Part 2/2

With recent publication of what is surely the final reprint of Cherry’s Model Engines, we have an excuse to revisit those exquisite models on these pages as a reminder of Cherry Hill’s great work. Details are in the book, of course, and here we just have a small selection of single photos of some of the models. They are in no particular order. Again see the book for how they progressed through time, alongside Cherry’s development as a model engineer.

For those new to the hobby, who may not have heard of her, Cherry Hill is arguably the world's greatest model engineer. And the word 'models' hardly does justice to what she produces. For the past several decades she has created scaled-down versions of traction engines - and not just run-of-the-mill types, but also elaborate Victorian flights of fancy. Extensive research and meticulous design are the secrets of her success. She has created almost twenty models over a sixty-year period.

One of the most impressive aspects of Cherry's work is that all her engines are fully working (unlike some of the originals) and what came out of her workshops in Worcestershire and Florida is perfection, both in terms of design and craftsmanship. Every last part, even the tiny chain links, was made in the workshop from metal stock. No parts are bought in.

Once completed, all her models were given away: early ones to friends and family, and later ones to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Each model typically occupies 7,000 hours' work, and Cherry's exemplary output has been rewarded with the highest honours, including nine gold medals, and an MBE from the late Queen Elizabeth II for Services to Model Engineering.

Law & Downie Walrus traction engine - and unpainted top of page

Blackburn agricultural engine 1863

Wallis & Steevens Advance roller

Merryweather fire engine 1905

Gellerat rouleau compresseur à vapeur 1881

Wallis & Steevens Simplicity roller

Vertical twin engine based on Stuart 10V design

Burrell scenic showman’s engine

Aveling & Porter road roller