This page carries the most comprehensive listing available of known surviving Paxman steam portable and traction engines (the latter shown in red). The listing is based on feedback to this website from owners and enthusiasts, old Paxman order records, and engine listings from other sources.
It has not been possible to verify the details of several engines shown on other listings. It is also a fact of life that lists like this can quickly become out of date as owners and locations change. Please understand, therefore, there can be no guarantee or warranty as to the accuracy of all the details shown below. Any help you or your contacts can give in keeping the list up to date and accurate would be much appreciated. Do please email details of any changes, errors, or additional information using the form on the Contact page.
Where an engine number or location is underlined in the listing below, this denotes a link to more detailed information about the engine, often including a photograph, on another of our Surviving Portables web pages. One of these covers engines in the UK and Overseas except Australia and another is devoted exclusively to portables in Australia.
Abbreviations used in the table below, are as follows:
Type column: PE = Portable (Steam) Engine, TE = Traction Engine
NHP = Nominal Horse-Power
Cyls column: S = Single Cylinder, D = Double Cylinder (i.e. Duplex) and C = Compound.
|Type||NHP||Cyls||Number||Year||Original Agent or Customer|
Last known Location & Owner, and notes.
Fairford, Gloucestershire, UK.
Viana Do Castelo (possibly 2 derelicts).
|PE||S ?||8253||Number does not match any Paxman records.|
Suggest number be checked (definitely not 18253).
|PE||8||S||11692||1902||Grand Junction Canal Company, Leighton Buzzard, Beds. UK.|
Norwich, UK. Randall.
Note: Engine mounted on sub-frame.
|PE||4||S||12436||1905||Intercolonial Deep Well Co, Brisbane, Australia.|
Notes: As at 2014 located at Barkly Homestead, Tennant Creek, Northern Territory. Copy order book shows this engine as being Order No 7524, entered 9th December 1904, and having a cylinder 7” bore x 12” stroke.
|PE||10?||S||12520||c1905||G Dudley Bates, Crown Point, Norwich, UK.|
Colchester, England, UK. Duncan Pittock.
Note: Extensive damage, many castings broken including flywheel. Sold at auction in October 2010 at Dingles Steam Village, Devon for £1,600. As at 2019 owned by Duncan Pittock.
|PE||6||S||12729||1905||Gleisner & Co, for Concepción, Chile.|
Sandbach, Cheshire, UK. Will Dakin
Notes: In good condition.
Arrived back in the UK from Chile in December 2007 after being purchased by Michele & David Goddard. Bought by Simon Caudwell of Cullompton, Devon, in summer 2008. Sold at auction in April 2013 (hammer price £8,900) to Will Dakin who also owns Paxman traction engine No 16849 and Paxman portable No 15584 (see below).
|PE||14||D||12734||1906||Maurico Gleisner & Co, for Concepción, Chile.|
Chile. Guillermo Rojas
Notes: As at March 2018 owned by Guillermo Rojas.
|PE||6||S||12982||1906||Gleisner & Co, for Talcahuano, Chile.|
Southern England, UK. Roger Luck.
|TE||7||S||13073||1907||A T Oliver, Luton, Bedfordshire, UK.|
March, Cambridgeshire, UK. Neil Bowers (from April 2018).
|PE||4||S||14028||1907||Ordered by Francis, Chapman Deeks & Co for Intercolonial Boring Co, Brisbane, Australia.|
Maitland, NSW, Australia. Purchased by Ian Lovi in 2018 from Andrew Moran who had owned it since 2014. Before that it was owned by Rob Turnell of NSW who acquired it no later than July 2011.
Notes: As at 2019 undergoing a major restoration/rebuild.
|PE||6||S||14503||1907||James H Craven, Melbourne, Australia.|
|PE||5||S||14652||1908||Intercolonial Boring Co, Brisbane, Australia.|
Notes: All that remains of this engine is the agent's plate, with engine number, that was on the smokebox door. It is thought the engine it came from was found in western Queensland.
|PE||4||S||14757||1908||Intercolonial Boring Co, Brisbane, Australia|
near Brisbane. Owner not disclosed.
Notes: 7" bore x 12" stroke. Despatched to Brisbane 13th August 1908. Seen October 2019.
|TE||10||S||14766||1908||Originally ordered by Allardyce & Dimslow for export to Argentina. Order cancelled. Engine eventually sold by Paxman to Frederick G Bishop of Sible Hedingham, Essex, UK, in December 1917.|
As at March 2018 the engine was being offered for sale on the website of Preston Services, near Canterbury.
Notes: 'Colonial' type TE with large firebox.
|PE||6||S||14801||1908||James H Craven, Melbourne, Australia.|
|PE||8||S||14802||1908||James H Craven, Melbourne, Australia.|
NSW, Australia. The late Laurence Martin, until his death in May 2004.
