Steve Elliott’s


Cranleigh Belle

One of the ‘stars’ of the 2013 Midlands Model engineering Exhibition was this half-size Burrell Gold Medal engine built by Steve Elliott. His Cranleigh Belle is to the design from Little Sansom Models. These drawings are very reasonably priced (from just £35 a set) as are the readily available castings. All the drawings are prepared from Burrell works drawings.

It provides an alternative to the popular Little Samson engine from the same stable for those experienced builders looking for something more complex, or those with more time.

The model is a compound, has three speeds, and is sprung on the front and back axles.  The third speed gives it a fine turn of speed where the road conditions allow (tarmac and good visibility).  Rim brakes are fitted.

The cast iron cylinder casting (below) saves the builder a great deal of time. All the steam ways are cast in making the job of machining much easier.

The first Burrell 4nhp five ton tractor was completed in 1905 and, in total, 221 were manufactured.  The first four worked at 180psi, the remaining were pressed to 200psi. 

The engine weighed 4 tons 19cwt which, being less than 5 tons, meant that under the 1904 Heavy Motor Car Act it could be operated by one man.  The tender and belly tanks held 150 gallons of water which gave them a range of 12 to 14 miles laden, more if travelling light.

One of this class of engine, no 2932, won a Gold Medal in the 1908 Royal Automobile Club Trial, the engine towing a load of 6 tons travelling 686 miles in 22 days consuming just 9.2 lbs of coal per mile.  It is from these trials that the engine takes its name.

The compound cylinders had an HP bore of 4.5” and a LP bore of 7.5” both by 8.25” stroke.  Nine of the 'Gold Medal' tractors had single cylinders of 6.5” bore by 8.25” stroke.  The engines developed 16 BHP and were said to be able to handle a load of 12 tons up a 1 in 18 incline.

All were double geared to the back axle with the differential unit mounted on the second shaft.  A winding drum was fitted to the back axle. 

The 'Gold Medal' was considered a tough little worker, both on road haulage and threshing where it reputedly coped with a drum usually reserved for larger engines.  The crankshaft was set to 230 rpm on belt work, controlled by a Pickering governor.

Eleven 'Gold Meda'l tractors were supplied new to showmen complete with the usual dynamo platforms and extended canopies.  Six Gold Medals were built as crane engines.

The model is based on one of the last Burrell tractors number 4072 built in 1927

For more information, drawings and castings go to A great deal of other useful information can be found there.