- The creed of a true saint is to make the best of life, and to make the most of it. Edwin Hubbel Chapin
Visit Internal Fire – Museum of Power
An award winning working museum dedicated to the history of the internal combustion engine. With 9 "Power Halls" running daily the displays range from small agricultural engines through 30 ton diesel engines to a 4000 horsepower jet engine.
What to See
The collection includes early oil engines, and later gas turbines, but the main focus is on diesel power spanning the 1920s to the 1960s. This is not a static display of old machinery! Engines are exhibited and run as close as possible to the way they would have looked, sounded, and smelled while in service. Most major British manufacturers are represented, among them Belliss & Morcom, Tangye, Petter, and Ruston & Hornsby.
The core of the collection is stationary diesel engines, including a 1912 Sulzer single cylinder Air-blast injection engine, the oldest working diesel engine in Britain. Another unique relic is the only surviving model of a Petter team engine.
Then there is a 'Pocket Power Station', powered by a Proteus gas turbine engine. Made by Bristol Siddeley (later Rolls Royce), the Proteus is the only operating set on display in the world. It was launched in 1959 and was made to be controlled over a telephone line. This unique capability made it the forerunner of unmanned power stations.
Another highlight is a 1903 J & E Wood 500hp tandem compound engine. Even older is an 1879 John Penn twin cylinder oscillating engine used for driving a paddle steamer. Foreign engines are represented as well; one of the latter is a Worthington-Simpson two-stroke diesel , the very first solid injection diesel constructed in the US.
There is also an Exchange Building containing working Strowger telephone exchanges and switchboards for visitors to use along with a growing Radio Room display.
The museum is open from Easter to the end of October, other times by arrangement and special events listed on the museum website.