Kent History Forum

News:
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Author Topic: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.  (Read 33619 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Sentinel S4

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1911
  • Appreciation 165
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #81 on: May 08, 2017, 19:14:19 »
Touche, Smiffy, touche.....

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Online smiffy

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 806
  • Appreciation 56
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #80 on: May 08, 2017, 13:17:12 »
Dear Sentinel S4,

I was very tempted by your generous offer but I thought it best to have a chat about this with my careers adviser. He reckons that there is no future for these new-fangled machines and that they are probably just a passing fad. He seems to know what he's talking about, so with this in mind I've decided to sign up for an apprenticeship with the local gas mantle factory.

Kind regards,

smiffy.

Offline DaveTheTrain

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 302
  • Appreciation 18
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #79 on: May 08, 2017, 09:29:09 »
Talking of buying one, Dave the Train? Isn't it about time we had an update on the Avelings restoration  :)

A good point Conan.  I shall update my thread with the latest info.
DTT

Offline conan

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 899
  • Appreciation 65
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #78 on: May 07, 2017, 22:44:52 »
Talking of buying one, Dave the Train? Isn't it about time we had an update on the Aveling`s restoration  :)
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline Sentinel S4

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1911
  • Appreciation 165
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #77 on: May 07, 2017, 20:48:47 »
Wages, Smiffy? WAGES!!!?

I could go a few Shillings a week, maybe a 1. You will have to ask Bryn what the money was like, I know not.... Sheesh, you want a day off AND paying... Never heard of the such, do you think I'm a charity.............

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline DaveTheTrain

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 302
  • Appreciation 18
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #76 on: May 07, 2017, 17:34:13 »
Sentinel S4, thanks for letting me have Sunday off! What are the wages ?

I can see that like most steam enthusiasts you are very passionate about your subject. I've always had an interest in steam engines, but never experienced them in the "hands on" way that you have. If I had, perhaps it would have turned from just an interest into more of a love affair in the way that often affects those who actually work with them.

My experience of these things, Smiffy, is best keep your distance.  Otherwise you end up buying one and you will always be broke with too many things to do!  That is what happened to me.

Online smiffy

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 806
  • Appreciation 56
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #75 on: May 07, 2017, 15:27:27 »
Sentinel S4, thanks for letting me have Sunday off! What are the wages ?

I can see that like most steam enthusiasts you are very passionate about your subject. I've always had an interest in steam engines, but never experienced them in the "hands on" way that you have. If I had, perhaps it would have turned from just an interest into more of a love affair in the way that often affects those who actually work with them.

Offline Sentinel S4

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1911
  • Appreciation 165
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #74 on: May 07, 2017, 15:25:26 »
Several places in Liverpool kept Sentinels running for many years after they were disposed of elsewhere. They were loved around the Docks and many of the preserved vehicles come from there. Many lasted until the very late 1960's still doing a Hands Turn every day and outlasting the Diesels that were bought to replace them. My only recollection of a working Steam Waggon was when my road had a tar surface put down in 1970. They were good for this as they could heat the tar with steam coils supplied from the boiler. Please don't ask who owned her or if she still exists, I have no idea.

I can just remember the Ryde in service, I had no idea she was a coal yaffler to the end. Be nice to spend a day on her now, if she was in the same condition as the Waverly....

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline mikeb

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 491
  • Appreciation 26
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #73 on: May 07, 2017, 10:39:54 »
Without wishing to stray too far off topic, this thread has rekindled a couple of memories.
In 1965 I was in Liverpool (Eng., awaiting my ship to dock) and one evening walking along the dock head road I came across two, I think Sentinels, steam waggons parked up outside a hostelry. I was amazed to hear the low hiss of steam, the crackle of a fire and the heat emanating from what were, outwardly, two venerable diesel trucks. Memory suggest they have belonged to Tate & Lyle??
Also referring to S4's steam thoughts, I was lucky enough to spend some time on the Paddle Steamer Ryde, (Portsmouth - Ryde ferry) during her last summer season as Engineer. No two days on the manoeuvering platform was the same. She was coal fired and we had a regular set of firemen, one in particular a robust Scot who as soon as full ahead was wrung down delivered eight large shovels of coal to the boiler and then sat and read his paper for the 40 min trip. Other firemen had to tender the fire continually. When I asked how he did it, he just said "you've got to know where to throw it!"