Note: 10" bore x 12" stroke.
|PE||6||S||15007||1909||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Note: 8¾" bore x 12" stroke. Before being retired, the engine was used at the Lake Cargelligo sawmill in NSW. Reported as having been seen in NSW, in 2012, in complete and very good condition.
|PE||5||S||15008||1909||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Young, NSW, Australia.
Note: seen in 2014.
|PE||7||S||15009||1909||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Note: 9¼" bore x 12" stroke.
|PE||4||S||15033||1909||Konekauppa Osakeyhtio Aatra, Helsingfors (now Helsinki), Finland|
Note: Cylinder missing.
|PE||6||S||15414||1910||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Note: 8¾" bore x 12" stroke.
|PE||8||S||15443||1910||John Blyth & Co, Adelaide, Australia.|
Laura, South Australia. David Macloy on behalf of Booleroo Steam & Traction Preservation Society.
|PE||4||S||15477||1910||Intercolonial Boring Company, Brisbane.|
Andover, Hants, UK. Derek Marder.
Notes: Very original and complete.
Arrived back in the UK from Australia in Sep 2003.
|PE||3||S||15495||1910||Intercolonial Boring Company, Brisbane.|
Notes: Seen in 2013 by Paul Harrington at Escott Station near Burketown, Queensland. Escott Station was started by the English, Scottish, Australian Pastoral Company in 1869. No 15495 is in generally poor condition but still has its motion, crankshaft and flywheel. Built under Paxman Order No 9467 of May 1910. Cylinder 6½" bore x 10" stroke. Despatched probably October 1910.
|PE||6||S||15513||1910||Gleisner & Co, for Talcahuano, Chile.|
Colchester, England, UK. Duncan Pittock.
|PE||4||S||15526||1910||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Near Toowoomba. Queensland. Gilbert Eastwell. (as at September 2014)
Note: Acquired by Gilbert Eastwell in September 2013 and restored by him in January 2014. By September 2014 had been steamed several times. At the end of its working life was used as a steam producer for a honey factory.
|PE||6||S||15549||1910||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Notes: Built under Paxman Order No 9521 of June 1910. Cylinder 8¾" bore x 12" stroke. Despatched 25 November 1910.
|PE||6||S||15550||1910||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Note: 8¾" bore x 12" stroke.
|PE||4||S||15584||1910||Intercolonial Boring Company, Brisbane.|
Sandbach, Cheshire, UK. Will Dakin.
Note: Long 'Colonial' firebox. Acquired by Will Dakin in May 2001. Mr Dakin also owns Paxman portable No 12729 (see above) and Paxman traction engine No 16849 (see below).
|PE||12||D||15643||1910||Intercolonial Boring Company, Brisbane.|
near Brisbane, Queensland. Geoff Dunnett.
|PE||3||S||15687||1910||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
New South Wales, Australia.
Note: Seen early 2006. Badly weathered but still with motion and flywheel.
|PE||6||S||15715||1911||Sindicato Nacional de Macquinaria Agricola.|
Monzón, Aragon, Spain. The town of Monzón.
Note: 8¾" bore x 12" stroke.
|PE||5||S||15775||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
St George, Queensland, Australia.
|TE||6||S||16849||1911||H H Truscott, Cornwall, UK.|
Sandbach, Cheshire. Will Dakin.
Note: Acquired by Will Dakin in 1983 in a totally dismantled state, and excellently restored by him. Mr Dakin also owns Paxman portables Nos 12729 and 15584 (see above).
|PE||3||S||16916||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
NSW (Goulburn ?), Australia. Ken Ainsworth (confirmed 2010).
Note: Seen in November 2009 at the Taralga Rally looking in very good order.
|PE||4||S||16919||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Near Camden, NSW, Australia. Jay Squillacioti (as at 2020).
Note: Purchased by Mr Squillacioti in 2020 from a local private collector. The engine appears to be relatively complete. 7" bore x 12" stroke. Believed to have come from the Macarthur Camden Park Estate, which was once a sheep station, so may have been used to power a shearing shed.
|PE||3||S||16938||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Note: 6½" bore x 10" stroke.
|PE||3||S||16942||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Note: Information received in January 2014 that this engine is now 'not very complete'. Confirmation of the survival of this engine received in January 2019 together with a photograph. Information sought on its present location. Possibly Winton, Central West Queensland, but confirmation of this is needed.
|PE||3||S||16943||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
At a museum in Dubbo, NSW (seen there in 2013).
