was only 33 years old.

In these early years Claude Johnson was the Managing Director and he has been referred to as the 'hyphen' in Rolls-Royce, effectively keeping the company on the right tracks, commercially speaking, until his death in 1926. Royce was not keen on aircraft but the war effort made it happen. The Hawk was a 6 cylinder engine with separate pots and exposed valve gear. All piston engines were given the names of birds of prey. The Kestrel was fitted to all early fighter planes.

The 'Vulture' was a double V12 i.e. 24 cylinders and was intended for the Manchester, forerunner of the Lancaster. More power would be required for Reginald Mitchell's seaplane to win 1929 Schneider Trophy and so a supercharged Rolls-Royce R type engine was fitted to the Supermarine Rolls-Royce Seaplane and it won! Funds for this project were not forthcoming but Lady Lucy Houston put up the money. The supercharged R type evolved into the Merlin: had not Lady Houston paid for the development of the R type the Merlin engine may never have been developed! Piston engine Development during WW2 saw the Griffin engine produce 2500hp.

Rolleston Station Project. The Civic Trust named TREATS Station Project Group for their 2014 award. A big thank you for all the volunteers who have worked on the project.

Philip Irwin -Secretary to TREATS
susanirwin@btinternet.com


Summer 2015 News

In January Ali and Steve Lewis gave a fascinating talk on 'The Violent Earth - Earthquakes and Volcanoes.'

Ali showed a map of the world showing how the Earth's crust is broken up into tectonic platesand how these plates are moved by convection in the layer beneath the crust, known as the Mantle. An example of this is California's San Andreas Fault, with the North America and Pacific plates. Earthquakes, volcanic activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation occur along these plate boundaries. The Pacific Plate's 'Ring of Fire' being the most active and widely known today. The mid-ocean ridge on the Atlantic plate goes up to Iceland. India was an Island (71 million years ago) and moved North, at a rate of 5-16cm/year, to collide with the Eurasian Plate; thus creating the Himalayas, a 'high level desert' . They were offered fossils, showing that it was once under the sea.

New Zealand has a fault line through both South and North Island. In 2011 they were in Christchurch when the earthquake struck. She described what it felt like and had photos of the aftermath in the local area: a terrifying experience. Steve gave a description of the 'earthquake proof' foundations that have been retrospectively installed in the 'bee hive' parliament building in Wellington.

In March Mark Newbold talked about Royal Yacht Britannia and HMS Coventry - the Falklands Conflict.

When Mark left school he went to HMS Raleigh to train as a Royal Engineer and diver. In 1978 he joined Royal Yacht Britannia. His job was to inspect the bottom to ensure that no mines had been attached. At times false mines were attached to ensure that he was doing his job, and he had stories of finding these and then attaching to other Navy vessels! The Royal Yacht was based in Portsmouth. There were 146 sailors, all cramped into the front end. Between 1954 and 1992 the Royal Yacht sailed more miles than any other ship of the fleet. Without the Queen on board she was used for PR work, effectively selling Britain around the world. Mark left the Royal Yacht in 1981 and enlisted on HMS Coventry for a tour of the Mediterranean. While in Gibraltar, on there way back to England and picking up 25 new sailor recruits, news came through that they were to deploy to the South Atlantic as the 'conflict' in the Falklands was escalating. Unfortunately, one of the requirements for a fighting ship is that no personal effects can be carried; hence all the goodies collected from the Mediterranean trip had to go over the side! They were positioned close to the Falkland Isles with HMS Sheffield and hence were a prime target from land but more importantly from the air. They saw HMS Sheffield was hit and sunk and it was not long after that HMS Coventry was hit. It did not take long for Coventry to list badly and Mark knew it was going down. He managed to get out and jump off the side. Eventually, he scrambled aboard a life raft with others like him who were burnt and injured. They were picked up by an RFA oil tanker and taken with other survivors from the Sheffield and troops from land back to the UK. What an horrific time. His fee goes to the following charities: Hounds for Heroes; Holidays for Heroes and Combat Stress.

Future Programme

16th June, John Ward - The History of Rolls-Royce.
21st July short AGM, John Morris talking about and demonstrating a barrel organ.
23rd June. Trip to hear and see the Lancaster Bomber at RAF East Kirkby.
15th August trip to Bristol.
See notice boards for more information.
Philip Irwin -Secretary to TREATS
susanirwin@btinternet.com


Spring 2015 News

On 21st October John Ward gave us a talk on George Stephenson (1781 - 1848) and his involvement with the Crich Mineral Railway. John showed a number of period photos related to the narrow gauge railway that went from the limestone quarry down to the lime smelting kilns, about a mile and a half away. John went through George's early years and how he worked up from his humble beginnings to be one of the most revered engineers in the country. It was when George was constructing the Derby to Leeds railway that he became interested in Derbyshire minerals. The line from Derby went North to Duffield and hence to the end of the Pennine Chain where he had to drive a tunnel through the Chevin. There were also deep cuttings through Belper that necessitated at least ten bridges being built. There were some super photographs of the interface of the railway with the canal that ran alongside and often crossed over.

Crich was quarried for its limestone and George built a narrow gauge railway from the quarry down to Ambergate where the smelting mills were. The lower section was steep and the wagons were moved by means of a cable and drum system. At the quarry small locomotives pulled the wagons. George lived in Taptas House in Chesterfield from 1838 until his death in 1848. There is a statue of him outside Chesterfield Railway Station. He is buried in Holy Trinity Church.

On 18th November there was a discussion about Brook Hollows. There has been concern as to the lack of maintenance of the lake at Brook Hollows. This has resulted in a petition being presented to East Staffs District Council. However, work has started to trim some of the vegetation and a survey has been carried out to assess the practicalities of removing some of the silt in the lake. A number of TREATS members have either worked on or been involved with Brook Hollows and Alder Brook and hence were able to cast some light on what has happened over the years to cause it to silt up. Vernon had worked at the Saw Mills site, left off the Tutbury road opposite the butchers where there was a big pond, about an acre, fed off the stream through a pipe. Further down stream the brook ran across fairly flat meadows and it was at this point, after heavy rain, that it would flood to a small depth, acting as a soakaway. Over the years the stream has been channeled such that this 'flood plain' does not exist and hence the flood water continues until it reaches the next fairly stagnant point - Brook Hollows. The rain water comes from the fields and Mike Jobson said that the drop from its source, about three miles away, to the Post Office is 160ft; adding that it falls another 150 ft by the time it gets to the Humber River. Mike had photos of the last time it was dug out. Brook Hollows is a significant asset to the village and deserves to be kept in good order.

On 16th December Bob Webb devised a quiz for us. It was split into 4 sections with 10 questions each and one section where you had to draw symbols for; Audi, Citroen, Volkswagen, MoT station and Mercedes. Try it and compare with the actual. Section 1 and 2 were general science questions; like Bronze is an alloy of Tin and ?. Who was the first human in space and who invented Penicillin.

Section three was different -sayings. You were given the first letters of a saying and a clue and you had to work out what it was - OOB was Out of Bounds. Bob said Section 4 was for 'petrol heads' and was on Formula 1 and cars in general.
John Morris got the highest total of points; 371/2 out of 50!

Philip Irwin -Secretary to TREATS


Winter 2014 News

On 9th August 31 TREATS members and guests went to Albert Dock in Liverpool.

The trip on the Mersey Ferry to see the U-boat was in brilliant sunshine. Having been on the seabed off Denmark for nearly 50 years since its sinking by the RAF in 1945, the interior of the boat is heavily corroded so it is displayed in four slices with glass ends. The building alongside housed an exhibition of many items of equipment, instrumentation, and things essential to the daily life aboard this boat. In the afternoon 20 of us went on a guided tour of the ventilation system for the Queensway Mersey Tunnel that was built in the early 1930's. The building is a fine example of 1930's Art Deco with a number of carvings on the outside surface. These and some of the internal decoration have an Egyptian influence. You walk through the air passage past vast fans, 25ft in diameter, that suck or blow the air depending whether they are on the exhaust or inlet side. We were then taken to the control room, quite a climb, where they control the air for both the Queensway and Kingsway tunnels. Down then past the fans and out on a gallery where the cars were whizzing by. A very interesting trip with an excellent guide.

