Raising the bar for a historic mill engine
The engine was transferred in September 2007 to the Northern Mill Engine Society, who display their collection of mill engines at Bolton Steam Museum.
So what’s a barring engine?
The flywheels of mill engines needed to be turned to a suitable position for starting or for maintenance purposes. On smaller engines, the flywheel was ‘barred’ over with a lever by hand. For larger engines, a small barring engine was often fitted, to do the job where muscle power failed.
Why was it transferred?
Bolton Steam Museum contains the largest collections of working steam engines in the country, so could offer a better context in which to display the engine then that which Bolton Museum could provide.
The museum is also situated about 100 yards from where the engine was originally installed on the Atlas Mills site in Bolton, so the engine is almost back in its original setting, further enhancing its historical significance. The Northern Mill Engine Society could also provide the expertise to overhaul and restore the engine, and display it in working condition powered by steam.
As you can see, the dedicated team at Bolton Steam Museum have lovingly restored the engine to its former glory.
For more information on the Northern Mill Engine Society and Bolton Steam Museum, visit the society’s website at www.nmes.org
For more information on collections disposal, see Bolton Museum’s Acquisitions and Disposals policy on the website.