Note: Supplied under Paxman Order No 10915, dated 10th March 1911, and despatched to Sydney on 3rd November 1911. 6½" bore x 10" stroke. This portable was one of 25 ordered at the same time by John Blyth & Co. The orders were for ten x 3NHP, four x 4NHP, three x 5NHP, four x 6NHP, two x 7NHP and two x 8NHP engines. Six of the orders were subsequently cancelled. The engine reported to be looking complete and in very good condition when seen in 2013. Apparently it was used for driving saws at a Dubbo sawmill, and later worked at Dubbo's Sanitary Department.
|PE||3||S||16945||1911||Paxman book says this order was cancelled.|
Suggest number be checked.
|PE||4||S||16948||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Keith Luff, Mackay Region, Queensland - since December 2021.
Note: 7" bore x 12" stroke. Photographs received in 2023 confirm the report received in June 2019 that the engine is in excellent condition and fully complete, having been housed in a shed all its life. Previously used to drive a chaff cutter.
|PE||4||S||16950||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney. / Moffat Virtue (agents)|
Port of Echuca Museum, Victoria, Australia. John Ulner.
Note: 7" bore x 12" stroke. Pickering governor fitted. Water pump and rod appear to be missing.
|PE||6||S||16955||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
|PE||6||S||16956||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Colac, Victoria, Australia. Andrew Provan.
|PE||7||S||16958||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Woolpack Inn Museum, Holbrook, NSW, Australia.
Note: This engine and No 16959 (see below) were part of an order from John Blyth & Co for 25 portables, entered in Paxman's order book on 10th March 1911. In the Paxman copy order book both Nos 16958 and 16959 are shown as being cancelled (in red ink!) but their existence has been confirmed in 2009 by a reliable source who has seen and photographed them.
|PE||7||S||16959||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Private collection (owner and location undisclosed), Victoria, Australia.
|PE||8||S||16961||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Note: The maker's plate for this portable has been found and is offered to the present owner of the engine. The owner is invited to contact me for further information.
|PE||4||S||16985||1911||Paxman book has cancelled entry for locomotive boiler.|
Suggest number be checked.
|PE||4||S||17119||1912||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Kerrisdale Mountain Railway Museum, Victoria, Australia. Andrew & Jennifer Forbes.
Notes: The engine is in good working order and on display in the museum. No 17119 and the following three portables, were part of an order for nine, placed on 26 June 1911. The order book has a despatch date of 19 Sep 1913 for the first of the nine engines (No 17116) but no despatch dates were entered for the remaining eight.
|PE||6||S||17122||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Parkes, NSW, Australia (confirmed 2015). Pioneer Park Antique Machinery Museum.
Notes: Seen in October 2015 by William Parrinder who reported that the engine looks very much complete.
|PE||6||S||17123||191?||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
|PE||6||S||17124||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
South Australia. Robert Ahrens.
Notes: As at 2005 the engine is still steamed from time to time. Has original brass maker's plate with the 1911 date and previously powered a sheep shearing shed in NSW.
|PE||2½||S||17248||1912||Intercolonial Boring Company, Brisbane, Queensland.|
Notes: In September 2013 received a message from Steven Parrinder's son, William, that this engine is once again steamable and was in steam earlier in the year.
|PE||3||S||17251||1912||Intercolonial Boring Company, Brisbane, Queensland.|
Outback at Isa Centre, Mount Isa, Queensland.
Notes: Seen and photographed by Phil Chapman at the Outback at Isa Centre in 2014. At that time the flywheel and crankshaft had been removed from the engine but were stored nearby.
|PE||6||S||17260||1911||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Notes: Confirmation of this engine's survival was received in November 2006. It was reported to be in good condition having been in a shed for a long time (no rust but plenty of grease and oil). It still has its original paint. The fire bars and ash pan had been removed and were sitting up against the engine. It has flat crosshead guides and early type feed pump.
Built under Paxman Order No 11232. Cylinder 8¾" bore x 12" stroke. Despatched 17 November 1911.
|PE||6||S||17402||1912||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
|PE||14||D||17461||1912||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Campbelltown Steam & Machinery Museum, Menangle, NSW, Australia. Bob Yonk.
|PE||6||S||17501||1912||Taddeo Guisti, Modena, Italy. (Paxman’s agent in Italy)|
Davide Lorenzone, Pancalieri, Italy
Notes: Email received from Davide Lorenzone, a steam enthusiast, in December 2016. Davide plans to restore the engine which, from the pictures attached to his email, looks to be in very good and complete condition.
Built under Paxman Order No 11472 of 20th February 1912. Cylinder 8¾" bore x 12" stroke. Despatched 3rd May 1912 to Antwerp, Belgium. One of two identical engines ordered at the same time by Taddeo Guisti and despatched on the same date.
|PE||2½||S||17721||1912||Intercolonial Boring Company, Brisbane.|
Herberton Historic Village, Herberton, Queensland, Australia (as at 2015)
|PE||2½||S||17783||1912||Intercolonial Boring Company, Brisbane.|
Gin Gin, Bundaberg Region, Queensland, Australia. Robert Hursthouse. (as at 2011/2023?)