19th August was our 50th gathering! A special cake was provided by Sue Irwin. Richard Stone talked about the life of Robert Bakewell. Born in 1682 in Uttoxeter he was the son of a Blacksmith. He was an apprentice in London and become a member of the Ironmongers Guild. One of his first jobs was to make railings in St Jame's Place for Thomas Coke, of Melbourne Hall fame. Bakewell was a contemporary of Jean Tijou. Between 1711 and 1714 he made, the 'bird cage' and a balustrade that is on the side by the pool at Melbourne Hall. In Derby he set up a smithy at Oake's Yard in St Peter's Street. His work can be found at: the weather vane at Calke Abbey, Gates at St Oswald's in Ashbourne, Formark St Saviours Church, All Saints Church in Derby (gates and Rood Screen), Almshouses at Etwall, St Modwens gates in Burton on Trent. His work is identified by signature features; 'thunder and lightning' bars; dog bars with spear heads or spikes. The pilaster has 'lyers' and inset rectangles. He married Mary Cokayne and had three sons and three daughters. He died in 1752.

16th September John Morris. Parry Thomas- The World Land Speed Record. Actually John Godfrey Parry-Thomas but everybody called him Parry Thomas.

Camille Jenatzy drove the first car to exceed 100kph (62mph) in 1899 - electric powered. In 1901 Leon Serpollet raised this to 75mph - in a steam car; then Vanderbilt at 76mph in a Mors, with IC engine. In 1902 Henry Ford set 91.37mph in his 18.9litre car but in 1906 a Stanley Streamer stretched it to 121mph. In 1922 K L Guinness did 133mph in his 355 h.p. Sunbeam. In July 1924 Ernest Eldridge drove a FIAT, named Mephistoheles with a 21,7litre engine, to set the LSR on a French public road at 145.89mph - the fastest ever on a public road. Enter Parry Thomas , born 1884. He set up his own company, Thomas Transmissions and developed a commercial engine with infinite output gear ratio, used in trams. He was an accomplished engineer and took out many Patents. In 1917 he became Chief Engineer at Leyland Motors where he designed an 8 cylinder aero engine - but it never went into production. He developed the Leyland Eight four seater in 1921.By the early 1920s he was regularly racing at Brooklands but Leyland did not approve and in 1923 he was asked to resign. He formed the Thompson and Taylor company based at Brooklands. He developed the Leyland and in May went for the 5 mile and 10 mile record. Pendine Sands was used for high speed runs as it was 7 miles long. He acquired Chitty Bang Bang that had a 600 h.p. Liberty V12 engine - called Babs. His first attempt was thwarted because of the weather but in April 1926 he gained the record at 170mph. He also achieved the long distance record of one hour at 113mph. In January 1927 Campbell took the record with Bluebird at 174mph. In March he tried to take it back but a mechanical failure on the car cost him his life. The restored car is now at the Pendine Sands Museum. A British Driver held the LSR from 1914 until 1964 - except for 10 months in 1928/29 when Ray Keech held it for the USA.

21 October: John Ward George Stephenson and the Crich Mineral Railway.
November: Discussion
16th December: Bob Webb - Christmas quiz.

A year at National Brewery Centre
Work has continued on the 1919 model 'T' Ford. The body has been removed from the chassis to enable the chassis to be cleaned down and painted. It is now looking very smart!

Rolleston Railway Station Site.
By the time you read this the opening ceremony will have taken place on 1st November. This date was picked to commemorate 120 years since Rolleston Station was opened. A huge amount of work has gone into this first phase of exposing the footprint of the station with signs saying where the facilities were. Clive and Rosemary Baker have worked tirelessly to enable this date to be met. Money from the Lottery Grant has been well used to enable John Deacon to use machinery that has saved many an aching back; hence shortened the timescales and allowing this date to be met. Members of our Parish Council, the Mayor of Burton and our MP, as well as helpers, were in attendance.

Philip Irwin - Secretary to TREATS


Autumn 2014 News

In May the gathering was devoted to pre Transport Festival Items. The event requires a lot of stewards to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

AGM 15th July –Annual Report
This last year we had 6 talks, three visits to five places and one dinner. The first visit was the day after the AGM, 17th July, when Alex Thorp took 21 of us on a visit to Nemesis Rail.

Instead of the August gathering, 27 people went to Crich Tramway Museum and Heage Windmill.

In September Brian Holden talked on Tyre technology.

At the October gathering we had a sale of items from the estate of the late Peter Galloway, proceeds going to St. Mary's fabric fund. Steve Lewis reported that the auction raised £83. Vernon Docksey and James Toon provided a hilarious double act taking bids 'off the wall' and by 'telephone', a cough or twitch in the wrong place was certain to secure something you really didn't need or want.

November gathering Steve and Ali Lewis – ‘The Rush For Gold’ -all about the history of gold mining in New Zealand.

17th December gathering - Mystery tools. Members brought interesting tools. This went down well with many unusual measuring instruments and tools.

January gathering, Richard Farman - 'Origins of the Post Card'. A fascinating insight into early mail and postcards. On 24th January we had our Annual TREATS dinner at the Spread.

February gathering Speaker Hugh Davies. S. O. E. Special Operations Executive - saboteurs who 'set Europe ablaze'
March gathering. Robin Hamilton, 'Why-Not' , Engineering"

15th April gathering. Sue Fraser - 'The Business of Toys'

Visit on 2nd June to The Secret Nuclear Bunker at Hack Green, Nr. Nantwich; then on to Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre.
17th June gathering - Rod Pearson on Sheffield Steel Industry.

A year at National Brewery Centre

The year was a good one. I was happy to report that we managed to get the Fordson Tractor running enabling it to be driven round the site. The back of the Model AA now has a rebuilt wooden body. The missing thermostat housing from the Sherpa Van was obtained and it is now running again. We started work on the 1919 model 'T' Ford. and in a few weeks it was driven round the site!

Rolleston Railway Station Site

I was pleased to report that at the October Parish Council meeting approval was given for work to start clearing the platform in line with our Proposal Plan. We regularly have over a dozen people turning up at the 'work days' on the first Saturday of the month. A Lottery Grant has been obtained.

Treasurer's Report

Steve Lewis - both of the coach trips were run at a loss and the cost of some of the speakers is quite high but overall we are still in the black.

The officials are the same as last year, namely: Chairman; Vernon Docksey
Vice-Chairman: Colin Hammond
Treasurer: Steve Lewis.
Secretary: Philip Irwin

The gathering finished off outside to see a few members' cars. Vernon's 1955 Austin A40; Colin Hammond also brought an Austin A40; Phil Irwin's 1962 Triumph TR4 and Clive Baker had a rare toy TR2 made by Victory.

Future Programme
19th August will be our 50th gathering with Richard Stone on Robert Bakewell
16th September, John Morris - The World Land Speed Record.
21 October, John Ward - George Stephenson and the Crich Mineral Railway.

Philip Irwin -Secretary to TREATS

Transport Festival

The Transport Festival was a great success again this year. We had more vehicles than ever on show and raised a lot of money for this year's charities. The show grows year on year and this year we seem to have got it about right; the Croft and Burnside were virtually full and there were plenty of vehicles at the Service Station but there was room to look around.

It is always difficult to estimate how many people actually turned out to look at the exhibits – perhaps we should have tellers with clickers on all the gates but getting the volunteers is the problem and the number is only important from the insurance point of view. Again, there must have been about 3000 visitors. This year we had a focus on motor bikes and we had a lot of very nice bikes turn up. This was in response to a leaflet drop in Matlock to bikers two weeks previously.

The main objective of the day is a good day out for everyone and this was achieved again. The secondary objective is to raise money for local charities. This year we made a surplus of £6000 and the money was divided between the Almshouse restoration fund (we now have given £5 500 to this fund which is about 1% of what is needed); St Mary's Fabric Fund; Midlands Air Ambulance; Blood Bikes and the Rolleston Station restoration.

The Festival is very much helped by the Grand Garage Sale Tour which runs in parallel and raises money for St Mary's. This is appreciated by the exhibitors at the Festival and makes the whole thing a 'Grand Day Out'. Both events gain by being on at the same time.

The two vintage buses taking people around the village is still one of the major attractions of the day. They are supposed to be to ferry people around the garage sale sites but most passengers just like a trip round the village in a vintage bus and stay on for the whole circuit.

In spite of the fact that the festivities ran for three days with Love Rolleston, we still managed to get enough helpers on the day – just. Without them it would not happen and we really need more helpers to ease the burden on some volunteers. A very early plea for next year; if you enjoyed the day please put your name forward to help next time, the date – the late May Bank Holiday, 2015

John Morris


Summer 2014 News

In March we had Robin Hamilton who talked about 'Why-Not' , Engineering".

