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Dear STICK Friends,

STICK will attempt to send out entertaining and informative items on various subjects of interest to our network. We will also be using social media such as Twitter to keep in touch. Some content here may be duplicated on Twitter. Today we thank James Mitchell for information on a project he is working on.

Balloch Patent Slipway, West Dunbartonshire
The patent slipway was built in 1901 by the Dumbarton & Balloch Joint Railway Board to service a fleet of "railway steamers," not unlike those operating on the Clyde, The actual patent slipway was installed by Hallidays of Rothesay and the winch and engine was made by Bennie's of Glasgow. The winch house building is typical Caledonian Railway architecture; half harled and red engineering brick, with large, multi-paned iron-framed windows.

Slipway as built (1903) with a steamer on the carriage

Slipway - old carriage being dismantled (2020)

Slipway during works (2020)

Slipway during works (2020)

Industrial Heritage Consulting Ltd have just finished dismantling the old carriage at the A listed steam patent slipway, Balloch. It is now believed to be the only one working in the world and the only working stationary steam engine - the steam engine still able to do the job is was built for - in Scotland (if we discount the small apparatus at Biggar gas works).

The engine, winch and boiler are currently being overhauled in preparation to be used in the process of rebuilding the 50m / 60T carriage starting as soon as possible after having secured a grant. IHC are running this project mainly with volunteers due to tight budget restrictions.

View of Winch House and Slipway (2020)

Also, this Sunday coming (1st November 2020) is the last day on steam for the Maid's 900hp engines before putting them to bed for the winter! Cafe's great!

J S Mitchell ACR FIESiS  |   Industrial Heritage Consulting LTD


Other steam engines in working situations by M. Watson (STICK Committee)
Balloch slipway is a rare example but there are others: Queen Street Mill, Burnley, Lancashire has an engine that is the only means of powering the looms. It reopened in 2019 but is currently restricted due to C-19 restrictions. The chimney has been repaired. 

Crofton Beam engine, Marlborough, Wiltshire is an in-situ canal pumping engine of 1812 that uses steam, with day to day pumping done by electric pumps.


The STICK Committee

To all our STICK friends

Keep Safe! 


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