The History of the Petter Engine
(Page 5 of 5)
By 1986, the headquarters' offices were moved out of Staines to Dursley in Gloucester, and the company was renamed again, to Lister Petters Co., Ltd. The new management offered me a position as troubleshooter for the Petter products; in the meantime, all service and supply of parts for the other companies' engines was ceased. So, it was back to only Petter products.
In 1988, the engine production work that had continued at Petter Staines was moved into the Lister-Petter facility at Dursley, and the Petter Staines site was sold and, in 1989, demolished. The sale of that property ended the era of Petters as an autonomous factory; from then on, production was geared toward common, new designs called Lister-Petter.
And eventually, the Lister-Petter factory was sold twice more.
With the historical knowledge gained over 43 years, I became recognized as the "old-engine expert," and in April 1990, when I decided to retire, I had acquired by agreement with the company a vast library of materials on Petter history. These archives included microfilm records and drawings of the Petter companies as well as the obsolete records of other manufacturers.
The McLaren records alone were so considerable that I donated them to the Leeds City Industrial Museum, as McLarens was one of the first Industrial Revolution factories in Leeds.
Since retiring, I have offered my services to the monthly "Stationary Engine" magazine, and I am on their "Help Line" list for various engines. As a result, I probably receive an average of six or seven letters a week asking about dates and original histories of engines from all over the world. And I still get an occasional query from Lister-Petter on the old engines as there is now no one left at the firm with knowledge of the old engines. FC
Keith Off is on Stationary Engine Magazine's "Help Line" list for Petters and accepts all inquiries sent to his home, 80 Hobb Lane, Hedge End, Southampton, 503 4GP, UK.
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