Robin is an engineer and true entrepreneur. His main ethos is to challenge convention. In 1967 he significantly improved an Ariel motor cycle engine, being recognised in the National Motor Cycle Journals. He bought and sold cars; progressing from Hillman Imps through to Aston Martins. He left R-R in 1971 and by 1977 his Company was the main distributor for Aston Martin, being involved in racing them and ultimately developing there own version; the Vantage. Robin referred to the fun side of life; holding the WLS Record for towing a caravan at 126mph, using a V8 AM Le Mans car. They produced the AM Nimrod that raced at Le Mans. There were five built and finished 3rd in the World Championship. He raced in the USA with AM NRA C2. Robin then ran a BMW dealership in Saudi Arabia where he had many distinguished customers; Princes galore! Back in England he developed a sweeper that would suck up litter; compact it and eject it in the form of a hollow sausage. The compactor alone was taken on by Mac Donalds and used extensively in their outlets. A Railway multi-purpose vehicle was designed and built to remove debris and leaves from railway line rails; but it was never adopted. By the mid 2000's he started to design his own house that is totally self sufficient. Construction was unconventional, part of the house being built like a giant drum that can be rotated taking advantage of the sun or shielding from it. Robin is MD of 'home-revolution' who promote alternative eco-friendly building designs. Go to the site for a look at this revolutionary house.

In April Sue Fraser talked about, 'The Business of Toys'. To me, Sue has one of the most enviable jobs going as she is Collections Assistant at the National Trust's Museum of Childhood, based at Sudbury Hall. Sue decides what goes on display from the 20 thousand plus objects that are held there. Sue showed pictures of toys that were from 900 BC. By the 15th century German made toys were available in Venice. Dolls' houses taught girls about housekeeping whereas boys had horses and soldiers. There was a lovely picture of an early Noah's Ark in which the animals are kept. Manufactured toys were for the rich but working people did have hand made toys crafted out of all sorts of material. Printing in the 18th century allowing board games and maps with interlocking pieces to be produced. Towards the end of the 19th century developments in manufacturing processes meant that toys were becoming cheaper and we see penny toys being sold on the streets. Soft toys were available early in the 20th century. German clockwork toys came in the end of the 19th century and we saw pictures of an 1882 walking doll.

Frank Hornby made 'Mechanics Made Easy' and was available in the shops for Christmas 1901. In 1907 the name was changed to 'Meccano'. Citroen made cast models of their cars on the assumption that when the child grew up it would want a real one; 76,000 were produced.

There have been many crazes throughout the years: Yo-Yo's in the 1950's : Trolls, Thunderbirds and the Rubik cube to name just a few of them. These are all in the museum. Betty Cadbury's collection of toys was donated to the NT. Did you know that Lego produce 15 billion pieces a year.

Sue says that the museum are still short of toys from the mid 20th century, so if you have any and would like to donate to the museum please contact the Museum of Childhood and I am sure that they would be pleased to hear from you.

Future events
15th July AGM and film show.
9th August Trip to Albert Dock Liverpool.

Philip Irwin - Secretary to TREATS

TREATS: Station Project Group

The first day of November this year marks the 120th anniversary of the opening of Rolleston station; our village had been added to the then growing railway map. The Tutbury Jinny, having operated the Burton-Tutbury passenger service since the opening of the line in 1848 became the main form of transport for Rolleston residents, until submitting to the motor bus and car prior to the closure of the station 1st January 1949; the Jinny soldiering-on until her own demise in June 1960.

Readers will be aware that efforts have been made to restore the remains of our village railway station in an attempt to add interest to the Jinny Nature Trail and at the same time improving the natural habitat. It is our plan to preserve the two passenger platforms, adding a replica nameboard “Rolleston-on-Dove” and a typical platform bench from which to enjoy the view towards the Trent valley. In between the platforms, native wild flowers will be planted along with ferns and some carefully selected trees.

It is also our intention to record as much of the village’s railway history as possible. Many of you will have witnessed “Rolleston-on-Dove”, the scale model railway when exhibited at Community Day, the Transport Festival and other events. On those occasions, many people came forward relating their experiences of either travelling to and from Rolleston as passengers or working on the line as firemen or drivers; one ex serviceman reflected on late evening returns to base on the Tutbury Jinny during the World War II blackout and another leaving via the southbound platform with a party of pupils from the village primary school for a day trip to London on a specially chartered train.

We will be attending the “Love Rolleston” event, in particular the Transport Festival and also Community Day at John of Rolleston Primary School. If you can recall any memories and experiences of this mode of transport that changed the expectations of so many Rolleston people, please bring them to us or contact us by email: clivegbaker@icloud.com

Learn more about railways around our village by visiting the website: www.rolleston-on-dove-station.co.uk

We are now able to announce that our bid for Heritage Lottery Funding has been successful so the real work can now begin.

Clive Baker


Exhibit Entry Form (Word document)


Spring 2014 News

In November we had a talk by Steve and Ali Lewis entitled - Gold Rush.

While working in South Island New Zealand they developed an interest in the history of Gold mining. The first settlers, from Scotland, Ireland and Cornwall went to Dunedin in about 1840. Gabriel Reed, from Tasmania, struck gold and was named Gabriel's Gulley - people rushed to the spot. Claim areas were quite small, 12' x 12'. A form of gold, Alluvial, was found in the river beds. A sluice box was used to extract gold from the river beds. A lot of water was required to wash off the 'tailings' (dirt) to leave the gold in the pan. A rocker box uses less water and used where water is limited. The price in 1862 was £3 16s an ounce. In the 1860s they were recovering 20,000 ounces a week! There were about 11,000 miners in the Gulley. Towns sprang up to give the miners all their needs! Dams provided the vast amount of water to wash away the tailings. Crossing rivers with wagons of equipment was a hazardous business: hence the people making the money were the carters, suppliers of water, shops and hotels. Techniques were developed and hydraulic jets used to wash away the tailings. The Chinese came over in large numbers and towns like Arrow Town were developed. Gold ore was found in the hills and crushing machines (stampers), that were made near Chester can still be seen. By 1910 supplies of water had dried up and the miners moved on to new sites. The talk was beautifully illustrated with numerous photos.

In December we had 'Mystery tools'. The idea was to bring along something that you felt was unusual or interesting. Tom Martin had us all really struggling with some quite obscure and very old Customs and Excise measuring instruments. There were also some very early wooden rules and even rules that were in a walking stick as well as slide rules for calculating volumes. Next up was Jamie Winstone with some weird and wonderful Veterinary equipment that had everybody squirming! As did Steve Lewis. Mike Jobson offered clock repairers' tools and Alan Partington and John Underhill had tools from their early engineering days that they made themselves. James Toon had a ladies skirt lifter! A number of other people had one or more items so that there was quite a collection of interesting material. A really good evening.

In January Richard Farman talked on - 'Origins of the Post Card'.

All proceeds from this talk went to St Giles Hospice. Richard started by showing examples of 18th century engraved stationary and newspapers. There were bill heads from 1766. Sitting MPs and Lords were allowed to send postage free. Up to about 1835 the recipient to pay the postage. By 1840 the penny post (penny black) had been introduced. By 1840 envelops were introduced so that multiple sheets could be sent. Most of Richard's materiel was related to Staffordshire and Derbyshire. Photographs appeared on the material after 1850.He showed illustrated letter sheets for the 1857 Burton Town Hall concert. By 1869 the Austrians were producing 'Post Cards' and a year later they appeared in England - Valentines' cards first appeared in February 1870. On 1st September 1894 you could put a half penny stamp on the post card, thus enabling you to send it for half the price. Initially you were only allowed to write on the front of the post card, under the illustration, leaving the back for the address. Some addresses were written with cryptic clues for the postman to solve before the address could be identified - imagine what the post office would think today! There was some early advertising materiel related to Spooner showing the Helter-Skelter at the Statute's fair (where does the word 'Helter-Skelter' come from? There was a post card from 1904 that was in 3D; complete with the glasses.

There were post cards made of different materials; leather, silk on card and aluminium - which was banned! A truly amazing collection of social history.