Offline Sentinel S4

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1911
  • Appreciation 165
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #72 on: May 07, 2017, 09:24:04 »
You will certainly need at least a Class 2 (Rigid HGV) licence, if you want to pull a trailer then a Class 1 (Articulated HGV) licence is required. As for experience then that would be learned 'on the job' so to speak. Like any vehicle they all behave differently, two cars off a production line made to the same specification will be a little different, steam is no exception to that rule. As an example the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railway have 7 locos with the same cylinders, wheels and boilers (even though two are Canadian in look) and they all behave in very different ways. We now see steam as an exception but when these Waggons were common so was steam, almost every man who worked (not being sexist here but 90% of the population in heavy manual work was male) had at sometime been party to a steam powered machine. Today I believe that given a Waggon and a week I could get you up to speed as a Fireman on one of these, two weeks and you would be driving. However that would be 12 hours a day for five days and at least eight on the sixth, you can have Sunday off though.

For me, I grew up with Steam machinery, it was Dads work and Hobby, steam is normal and I struggle to understand why people see it as some mystical art. I still Drive steam locos on a couple of Railways for fun, and am in the position that I have a current HGV class 1 driving licence. I just don't have a Waggon. Basically I have been running steam plant since I was four years old (am now 52 so I have a few years under my belt) and I still get it wrong on occasion. Once you know what the bits do then the rest is down to 'feel', it is impossible to describe 'feel'. You Drive any steam machine with all your senses, you listen to the fire, the exhaust and the engine, you are constantly watching not just the road (steel or tarmac) but the machine itself, your touch is telling you stuff as well (be it your feet, hands or bum) and finally smell, the smoke, the hot oil on the engine and the steam. It is all giving you information, information that is letting you know just what state the machine is in. You will smell overheated oil before the bearing makes a noise, you can see an off coloured splash of oil that tells you that a bearing is a little tight. By the colour of your smoke you can see how good your fire is, light grey haze at the top of the stack is good. For many the first time on the Footplate/Manstand is a sensory overload. Today we are coccooned in tin boxes, seated in comfort with no direct connection to the road beneath us. I'm not complaining about that at all, I would not want to punch a Steam Artic down to the South of Spain the same way I used to my big Volvo Artic. I have no complaints about Driving a Diesel Rail loco, nice warm and dry for a change, but a Steam Vehicle is somehow more 'alive'. They talk, moan, groan and chatter all the time, they let you know when something is going wrong. They are all bad tempered and will hurt the unwary, you never get over familiar with any Steam powered machine. 

I'm sorry I have wandered a bit, I'm an unabashed Steam Junkie. The point is that you never stop learning. I could get you competent firing and driving a Steam Machine in a couple of weeks, then you start learning and never stop. Ever. A Driver on one of the Railways I drive on has been Driving since he was 9 years old, he is now 84. Last year his loco was playing up and I found that a small adjustment to the fire box door made a huge difference. The owner asked me what I had done and I told him. He learned something new that day. You NEVER stop learning, ever.

Sentinel S4.

A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Online smiffy

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 806
  • Appreciation 56
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #71 on: May 06, 2017, 22:13:15 »
Amazing stuff - I would imagine it takes quite a bit of experience and skill to drive one of these efficiently. Generally how long would it take to master the art compared to say, a diesel lorry, and was (or is) there a test that has to be passed akin to an HGV before you can drive one on the roads these days?

Offline Sentinel S4

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1911
  • Appreciation 165
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #70 on: May 06, 2017, 20:51:17 »
All Steam Waggons are designed to be double manned; Driver and Steersman. There were literally a handful that were single man operated and were either oil fired or had mechanical stokers. However they needed an exemption due to the Law as it stood. When being driven without a mech stoker or oil burning then yes you would have to stop and load the fire box up. For the Sentinel type boiler this is very inefficient, more so than on other types of Steam road vehicle that had a conventional boiler.

