The International Steam Pages

Just Another Marshall (Part 3)

Marshall, Sons and Company, England was the king of steam power in the Raj.

Use the following links for more pages on surviving Marshall engines:

In April 2006, I discovered a rare Marshall engine just outside Yangon, we even discovered another one (compound and out of use) here in India and we had certainly discovered more than a few Marshalls but they were nearly all the same basic engine, even the attractive compounds were no more than a second (low pressure) engine grafted onto a basic K class engine.

We were exploring in yet another new direction along a road where the rice mill density ran to about one every 2km. The good news was that there were few non-steam mills and of the twelve previous steam mills, we had only failed to get into three and of the rest seven of them were working. The bad news was that each of the working mills had a standard Marshall and the only two more interesting engines we had seen were not in use. Yuehong could barely keep her eyes open and I was finding it hard to feign enthusiasm. We drove up to a mill which was clearly currently non-operational and went through the usual introductions and were taken to see their Marshall which inhabited a dark unlit shed at the back. It was certainly not an ordinary engine and only when the doors into the yard were opened could we see it in all its glory, a drop valve engine, the first we had seen in the rice mills. It was said to have been last used a few weeks before and the mill would run again when repairs were complete in a month or so (probably?).

As far as the action was concerned, we were saved by the mill in the next village which turned out to have a delightful old Ruston Proctor (basically the high pressure half of the compound we had seen earlier). Here we were refused permission to visit by the manager on the grounds that the owner was not available and it was more than his job was worth to say 'yes'. Fortunately, the mill could not afford a wall and he was the sort of clerk who never leaves his seat except to go to the toilet (and not always then) so we just walked round to the engine house and entertained the engineers for half an hour until their shift ended and they closed it down. Final tally for the day was nine active mills (and yes, the last one was a Marshall too). 

We thought that was as far as the dream would take us until a few days later on yet another new route, we walked through the engine room door and saw this....

Yuehong captured me in action...

Just another Marshall? Definitely not. In fact I now know that these two engines are examples of Marshall's L class. 

Next day, we found another different (Marshall? at least two knowledgeable experts have their doubts and I am too ignorant in these matters to have a vote) drop valve engine, said by staff to be a 'high speed engine'. It certainly was:

Stationary Steam in India 2006 - introduction

A Reason to Return - a brand new steam powered rice mill in a green field site. 

Marshall Heaven - we always go the extra mile to bring you working stationary steam.

Just Another Marshall (Part 2) - too bad it wasn't working!

My Other Steam Engine is a Marshall too - if you're going to be different then don't do it by halves.

Make Mine a Robey, Please - as common as in Burma.

Many Happy Returns - unexpected returns to old gricing spots.

All I want for Christmas... - anything but another bloody Marshall.

The Loose Ends - the bits and pieces that ask as many question as they answer

Robert Clive's Sugar Mill - well, it's not quite that old.

Rob and Yuehong  Dickinson