18th Feb gathering. Hugh Davies: S. O. E. Special Operations Executive - saboteurs who 'set Europe ablaze'
18th March gathering. Robin Hamilton, "'Why-Not' , Engineering"
15th April gathering. Sue Fraser - 'The Business of Toys'

Philip Irwin -Secretary to TREATS


Winter 2013 News

In August, 27 people went on a trip to Crich Tramway Museum and then on to Heage Windmill. It’s over 20 years since I last visited Crich and it was clear that a lot had been done to the site over that period. The track has been lengthened to over a mile, the Great Exhibition Hall has been built and the Red Lion Pub, from Stoke, has been reassembled. Most of the tram networks, with a few exceptions (notably Blackpool) closed before the 1960s. The last to close was Glasgow Corporation Tramways in 1962, a tramway well represented at the Museum. Crich may present a historic perspective but there has been a recent revival with new networks in a number of major cities. It was George Stephenson who built the mineral railway that linked the quarry with Ambergate. The line had a metre gauge, apparently the first in the world. In the period after the Second World War, when most of the remaining British tramways were in decline or actually closing, the first event in the history of the National Tramway Museum took place. A group of enthusiasts on a farewell tour of Southampton Tramways in August 1948 decided to purchase one of the open top trams on which they had ridden. For the sum of £ 10 they purchased number 45 – now fully restored in the tramcar collection. From this act of faith grew the idea of a working museum devoted to operating tramcars. After a sustained search across the country, in 1959 the Society's attention was drawn to the then derelict limestone quarry at Crich in Derbyshire. Over the years a representative collection of tramcars was brought together and restored, tramway equipment was acquired, a working tramway was constructed and depots and workshops were built. The museum has over 60 tramcars from locations all over the world, with seventeen trams in a day-to-day operational condition.

Heage Windmill, what a treat to see the sails turning as we approached. We had two excellent guides who explained the background to how the windmill came to be restored, in 2002, and the fact that it is the only working, stone-towered, multi-sailed windmill in England.

In September we had a talk by Brian Holden on tyre technology. Brian joined Pirelli in the Development Department back in 1959. Most of the tyre design work was done in Italy. Pirelli produced 300 car tyres, about 50 big truck tyres and a shed load of slippers a day. Most of the work on assembling the tyres was carried out by hand. He went on to say that it was Robert Thompson, in about 1845, who went on to Patent the pneumatic tyre; later Dunlop made a pneumatic tyre and tried to patent it.

The India rubber plant was the source of material but had limitations due to its condition hence the need to vulcanize it; patented by Hancock in 1844. Brian maintains that it was the car manufactures who pushed for the universal introduction of radial tyres, and Citroen in particular for use on the Traction Avant mainly because of its front wheel drive. As Michelin owned Citroen after it went bust in 1934 they ran it as a research laboratory, a test bed for their radial tyres and new automotive technologies. British manufacturers were quick to catch on and Rover were one of the first to fit radial tyres to their model range.

Future TREATS monthly gatherings:

17th Dec. Mystery tools.
21st Jan. Richard Farman - 'Origins of the Post Card'
18th Feb. Hugh Davies: S. O. E. Special Operations
Executive - saboteurs who 'set Europe ablaze'

Philip Irwin -Secretary to TREATS


Autumn 2013 News

In June the gathering was masterminded by John Morris and was a relaxing change – a chance to have a bit of fun and perhaps learn a little about flight by making paper aeroplanes! . John went through the definition for the four forces acting on a plane in level flight, i.e. Weight; Lift; Thrust and Drag. Newton's laws tell us that if an aeroplane is travelling at a constant speed and not accelerating downwards (a constant height) then no net forces act on it. In level flight lift must equal weight and thrust must equal drag. Lift can be generated both by the shape of the wing – airflow over the top goes faster and so is at a lower pressure.

Lift can also be generated by a flat wing which has an angle of attack in the direction of travel – as in a kite or paper aeroplane. This explains why the bottom of some aircraft is flat. A large angle of attack generates a large lift but increases drag substantially and a jumbo jet with flat wings could not fly. The lift can be increased by reducing the drag and so increasing the speed – a paper dart.

Lift can also be increased by increasing the wing area and changing the aspect ration of the wing. Some designs of paper aeroplanes actually change the shape of the wing from a flat plane.

Some planes are good at aerobatics but most are straight gliders, the best with a very shallow angle of descent. John had instructions for literally dozens of designs, most of which he had not tried.

At nine o'clock there was a fly-off. Planes were judged on lots of parameters; not just length of flight but also stability, looks or anything else John could think of! The trials gave 4 clear favourites: John Marriott, Stephen Millar, Stephen Bayley and Stewart Bannister.

A fly off put Stewart just into first place with ‘the flying ring’ with John Marriott a close second; both of whom were awarded a bottle of beer, to great applause.

On 17th July 21 members and friends visited Nemesis Rail, just off Derby road, who provide maintenance, overhaul, modification and painting services to most rail vehicles. They are currently restoring the rear carriage made for the A4 Pacific Class, streamlined the same as the front of the engine. There were also Pulman coaches, a locomotive that had been in a front end crash and many more all undergoing repair. Outside there was a 76 ton crane, now diesel driven, as well as numerous coaches and locomotives awaiting restoration or as spares. It is really good to see an engineering establishment involving all the traditional skills needed in restoration work.

20 people attended the AGM on 16th July 2013.
Phil Irwin said that it seems a long time since the first meeting of TREATS, held on 15th June 2010, with 6 people attending. At that meeting the name, “The Rolleston Engineering and Transport Society” was first thought up. The number of members has increased slowly and now stands at 33.

In this last year we had; 8 talks, 4 visits, 1 buffet and 1 dinner, and so we are maintaining the same number of events as in previous years.

Four members from TREATS have been volunteers at the National Brewery Centre for a year. In that time they have, found the pieces for, assembled and driven the 1924 Bullnose Morris Cowley as well as recently managing to get the 1928 Model AA Ford truck going and hence driving round the site – much to the astonishment of most people there who had never seen it running. John Marriott is also remaking the truck body. Now we are working to see if we can get the Fordson tractor going. You have to be creative and imaginative to overcome some of the hurdles as these vehicles had been abandoned for many years – parts have gone missing and corrosion and neglect have played their part. However, it is very rewarding to see these vehicles going again so if you are interested in helping out there you would be most welcome. We go every Wednesday but there are other groups who go at different times.

Future TREATS Programme

17th September gathering – Brian Holden - Tyre History and Technology
19th November gathering Steve and Ali Lewis – The Rush For Gold
17th December gathering - Mystery tools.

‘Topley and Fisher’ Blacksmith and Engineers. If you have any recollections of this company when they operated from Burnside, next to the old Post Office, or photographs then can you please contact me so that I can put a piece together about them.

Starbuck’s have a programme on their notice board. We meet on 3rd Tuesday in the month 8.00pm, upstairs meeting room at the Spread Eagle.

Membership Secretary, Phil Irwin on 521180 or ‘e’ mail at: susanirwin@btinternet.com.


Summer 2013 News

In February we had a talk by Hugh Davies (Guide at Bletchley Park) on ‘The machines that broke the German Codes’.

The top secret work carried out at Bletchley Park helped shorten the war by as much as two years. There was no interception at Bletchley, that was done at ‘Y’ stations and each of the services had their own ‘Y’ station. Messages were transmitted over the wireless using Morse code. The Germans considered that the wireless was safer than the landline. From the ’Y’ stations the actual messages were sent in hard copy by motor cycle dispatch riders, generally young WAFs, to Bletchley Park. Here they went through the registry to sort out which ‘hut’ it should go to. For example, hut 6 was Heer (Army) and Luftwaffe – Air Force; and hut 8 was Kreigsmarine – Navy. Two mathematicians working at Bletchley Park, Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman, were able to build on the research done in Poland to develop the ‘Bombe’ machine. It was the fact that there was very little discipline by the German wireless operators that led to the breaking of their codes. Turing and Welchman exploited the fact that enciphered German messages often contained common words or phrases, such as General’s name or weather reports that the operators used. The first true programmable computer, Collosus, was designed at Bletchley in record time. The Germans went on to develop even more sophisticated code machines like the Lorenz SZ42 which we would not have been able to crack save for an operator testing it and sending the same message twice! This was a fascinating talk on a dedicated number of people who, until quite recently, were the unsung heroes of our country.