The Sentinel has a vertical boiler with a fairly small and shallow fire grate and is fed through the top, a chute next to the chimney. They rely on the movement of the Waggon along the road to shake and level the fire. MOST, I repeat MOST other Steam vehicles had either a high pressure 'flash' boiler (Stanley, White and Serpollet cars and buses) or a Locomotive type boiler as on a Rail Locomotive. The cars had all kinds of automatic gear on them that maintained the water and fire without help and responded automatically to the throttle (for more information I suggest You Tube and Jay Leno : Steam Cars, he knows more about the White Steamers than anyone else I know of). Now for the rest with a conventional boiler, they will take being loaded up with green coal and steaming away for five or six miles. With Rollers and Steam Tractors they were expected to do so as they were designed for fairly short trips (30 or less miles a day). Try this on the Sentinel and you will run out of steam or even put your fire out! The Sentinel Boiler was and is a very good steam producer but it needs a lot of attention to keep the water and fire just 'right' so 'loading and running' are out of the question. Finally the water gauge glass is actually on the left side in what is now the passenger side and as such cannot be seen directly from the steering side, Dad got around this with a carefully placed mirror (must have been 'interesting' in the dark to say the least).

My Dad drove his first around a private estate and would stack coal on top of the boiler and sweep it down the chute with one hand. He drove the S4 from Elham by doing the same but every eight or so miles he had to load the boiler top up with coal that he would add little and often to the fire.

Up to the S type Waggons the marque had hand throttles next to the steering wheel, like all steam vehicles the throttle had to overcome the pressure from the boiler. The S class had a foot throttle. This was a first for a steam vehicle as everything else had a throttle/regulator that stayed where it was put.

I hope that helps a little, ask away if I or anyone else can answer we will.

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Online smiffy

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 806
  • Appreciation 56
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #69 on: May 06, 2017, 17:05:25 »
This is a subject I find interesting but have no practical experience in, so just for a bit of clarification (and pardon my ignorance) - are most single operator waggons manually stoked? If so, does this happen on the move, or do you have to stop first? Or do they all have some form of mechanical stoker?

Offline Sentinel S4

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1911
  • Appreciation 165
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #68 on: May 06, 2017, 08:56:09 »
I think you will find that most oil burners were done away from the Sentinel works. I can only find reference of a handful actually done there. You also have to remember that steam was almost taxed off the roads by 1939, there were not that many in use on a daily basis. However due to the War those who had them stored, dusted them down and started to use them again, coal was cheaper than petrol and there were fewer diesel powered vehicles (compared with today). I did read somewhere, not in my collection, of a batch of S8 (shaft drive 8 wheels) built for government service, half of which had mechanical stokers (coal burning) and the other half were oil burners. One or two Sentinel Rail Locos were built with oil burning, normally for service overseas. I also understand that several of the later Skoda built S types (yes they had a licence to build Sentinels) during the German occupation were built as oil burners. However the last steam Sentinels, a variation of the S4, built for the Donna Theresa mine in Argentina (one or two still exist) in 1950/51 were one man operation coal burners.

When Edward Lloyd's withdrew their two from service they actually cut the chassis. This was done so they could avoid paying Tax on them as they were scrap. Dad bought the Standard four 4 and then had to find another 5 to have the chassis plated and welded before he could remove her from the yard, he was given a month.


The law over steam vehicles is a bit odd in some respects; anyone with a provisional Driving Licence can drive a Steam Roller SOLO before they take their test as long as they display that they are a novice ('L' plates cover that). According to the law a Roller is a vehicle for a single operator. A Traction Engine or Road Locomotive (steam) has to have a driver who may also steer (even though the man stands are about the same size as a Roller). The Steam Waggon or Lorry also falls under this ruling. HOWEVER there was no lower age limit on the steersman, that has probably changed by now. I believe that for the Waggons to be Legal under the old rules there had to be dispensation for the oil firing, remember the driver also fired and you were effectively, with oil burning, removing the one who controlled the vehicle (under the eyes of the Law). The fact that Sentinels were driven from the steering position had no bearing on that fact. The only other vehicles exempt from the 'Driver/Steersman' Laws were Steam Tractors, small Traction Engines, as they, like Rollers, were expected to pull over to fire (stoke-up).

I hope that is clear, it does make sense to me.... It is complex and lead to the 'Second Man' ruling when the first Motor Lorries came into mass use, and the daft rule imposed on BR when the Diesel Locos took over from Steam as they, for a long time, carried a Fireman as well as a Driver.

S4.
A day without learning something is a day lost and my brain is hungry. Feed me please.

Offline conan

  • Established Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 899
  • Appreciation 65
Re: Sentinel S4 Steam Waggon.
« Reply #67 on: May 05, 2017, 23:35:50 »
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

 

BloQcs design by Bloc
SMF 2.0.11 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines