Young apprentices lend a hand to restore historic 1943 engine at Anson Engine Museum

By Culture24 Staff | 04 March 2011
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a photo of three young men standing next to a large engine
Volunteer Apprentices at Anson Engine Museum© Anson Engine Museum
Three apprentices from a Salford-based clean technology business have restored an historic engine that powered the post industrial revolution.

For the past two years the trio from firm ENER-G have worked alongside retired engineers at the Anson Engine Museum, in Poynton, Cheshire, to restore the 1943 Brotherhood Engine, which is the size of a transit van. 

It was last in use more than 20 years ago to power beer making at Kirkstall Brewery in Yorkshire.

Each Tuesday for the past two years, the apprentices have taken it in turns to work at the museum, working with other volunteers to strip down the type R63/8 371 kW (500 bhp) engine and completely restore it to working order.

Their hard work has now paid off and the engine is now, once again, in full running order and has been powered up as part of a remarkable collection of working engines ranging from very early Crossley gas engines through to modern diesels.

“This was the first time we’ve seen the engine working, so it was fantastic to get it running and to show it off,” said Dean Mellor, aged 20, who has recently completed his apprenticeship and is a qualified production fitter with ENER-G.

 “We’ve gained a fantastic education from the other volunteers who have years of experience in traditional engineering and have passed on to us the techniques and skills that they’ve been using all their working lives. It’s given us a deep understanding of engines and made us so much better at engineering.”

ENER-G started its engineering apprenticeship scheme in 2006, and trainees complete a four-year programme spending one day a week studying for ONC and NVQ level 2, and then HNC and NVQ level 3. The firm presented the museum with a donation of £1,500 to thank them for hosting the apprentices as part of the scheme.

It’s the first time the museum has involved apprentices and according to Volunteer Coordinator Peter Wood it has been very successful. “We’re all getting on in years so it’s been really nice to have young people around. It’s been a two way relationship in that we’ve benefited from their help, and they’ve learnt valuable skills from qualified engineers with years of experience.”

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