In March Bob Webb on Amateur Radio

Ever at the age of 8years old he was tuned in to world broadcast on the short wave listening to people from across the world. On short wave was ‘amateur radio’ and it was between 1961 and 1964 that he logged the various stations. To improve the range and strength of signal he talked about bouncing microwaves off the moon and the network of repeater stations along the length of the country. They use a set of frequencies that were devised in the 1920’s. After WW11 it was easy to pick up Government surplus radio sets, which Bob used. For emergencies they use RAEN (Radio Amateur Emergency Network). This system is often very useful as it is independent of any other system. Bob said that interest in Amateur Radio had waned with the advent of the mobile phone. Television transmission is also possible with the right equipment and dedicated frequencies.
16th April talk was by Alan Gifford on 'George Sorocold - The Forgotten Engineer'

George Sorocold was born in 1658 and his family lived in Eggington. By 1687 he organised the re-hanging of the bells at All Saints Church in Derby – and a plaque commemorates this. In 1691 George won a contract to supply water to houses in Derby by pumping water from the River Derwent. His forcing pump ‘engine’ used a water wheel to drive a crank. This water was then piped to a cistern, in the tower of St Michael’s Church. The pipes were made from hollowed out trees; branches were just that, tree branches of suitable angle. There were ten miles of these pipes. George also built his engines in a lot of other towns, including Leeds and Bridgenorth. London had the most notable; 6 large engines were mounted under the arches of London Bridge and the water wheels were capable of being raised and lowered according to the tide. In Melbourne George raised the level of the pool two feet to improve the fountains in the Bishop’s Place garden. George also proposed alterations to the River Derwent to make it navigable but the scheme was dropped in 1720. He design Stamford lock on the River Derwent in Yorkshire and it is still operational to this day. George devised a channel, 10ft wide by 4ft deep, from Hertford to flow into London; it ended at the round pond where a windmill, or horse driven if no wind, pumped it further. He, with Thomas Steer, designed a wet dock in Liverpool that allowed ships to remain floating when loading and unloading. For this he was awarded ‘The Freedom of the City’. After 1720 there is no record of him at all, even when he died.

‘Topley and Fisher’ Blacksmith and Engineers. If you have any recollections of this company when they operated from Burnside, next to the old Post Office, or photographs then can you please contact me so that I can put a piece together about them.

Starbuck’s have a programme on their noticeboard

We meet on 3rd Tuesday in the month 8.00pm, upstairs meeting room at the Spread Eagle.
Membership Secretary, Phil Irwin on 521180 or ‘e’ mail at: susanirwin@btinternet.com.


Spring 2013 News

In November Richard Farman talked on ‘The History of Early Burton Aviation’
Burton had balloon flights in 1870 but most remarkable was a post card sent from the Bass’s Paris office by balloon when Paris was under siege (Sept 19th 1870 until Jan 28th 1871). In 1910 Doncaster racecourse saw the first aviation meeting. They should have flown from there to Burton but the weather was against them and so the planes were dismantled and taken by train. The Burton Aviation week was staged at Bass's Meadow (75 acre site) in Meadow Road, between September 26th and October 1st 1910. A rare copy of the official program lists admission prices at 1/- 2/6 and 5/-, with an addition of 2/6 to visit the hangers.

Most of the aviators were from Europe. A poster advertising the Burton Aviation week highlighted the fact that Helene Dutrieu would be carrying passengers on flights! Special trains stopped at Burton and trams were dispatched every three minutes; it was estimated that 45,000 people attended. The remarkable aspect of all this is that the whole event was captured on postcards produced from photographs taken by local photographer J S Simnett, some even from the planes! Richard showed postcards of most of the planes and pilots, some of which were autographed by the pilots. The proceeds from the event went to buy the Burton Mayoral chain, on which there is an enamel painting from the event – but actually it’s from the Doncaster one!

A fantastic historical collection, if ever you see one of these postcards for sale at a flee market, buy it!

On 22nd November 17 of us went on a guided tour of JCB works at Rocester. Their ‘walk through’ history room is extremely well presented and gives an excellent insight into the achievements of this iconic company. We were then taken through the production facility to watch how various models are produced all on the same line; it takes about 6hrs from start to driving away! They produce about 50 vehicles a day. Still a family run business, and proud of it. Well worth a visit.

On 28th November 18 members of TREATS went to see a very historic aircraft being restored at Egginton Airfield the Guide who took them round, Martin Jones, gave a very informative background talk to the project, and the history of the aircraft design itself. This was followed by wonderful but rather granular iconic colonial-style film excerpts (many from contemporary Pathé News) and Harry Enfield commentary to the Air Race event itself. The air race was clearly a very important global competitive event at the time, with its origin timed to celebrate the centenary of the foundation of the State of Victoria (and attended by representatives of the Royal Family etc). The race was Mildenhall to Melbourne - Melbourne was Australia's capital city in those days.

This was an excellent opener to seeing the bits and pieces in the workshop beyond. The quality of the woodworking (even the carefully chosen pieces of Sitka Spruce, 4mm ply etc) was good to see these days - a full-size model aircraft built to top quality standards. Space was a little cramped but progress was slowly happening. The De Havilland aircraft (the green Comet and then a DH 84 Dragon) had come in 4th and 5th. The winner was the Comet now at Old Warden - with the American big guns of Douglas and Boeing beaten into 2nd and 3rd place.

We may see some of the restoration pieces on a special stand at out Transport Festival.

For the gathering at the Spread on 15th January Phil Irwin gave an illustrated talk on vehicle manufacture in BoT from 1902 to 1921. This focused on the Ryknield Engine Co Ltd, later Ryknield Motor Co where Ernest Baguley, a Rollestonian, was responsible for manufacturing the various Ryknield cars, lorries and omnibuses. A Ryknield 20 hp Landaulette, was registered to Sir Oswald Mosley in 1904. In 1911 the name changed to Baguley Cars Ltd and produced the range of Baguley, Ace and Salmon cars. Car production ceased at the start of WW1.

Did you see our Advent tree: ‘Spanners not Spangles’, if not you missed a TREAT!

Future events:
19th March - Bob Webb on Amateur radios
16th April - Alan Gifford talking about: 'George Sorocold - The Forgotten Engineer'

Starbuck’s have a programme on their notice board by the pillar box. We meet on 3rd Tuesday in the month 8.00pm, upstairs meeting room at the Spread Eagle. If you are interested in the sort of things we do – you do not have to be an engineer or vehicle owner, please contact the Membership Secretary, Phil Irwin on 521180 or ‘e’ mail at: susanirwin@btinternet.com.


Winter 2012 News

In July TREATS held its second AGM. In that second year we had seven talks; a quiz, a dinner and three visits.

In September Richard Matkin, talked on the subject of bee keeping. He gave us a year in the life of a honey bee and how the ‘modern’ comb hive came into being. When it’s cold in winter the bees all huddle round the queen. When the weather becomes milder some fly out to gather whatever pollen is available and it is a signal for the queen to lay eggs and it takes 23days from grub to being a bee. At the height of the summer (normal not like our last year) she can lay up to 2,000 eggs per day! Worker bees live for about 7 weeks and there can be 50,000 to 60,000 in mid season. The worker bees bring back to the hive four things: water, pollen, nectar and propolis ( like a sealant and is used by the bees to fill small gaps in the hive). The queen lives for about four years, but before dying a new ‘chosen one’ egg is fed on Royal Jelly and this is why it grows significantly larger than the other eggs. As a risk reduction measure a few more are brought on but once they are happy that they have a replacement the others are disposed of. Now, on the delicate subject of mating – the queen leaves the hive followed by a number of drones, in the hope of getting lucky! They fly to a height of a hundred feet or more and the drones queue up for their turn, after which they will die! Mating with a number of drones allows the queen to produce all the eggs for the season. In winter the bees are fed syrup to help them survive. Worker bees, returning from profitable pollen areas, can communicate with bees to show them the direction to go, referred to as waggle dance.

29th September - Visit to Midland Railway Museum and Workshop at Butterley
Stuart Smith was our guide who made it very special for us by taking us into all the areas we were interested in; including the workshops, Royal Carriage and the signal box. As an ex railway controller he had an ‘encyclopaedic’ knowledge of running railways.

13th October visit to St Modwen’s Church
Who has never been inside St Modwen’s Church?

The oldest and one of the most important churches in Burton built in the 18th Century on the site of the old Abbey. Stewart Bannister took us up the tower to talk about the musical drum that plays four different tunes. The drum is timed from the clock, built in 1785, to rotate and projections on the drum press keys that are linked by wire to hammers that strike the eight bells above. We had a demonstration of ringing and changes. Four of us had a go at ringing. The people in the market place below must have wondered what on earth was going on with all the ill timed clangings!

