THANKS TO DENIS BRANDT
Denis W. Brandt, who arranged for Mrs. Lestz and myself to visit
the Brighton & Hove Engineerium, is a steam collector and
restorer living in London. He has served the National Traction
Engine Club as Public Relations Officer and Rally Sub-Committee
Chairman. On our trip to London in 1975, he drove us in his
handsomely restored steam lorry through the heart of London,
pulling to the curb in busy Trafalgar Square and answering all
sorts of questions from curious passers-by. We appreciate his many
kindnesses. Gerald S. Lestz
The Brighton & Hove Engineerium, located in the former
Goldstone Pumping Station buildings, is an unusual British
institution which tells the story of steam through huge engines,
models, and classes in engineering history. We visited it on a
drizzly English day with Denis W. Brandt, who is active in the
National Traction Engine Club and fully into steam
In the massive brick engine houses are two Easton and Anderson
two-pillar, house built compound beam engines of 1866 and 1875.
Design and workmanship are superb. The engines are several
stories high. The 1875 engine has been fully restored and is
regularly steamed up weekends using the original Lancashire
Jonathan Minns, the founder of the Brighton & Hove project,
emphasizes its use for instruction in the history and application
of steam for industrial purposes. He sees the Engineerium as not
only a unique industrial archaeological monument, but also as a
center for developing more persons fully familiar with steam.
‘People come to us in six-week courses,’ he says.
‘We provide intensely practical instruction in the history of
engineering, both through the process of restoration and running of
plants and machinery.
‘This is very rare as a concept. Engineers were never taught
The Engineerium was opened on Easter, 1976, and thus far has not
been highly publicized. But Minnis is seeking apprentices for the
course from all over the world.
The original coal store (bin would be the American word) has
mighty capacity. Fuel used includes the wood provided by a local
demolition company which is used to keep the 1875 engine going.
The later coal store is being utilized for a higher Exhibition
Hall housing many full size and model steam engines and mechanical
inventions of the Victorian Era.
One of the largest items on display in this hall is an engine
designed by Corliss in America in 1859 and built in France in 1889.
It won first prize at the Paris Exhibition. It was transported from
France and re-erected, Minns notes.
We were fascinated by the multitudes of well constructed models.
Changing exhibitions are planned, showing the many applications of
steam, as well as hand and machine tools, printing presses, early
clocks, and mechanical musical instruments.
Between special exhibitions, sales of historical steam engines
and ship models are held at the Engineerium by Christies, the
famous auction house.
Edward Langley, assistant chief engineer, very kindly answered
all our questions on a special guided tour. If you are planning on
a visit to England, include this on your tour list.
The Engineerium offers to do renovation work on engines, and to
build engines for collectors all over the world.