The International Steam Pages


Cracking that BUM, Part 2, Thailand 2010

This is an appendix to our 2010 Burma Crusade. Click here for the index.


In 2009, I tracked down a Paxman-Lentz Cross Compound Steam Engine - No 18842 - delivered to Bangkok for Denny, Mott and Dixon. See http://www.paxmanhistory.org.uk/paxlentz.htm for more information, specifically http://www.paxmanhistory.org.uk/P-L18581.htm for the only other known survivor albeit a tandem compound. The previous confirmed sighting of this engine was from an ISSES member in 1990! However, since it is a government owned item, our first unannounced arrival meant that we could not enter the actual engine room because it was securely locked. Courtesy of long time Bangkok resident John Baker, I was able to arrange a full visit in December 2010. There are many images in this report, necessarily I have had to reduce their size - if you are a serious student of stationary steam, please email me for a higher resolution set.

This (left) is the view from the door, the engine(s) formerly used a rope drive. Looking in the opposite direction (right) the drive was transmitted through a shaft and on to a Siemens alternator. The remains of the original panel are on the right in the background, the newer replacement is on the left. On the far right seems to be the remains of a small vertical compound engine, presumably used when full power was not needed - see below.

This is the high pressure side with the camshaft governor. The plate on the front reads "Davey Paxman & Co Ltd, Engineers, Colchester, England, Lentz Patent".

This is the low pressure side without the governor, it bears a similar plate.

Next to it is what I assume to be a condenser (right) and and a twin cylinder pump driven by an electric motor from Laurence, Scott of Norwich, the whole area is subject to occasional flooding.

This is the view of the drive wheel, what happened to the original 'rope' I do not know. There are no elevated positions available, on the right is the best that can be done from the rear.. 

This is the Siemens alternator / generator. The plate has no date but declares it to be a 'Direct Current Generator'.

That was the easy bit. The vertical compound engine was missing not only any identification but also many parts:

Next to it were three small duplex pumps, the one in the middle appeared to be of the standard Wothington type. On either side were two I could not recognise, I had destroyed my flash in Burma so I was unfortunately reliant on natural light, the text is not readily recognisable, alas I was under time pressure... Martin Potts and Peter Nettleship confirm it will be "Soule Steam Feed Works of Meridian, Mississippi"

Here as before are two pictures of the Babcock and Wilcox 1914 boilers:

Not noticed on the previous visit were three pumps at a lower level, presumably boiler water feed, two horizontal of no great interest and a third vertical one, long out of use. As can be seen from the pictures, only a brave man would inspect them at close quarters!

It has to be hoped the mill will survive more or less as is stands, the longer it stays the way it is, then the greater the chance it will happen.


Rob and Yuehong  Dickinson

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