In October we had Graham Nutt from the Magic Attic in Swadlincote. Graham gave an illuminating insight into the world of local history archives. Graham started by saying that visits to his Grandmother, who related tales of one ‘Mexico Joe’, a conjuror and traveller who was murdered in 1909, inspired him to carry out research of the fellow that ended with him writing a series for a newspaper. People followed this story with baited breath wanting to know who the murderer was. In1986 he heard that the Burton Mail office in ‘Swad’ was closing. Graham organised for the whole lot, over 4 tons, to be moved to a room over a snooker club. A person visiting the room and seeing all the archive material commented that it was like a ‘Magic Attic’ and the name was born! In 2002 they moved to the newly developed Sharpe’s Pottery museum. It is a registered charity with 8 trustees and 25 volunteers. They have about 4,000 bound volumes of newspapers, including the Derby Mercury dating from 1782 to 1928. Recently they were given 8,000 glass plate negatives that they have copied into a book where you can write comments about the photos. An example of the research carried out by the volunteers is a book recording all the obituaries, with photos, of the people who died in service in WW II that appeared in the local papers; but following this they did the same for WW I, which has 16 volumes! What a poignant reminder.

Coming up:

18th Dec., Film show and buffet
15th Jan., Car manufacture in Burton on Trent
19th Feb Engineering Aspects of Enigma – Hugh Davies.
Starbuck’s have a programme in their window
We meet on 3rd Tuesday in the month 8.00pm, upstairs meeting room at the Spread Eagle.
If you are interested in the sort of things we do – you do not have to be an engineer or vehicle owner, please contact the Membership Secretary, Phil Irwin on 521180 or ‘e’ mail at: susanirwin@btinternet.com.


Autumn 2012 News

On 17th April Bryan Chinn gave a well illustrated talk on the history of Tutbury Mill which was a landmark until demolished in the 1960’s.

In 1781 it was constructed using cast iron pillars with oak beams being more resistant to fire damage than previously constructed mills. Initially, shortage of labour meant young ‘apprentices’ were brought in from orphanages as far away as London and Coventry; as young as 7 years of age! They were worked hard and the conditions were poor because of the cotton dust. Boarded in an ‘apprentices’ house in Hatton they were 3 to a single bed - the sheets were changed once every year, whether they needed to be or not! Some ran away but if caught were treated very badly. They worked for 13 hours a day but if the river was low and the mill could not operate they had to make up the time when the mill was working again; often working for 24 hours. By 1817 there were 7,000 spindles. In 1868 an office block, clock tower and a gas works were added.

The population of Tutbury in 1801 was only 844 and had nearly doubled in size by 1831when structural modifications to the mill weir required the river level to be lowered. In the mud a number of silver coins were found. This started hundreds of people searching and in the end about 200,000 coins were unearthed. They are thought to be the troop’s salary from the Battle of Burton Bridge.

In the 1870’s trade was reduced but in 1880 turbines were installed. These were much more efficient, about 80%, and could work in low water levels. The mill changed hands a number of times and in 1891 it passed to Henry Newton when the cotton mill was adapted to process gypsum that was extracted from the Fauld mine. At that time there was a railway link into Tutbury. Over 10,000 tons of plaster was produced a year. Plaster was still being produced in 1964.

Visit to John Taylor and Co Bell Foundry at Loughborough on 14th June. The conducted tour went to all parts of this Victorian factory and little has changed in the last 100 years. The processes are highly skilled based. They make everything to do with bells from making the ropes, to the cast iron support frames, clappers and casting the bronze bells.

Ken Parker’s talk on visiting Latvia 17th June.
The talk was about two trips that Ken made with his friend John to Latvia where John originated from. These trips were very emotional for John as he had not dared go back since the Russians had ‘taken over’. John had been 16 years of age when the Germans liberated Latvia. However, when the Russians started to win the war and entered Latvia John joined the German Army (1944) and retreated with them to Germany. At the end of the war, as a displaced person, he had the choice of going back to Latvia or settling in another country; he chose England, settled north of Derby and became a miner. Soon he started a car body repair shop. Ken was Transport Manager for Derbyshire Police at that time and got to know John as the Police cars were taken to his body shop for repair. In 1990 John received an invitation to a Classic Vehicle Rally in Riga (capital of Latvia) and he intended to take his 1947 Sunbeam motorcycle.

A trailer was made for the bike and provision for lots of cans of petrol as it was difficult to obtain where they were going. They set off crossing from Harwich to Hamburg and then through Poland. Stops were at boarding housing and in Poland Ken said that they paid £5 per night, which included dinner bed and breakfast for all three! There were photos of all this plus a person sweeping the highway with a witch’s broom! Through Warezawa (Warsaw), and on to Riga and then John’s home town of Ludza. Here they were housed in the town museum and he said they had difficulty finding food – cafes did not seem to have any. There were photos of the cars and bikes taking part in the Rally and Ken was driven round in a 1937 Morgan, right hand drive too. There were photos of a banked track used for motor cycle racing. The second trip was in 1994 and this time they went through Sweden and crossed from Stockholm to Tallin.

We meet on 3rd Tuesday in the month 8.00pm, upstairs room at the Spread Eagle. If you are interested in the sort of things we do – you do not have to be an engineer or vehicle owner, please contact the Membership Secretary, Phil Irwin on 521180 or ‘e’ mail at: susanirwin@btinternet.com.


Summer 2012 News

Our future programme includes a talk by Bryan Chinn on ‘Tutbury Mill’ on 17th April and a coach trip to John Taylor Bell Foundry at Loughborough on 14th June. These are all open to non-members and we have places left on the bell foundry trip; just contact me if you are interested. The meeting in May will be mainly focused on activities for the Transport Festival and for the June meeting we will be hearing about a daring trip to Russia by our member Ken Parker.

In February Vanessa Winstone talked about the vehicles they had ‘inherited’ at the National Brewery Centre. I think most people are aware of the Daimler Bottle lorry but they have lots of other vehicles; Bull Nose Morris Cowley, LandRover Fire Engine, Tractor, Leyland lorry – about 11 in all.

They are in various state of repair and Vanessa would dearly love for people to be involved in some way to put them in a ‘tidy’ condition so that the general public could see them in a good light. TREATS were approached to see if any of our members could assist in this, and quite a few showed interest.

The coach trip to RAF Cosford Museum on 3rd March was a success with everybody impressed by the huge number of exhibits that are so well displayed. It needs a number of visits to cover all the hangers!

At the March Clive Baker talked about the Engineering and Historical aspects of the Tutbury Jinnie and the remains of the train station at Rolleston. On the following Sunday members were taken on a guided tour of the site to see the remains of the platform and goods yard. It has been suggested that a feasibility study should be undertaken to assess if it is viable to partly restore at least the platform and have information boards showing the original station. This was one of the first ‘commuter’ lines to be built.

We are looking forward to the 4th Charity Transport Festival that will be held on Monday 4th June. Some of us will be attired in cloths appropriate to the age of our cars, so should be a good laugh!

We meet on 3rd Tuesday in the month 8.00pm, upstairs meeting room at the Spread Eagle. If you are interested in the sort of things we do – you do not have to be an engineer or vehicle owner, please contact the Membership Secretary, Phil Irwin on 521180 or ‘e’ mail at: susanirwin@btinternet.com.


Spring 2012 News

Our future programme includes: Coach trip to RAF Cosford Museum on 3rd March, Talk by Bryan Chinn on ‘Tutbury Mill’ on 17th April and Coach trip to John Taylor Bell Foundry at Loughborough on 14th June. These are all open to non-members; just contact me if you are interested. At our November gathering Roger Gawthorpe gave a very well illustrated talk on the origins of the channel tunnel and the complexities of the various systems necessary to ensure the economical running of the trains. It was back in 1802 that the French and English Governments first thought about a crossing between the two counties. In the late Victorian period an Anglo-French protocol was established for a cross-Channel railway tunnel and by 1881 a pilot tunnel 7 feet in diameter 6,211ft long had been driven from the Shakespear Cliff, near Dover. The project was abandoned in May 1882, owing to British political and press campaigns advocating that a tunnel would compromise Britain's national defences.

