Full steam ahead for engine’s trip

Lyndon Shearan, with his 150 year old portable steam engine.

Lyndon Shearan, with his 150 year old portable steam engine.

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The oldest working portable steam engine in Britain will make a special journey from Halifax to Wiltshire as part of a celebration of the company who made it.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the closure of Brown May Engineers, who were based in North Wales, Lyndon Sheerman, from Elland, is lending the two ton steam engine, called Little Dragon, to the event in Devizes on July 14.

The 150-year-old engine, which Mr Shearman believes could also be the oldest working portable steam engine in the world, will also appear at the Elland Carnival on July 6.

Mr Shearman, 67, a retired health and safety officer, said: “I’ve owned it since 1981 and it’s been on display at Shibden Hall and the Halifax Industrial Museum in the past.

“It’s a portable engine which used to be pulled about by horses when it was first produced and was used to drive other types of machinery.

“It’s been used for running a cider press, a water pump, a stone crusher and all sorts of other purposes.

“I paid £2,700 for it in old money but it’s priceless to me now.

“It was in pretty good condition when I got it but I’ve repainted it several times and done a few running repairs.

“I’ve taken it to rallies all over the country from Cornwall to the Shetland Isles.

“It’s one of only 16 left in Britain and not many are still in working order.

“It’s only about the size of a car so everything is at eye level and you can show children the fire and people can see it and ask questions about it.”

“The organisers of the event are going to come and collect it on a trailer thankfully, and they’ve promised I can have it back!