Geoffrey Goodchild’s

This fine award-winning model of the Kittoe and Brotherhood beam engine is by Geoffrey Goodchild, built to a scale of 1:14. The original engine was built in the late 1860s for the Albion Brewery in Whitechapel, London, of Mann Crossman and Pullin. The engine was in regular use until 1934 when a cracked bedplate forced its retirement.

The engine was offered by Watney Mann to Trowbridge Town Council in June 1978 for its new museum. It was dismantled by Historic Steam Ltd., part of Kew Bridge Engine Trust, and stored at Bradford-on Avon. In January 1989 it was moved to Trowbridge.

A few years later the dismantled engine was donated to Coldharbour Mill Trust. The mill museum had an engine house but no engine while Trowbridge Council had a beam engine but could not justify the expense of housing it with a boiler to run it. The Science Museum had been instrumental in saving the engine from the scrap man when the brewery was demolished and stipulated that when it was erected it must be run on steam, not air, motored electrically or as a static display.

Work continued on the engine kit of parts until September 1997 when it ran for the first time in more than 60 years at Coldharbour Mill, Uffculme, Cullompton, Devon, one of the oldest woollen mills having been in continuous production since 1797. Originally owned by world-renowned textile producers Fox Brothers the Mill took fleece from all over world and transformed it into yarn, cloth and textiles. Today the working wool museum includes crafts people making traditional textiles, knitting yarn and hand woven rugs, as well industrial heritage.


Photo Chris Allen