Surveys were carried out about every 20 to 30 years up to the late 1960’s when the first serious study was carried out. By 1985 the two Governments had set up working parties and there were many different designs. Finally, a design emerged that was to have two separate tunnels with a service tunnel in between. The service tunnel was bored first to optimise the position through the chalk marl stratum; this being the best material through which to cut the tunnel it was operational by 1994.

It is the longest undersea tunnel in the world, with an overall length of 30 miles. The diameter of the train tunnel is in excess of 7m being established after consideration of drag, as drag is the main source of energy; hence streamlined engine design, with a drag coefficient of 0.23, was required. There is a very sophisticated air ventilation system and also a system of cross connections, that contain pressure relief ducts. These are necessary to reduce drag when the trains are speeding through.

For the December gathering the members were treated to a free buffet and a talk by John Morris on Optical Illusions and Paradox. John started his talk with a figure and ground illustration that was classically represented by the Rubin’s vase - seen as two people face to face. It all depends on what your eye and brain want to believe. There were some wonderful illustrations; there were some amazing line drawings by Scott Kim – the infinite circle. Under the heading of Classical Illusions we were shown Frazer’s spiral. There were impossible triangles and the Necker cube and John had made a model of the triangle which was passed round.  John also had illustrations of the more well known Esher’s waterfall and Penrose’s staircase; the waterfall having even been produced in Lego!

On 17th January we had a talk by Mike Jobson on the Ind Coope Burton Brewery. Mike gave a well illustrated talk on Ind Coope and the Malting and Brewing processes using slides from 1960 to 1995. The company started in Romford in 1779 and by 1856 also had a branch in Burton, subsequently merging with Allsops in 1934 and ultimately becoming part of Allied Breweries in 1960. Slides showed the process of malting and the cooling systems were explained. Mike showed photographs of all the packaging processes. In addition there were inside and outside shot s of all the malting and brewery systems, boiler house, refrigeration plant. Some showed copper lined vessels dating back to about 1900.

We meet on 3rd Tuesday in the month 8.00pm, upstairs meeting room at the Spread).

If you are interested in the sort of things we do – you do not have to be an engineer or vehicle owner, please contact the Membership Secretary, Phil Irwin on 521180 or ‘e’ mail at: susanirwin@btinternet.com.


Winter 2011 News

The season for car shows and events is coming to a close and work on rebuilds refurbishment and restoration during the winter months is starting to occupy our minds. Now that the dark nights are with us even more people are attending the monthly gatherings, (3rd Tuesday in the month 8.00pm, upstairs meeting room at the Spread). Our future programme is set as we now have a series of talks lined up at each of the monthly gatherings, well into the New Year. These include; The Channel Tunnel, Optical Illusions, and The Burton Breweries.

At one of the recent gatherings we had a very interesting talk given by Alan Partington on William John Stephenson-Peach (1852-1919).

William started work in his father’s Union factory, situated in Chester Green, Derby. He then moved on to the Atlas Works in Litchurch Lane and then on to Glasgow. However, by 1889 he must have come into some money as he then owned Askew Hill House in Repton. He had a good grounding in basic Engineering and built a substantial workshop, in the garden - Alan had a slide with a photograph of the house that shows the workshop to be larger than the house! He advertised nationally for young ‘apprentices’ but charged their parents for the privilege and hence had a cheap workforce of about 18.

Alan showed photographs of early production stationary engines, steam, gas and oil fired; one particular engine was clearly marked “The ‘Repton’ Patent Oil Engine”. Also of note was a series of photos of heavy rollers and ones with grass cutting capability reputed to have been used on Repton School’s fine cricket pitch. There were also photos of hand pushed mowing machines, motor cycles and bicycles – all produced in the workshop.

There was a photo of the baring engine (used to turn a beam engine flywheel) still in use at Clay Mills Pumping Station.

You could see in the photos of the workshop that cars were being manufactured – this was probably before 1903. Soon after he was approached by Cheltenham College to set up a machine shop and later did the same for Malvern College.

A chap called Fletcher started as an apprentice for Stephenson-Peach in 1903. He worked on “The Repton TRI-car” and there is a photo of the car and Fletcher in 1904.

At about this time Harry Morgan was working up a design for a three wheeler and approached Stephenson-Peach for some advice. (If you go into the History of Morgan Cars Web site - “With very little facility for machine work in his garage, help was gratefully received from Mr Stephenson Peach, then Engineering Master at Malvern and Repton Colleges “.

A number of photographs show three wheeler cars in the workshop at Repton and it may be that early Morgan cars for the Olympia Shows were worked on in Repton. H.F.S. Morgan went on to form the Morgan Car Company in 1912.
During the First World War the workshop at Repton was turned to provide munitions for the war effort and after the war Stephenson-Peach helped soldiers to gain skills in engineering to help them in civy street. The workshop was closed in 1916 and Stephenson-Peach died of influenza, during the 1919 world epidemic.

The photographs of the workshop, his ‘apprentices’ and the machines that were produced were very impressive.

At the October gathering we were treated to a quiz organised by Ken Parker. This was based on the names of cars and their manufacturers between 1945 and 1980. This went down very well and prompted recollections of some of the iconic cars of that period.

Examples of the questions being:- Praying insect; attracting or rejecting; fashion shoe; storm; female with brush. Answers in the next issue.

In the Summer Rollestonian, when talking about the JCB Academy, I asked the question - does anyone know why the Rocester mill is called ‘Tutbury Mill’. People do read the Rollestonian because Bryan Chinn had the answer. -

“I have just read the TREATS bit in the Rollestonian, I have an answer.....The original Tutbury Mill was relocated to Rocester, with the same company allegedly after problems with water (and hence power) supply when the Dove froze, the original building at Tutbury being sold to Staton and Co the owners of the Fauld plaster pit. I understand that the mill stream flow supplied a turbine until the early 60s, and this powered the process.”

So there we are; I find that you only have to ask in Rolleston and somebody will come up with the answer.

We are starting to look ahead to the 4th Charity Transport Festival that will be held on Monday 4th June – put it in your diary! As it will be one part of the extensive Rolleston Jubilee Celebration we are thinking that there should be a tribute to the cars produced from 1952 onwards, with appropriately attired occupants, and these will be in a special enclosure on the Croft. So start looking out for appropriate clothes in the charity shops and online!

TREATS has a close association with Burton Engineering Society, who by the way have very good speakers at their events held in Burton College, and will be going with them on a visit to Radcliffe on Soar Power Station on 3rd November.

If you are interested in the sort of things we do – you do not have to be an engineer or vehicle owner, please contact the Membership Secretary, Phil Irwin on 521180 or ‘e’ mail at: susanirwin@btinternet.com


Autumn 2011 News

TREATS held its first AGM on 19th July. One year old already! The first meeting was held on 15th June 2010 with 6 people attending. At that meeting the name, “The Rolleston Engineering and Transport Society” was coined, we were grateful to Keith, landlord of the Spread Eagle, for allowing us to use the room upstairs.

At the AGM there were no new nominations for the Honorary posts and so the incumbents were proposed and seconded for a further term. We still have a healthy turn out of people at the monthly gatherings, (3rd Tuesday in the month 8.00pm, upstairs meeting room at the Spread) where we have film shows, speakers and discussions about all manner of interesting topics. I have learned so much in the last year on a diverse number of subjects.

May 30th - The 3rd Charity Transport Festival. It rained none stop from early morning until the end, whereupon it stopped and the sun came out. It was pleasing to see so many people turn out to come to this event and it was not the washout that we thought it might be when we were setting it up early in the morning. TREATS members provided a lot of support by actually turning up with cars in the atrocious conditions and being stewards for most of the day. A full report appears elsewhere in the Autumn 2011 Rollestonian.

On 29th June John Morris organised a conducted tour of the JCB Academy. Tutbury mill at Rocester has been used by JCB for storage since it closed as a manufacturing mill in the 1960’s. Sir Anthony Bamford had the vision to create a school where children could get an introduction to Engineering; that is so lacking in this country. He has restored the mill and, with great sympathy, added a new extension that has created a building more akin to a university than a school. It is impressive and as a learning environment it is superb.

The first intake was last September with 120, 14 year old, pupils. The intake will increase year by year up to a maximum of 540. The intake is from an 18 mile radius catchment and is managed by Staffordshire CC. There is no entrance examination as the candidates are randomly selected from those who have wished to go; needless to say there is a waiting list!

The workshops are equipped with new lathes, drilling machines, laser cutting, prototype 3D modelling, etc, etc. In fact all you could wish for in a brand new set up. Each pupil is given a lap-top and it is evident that they are encouraged to extend their knowledge from the electronic media available. CAD drawing is currently in 2D but there is a facility to view in 3D on a large screen. The pupils are encouraged to participate in group projects with the other sponsors who are; Rolls-Royce, Network Rail, Bombardier, E-on and Toyota. When we were there they were working on a vehicle that they expect will be fuel efficient to the tune of 1000 miles per gallon, (this is not unrealistic as they were saying that vehicles have been produced with up to 10,000 miles per gallon). They are also producing a battery powered vehicle. Both of these projects are to compete in National events. It’s known as ‘Tutbury Mill’ but does anybody know why?

Future events include a visit to a visit to the Morgan works in Malvern - likely to be in October and Radcliffe on Soar Power Station on 3rd November. Also, we have a number of speakers lined up who will be talking on ‘Optical Illusions’, Burton Brewery and The Channel Tunnel.

If you are interested in the sort of things we do – you do not have to be an engineer or vehicle owner, please contact the Membership Secretary, Phil Irwin on 521180 or ‘e’ mail at: susanirwin@btinternet.com.


Summer 2011 News

We are still seeing a steady increase in membership, which is very encouraging for this newly formed society. The monthly gatherings, (3rd Tuesday in the month 8.00pm, upstairs meeting room at the Spread), have a consistently high proportion of the membership attending and continues to supply interesting discussions on all manner of topics.

We thought it was about time that the member’s partners ought to meet and see what sort of company we were keeping and so up in January 11 members and their partners dined out. This was thought by all parties to be a success and hence has probably started what could be ‘the annual dinner’.

For those of us ‘petrol heads’ in the society the 17th April is an important day; for within the old vehicle movement we have a day assigned where we try and get everybody with a Classic, Vintage – whatever classification you would like to put on it, vehicle to drive it on that day. Needless to say it has to conform to all traffic requirements but it is one occasion when owners try to get them running on the road. For those people about at 10.00am on 17th April they would have seen a convoy of vehicles leaving the Spread car park on route to The National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas. For the last few years the Arboretum grounds have been used as a collection point for ‘old vehicles’ from all over the Midlands. TREATS had an allocated area, next to the strong contingent from Clay Mills. It was estimated by the organiser, Pauline Blake from Lullington that there were about 250 vehicles. The whole event is very well organised and is a very worth while fund raiser for the Arboretum.

Following the success of the old car racing films shown before Christmas we have been able to show some on Motor Cycling. One of the most interesting was the history of the Isle of Man TT races. Here we saw some amazing footage of motor cycle racing from 1905 onwards.

It was the spirit of competition and advancement that brought the original TT competition to the Island as racing on the highways and byways of Britain was impossible, forbidden by Act of Parliament and by the introduction in 1903 of a 20mph speed limit. The Manx authorities adopted a more conciliatory attitude to automobile racing on public roads and hence gave permission for the 52.15 mile "Highlands" course for the 1904 Gordon Bennett Car Trial, the British trial for the fledgling European car racing championships – run from Paris to Innsbruck. It was not until the following year that a trial race for the motorbikes was to be introduced. However, the inability of the bikes to complete the steep climbs of the mountain section led to the race being redirected and it didn’t return to the Mountains until 1911. Film footage of these early days shows many spills due to the conditions as the roads at that time were either dirt or gravel. The first event was won by J.S. Campbell in a respectable 4 hours, 9 minutes and 36 seconds. The 1914 TT was the last race before the outbreak of World War I; the meeting was not to be held again until after the War in 1920. The 1923 competition saw the introduction of the first Sidecar race won by Freddie Dixon and passenger Walter Perry. In the Junior 350cc Stanley Woods was to record his first of ten TT victories, the last one being in 1939. By 1938 the lap speed record had reached 91mph, a record held by Harold Daniell for a further 12 years. There then followed a break of 8 years until after the War in 1947.

TREATS has adopted a version of the logo produced by John Phillips for the Transport Festival. This has been produced to good effect on clothing so that the TREATS members will be identifiable and look reasonably respectable at the Transport Festival! You to can have one of these highly desirable fashion items – just ask on of the members for details.

Future events include a visit to the JCB Academy in June and Radcliffe on Soar Power Station in November.

If you are interested in the sort of things we do – you do not have to be an engineer or vehicle owner, please contact the Membership Secretary, Phil Irwin on 521180


Spring 2011 News

The number of members attending the monthly gathering is still increasing, as is the total membership. The society is now on a more formal footing with a written constitution and appointment of officials. However, this does not mean that the monthly gatherings, (3rd Tuesday in the month 8.00pm, upstairs meeting room at the Spread), have changed in any way and continue to supply interesting discussions on all manner of topics.

Since my last report Mike Jobson has organised two visits. The first was to: The Automotive and Engineering Skills Academy Burton College that took place on Friday 19th November where we joined in with Burton Engineering Society to hear Rob Short give a good talk on diagnostic assessment of engine faults with a practical demonstration. This probably lasted a little longer than intended - mainly because of the numerous questions. He went on to talk about the new Hybrid Toyota cars that they had. He says he is willing give another talk on other subjects (anti-lock breaking and limited slip diffs?) It will be interesting if they manage to get one of the new Nissan electric cars?

The second visit was to the Rolls-Royce Heritage Collection on 3rd December. A dozen members were treated to a tour round the Heritage museum at the new training centre at Sinfin. The Heritage museum had story boards that presented the history of Henry Royce and Charles Rolls and there are examples of most of the early piston engines going through to the development of the jet engine. There is a lot to see and talk about - it was scheduled for an hour but actually took 2 hours. We moved on to the Light Alloy Foundry on Osmaston Road where there are three large workshops of exhibits – more than 100 engines from Companies that Rolls-Royce has taken over through the years. This is a very active environment where all sorts of engines and machines are being restored by volunteers from the Rolls-Royce Heritage Society.

There was a pre Christmas get together with a buffet laid on by the Spread and a film show of 1950s car racing that included Prescott Hill climb, Aintree, Goodwood and a review with Stirling Moss of his racing career organised by Jason Hunt. These were all highly entertaining but showed scant regard for safety, compared to the stringent track, car and personal safety requirements that exist today. – Motorcyclists: do you have similar recordings we could see?

New Years day lunch time at the Jinnie. There was a turn out of four cars: John Morris, 1989 Reliant Scimitar; Jamie Winstone, Austin A35; John Laycock, 1999 TVR Chimaera; and Phil Irwin, 1930 MG ‘M’ type. As the weather was not too bad we stood outside and chatted over the cars. The TVR got full marks for its exhaust note!

If you are interested in the sort of things we do – you do not have to be an engineer or vehicle owner, please contact the Membership Secretary, Phil Irwin on 521180


Winter 2010 News

The Rolleston Engineering and Transport Society (Treats) continues to flourish. We have now met 5 times and the number of interested people that we send out notes of the meetings to has reached 25. The number of people attending the monthly gatherings has slowly risen and in October fifteen turned up for a chat and a pint at the Spread. Thanks are due to Keith the landlord who lets us have the meeting room free, in return for a donation to St Mary's Fabric Fund.

The members have a very wide range of interests, cars (of all ages), motor cycles, commercial vehicles, aircraft, trains, water supplies etc., hence the discussions have been very interesting and wide ranging. There have been reports from car shows, model aircraft displays and a Vulcan bomber calling in to Coventry Airport! John Underhill has agreed to give a short informal talk on rotary and radial aircraft engines. He has explained the difference, which we now all know, and will explain how they work. For example how do you get the petrol and spark to an engine which is spinning round at a high rate? Watch out for this.

We are arranging a trip around Rolls-Royce in Derby. This will comprise a trip around the new Learning Centre where there is a ‘museum’ with exhibits from the history of Rolls-Royce (the building alone is worthy of a visit), lunch and on to the Light Alloy Foundry. Places are limited so please get in touch with Phil (telephone 521180) to book your place.

Because the Society has survived and appears to be viable, the members are looking to put it on a more formal basis, whist still maintaining the informality of the meetings. This will be discussed at the next couple of meetings so do get along to have your say on how the Society evolves.

We meet at eight o'clock in the upstairs meeting room at the Spread on the third Tuesday of the month so do join us for an interesting evening with like minded people or contact: Phil Irwin tel 521180, email susanirwin@btinternet.com or John Morris tel 814181, email: john-morris@talktalk.net


Last updated: 14 August 2017