Note: The brass and some parts are missing. Someone who viewed the engine in September 2012 reported that it has a long (colonial type) firebox and an Intercolonial Boring Company plate on the fire box door. The engine was not complete but he considered it in fairly sound condition and worth restoring.
A photograph received in 2023 shows the engine in a rather poor state.
Cylinder dimensions: 5¾" bore x 8½" stroke.
|PE||20||D||18025||1913||Von Hafe (agent), Porto (Oporto), Portugal.|
Cambridgeshire, UK. Philip Paxman (grandson of James Paxman - the Company's founder).
Note: Repatriated to UK in 1974. In 2014 a partial restoration was undertaken to stabilise the engine. Moving parts were refitted and the engine repainted. The restoration, by Richard Maskell of H Maskell & Son, Wilstead, Bedford, was done in such a way that the engine can be brought back into steam in the future if desired although this would be costly.
|PE||10||D||18050||1913||M Gleisner (agent), Talcahuano, Chile|
Canterbury, Kent, UK. Michael List Brain, Preston Services.
Notes: Cylinder working pressure entered in order book as 8 ats. Brought back to the UK from Chile in late 2004 after being purchased by Michael List Brain. As at March 2018 still with him at Preston and offered for sale at £10,500.
|PE||7||S||18168||1913||Intercolonial Boring Company, Brisbane.|
Currently located on the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane, Queensland.
Note: Seen by William Parrinder in March 2021. The engine still has its crankshaft, flywheel and pulley wheel. The cylinder, piston and connecting rod are missing. Original cylinder dimensions: 9¾" bore x 12" stroke.
|PE||6||S||18300||1913||John Blyth & Co, Australia|
Australia. (Sighted in (July?) 2011 by Tony Wilshire who reported it to be in excellent condition.)
|PE||12||D||18302||1913||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Atherton, Queensland, Australia. Duncan Ray.
Notes: Double cylinder, each 8¾" bore x 12" stroke.
Seen at Moree, NSW, on 15 March 2003. No 18302 was reported then to be reasonably complete and in good original condition requiring mainly repairs/replacement of the smokebox front and drum due to water entering through the uncovered chimney. Boiler condition could not be confirmed as the lagging was still attached which prevented a thorough inspection of all boiler plates but it was clear a full set of boiler tubes would be required. Still in good condition when purchased by Duncan Ray in December 2018 from the estate of Alf Hardman.
|PE||6||S||18368||1913||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
|PE||3||S||18407||1912?||Paxman book has this number for a benzine engine, not a portable.|
Queensland, Australia. Jon Daryan.
Suggest number be checked.
|PE||2½||S||18455||1913||Intercolonial Boring Company, Brisbane.|
Incitec Pivot Ltd's Phosphate Hill Plant, 150 km south of Mount Isa, Queensland, Australia. Incitec Pivot Ltd.
Note: engine is plinthed. Confirmation received in October 2014 that the engine was still in the position where it was seen in 2002.
|PE||3||S||18457||1913||Intercolonial Boring Company, Brisbane.|
Queensland, Australia. Steven Parrinder.
Notes: In September 2013 received a message from Steven Parrinder's son, William, that this engine is once again steamable and was in steam earlier in the year. William reported that very little work was required on the engine to get it going again.
|PE||3||S||18458||1913||Intercolonial Boring Co, Brisbane, Australia|
near Brisbane. Owner not disclosed.
Notes: Despatched to Brisbane 2nd December 1913. Seen October 2019.
|PE||3||S||18459||1913||Intercolonial Boring Company, Brisbane.|
Alice Springs, Australia. Road Transport Hall of Fame (museum).
|PE||4||S||18923||1914||John Blyth & Co, Sydney. / Moffat Virtue (agents)|
Cootamundra, NSW, Australia.
Note: 'Colonial' firebox.
|PE||6||S||19029||1915||Intercolonial Boring Co, Brisbane.|
Notes: Cylinder 8¾" bore x 12" stroke.
Reported by Paul McGrath in December 2017 as being in the bush at Camooweal, northwest Queensland. No further information regarding the current condition of this engine.
|PE||8||S||19229||1916||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
|PE||5||S||19230||1917||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
|PE||8||S||19231||1917||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
|PE||4||S||19250||1917||Paxman book shows this number for a gas producer, not a portable.|
Suggest number be checked.
|PE||3||S||19254||1916||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Note: Working pressure 115psi.
|PE||6||S||19255||1916||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
|PE||7||S||19257||1916||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Note: Working pressure 115psi.
|TE||7||S||19412||1916||War Office, UK.|
Steam Museum, Preston, nr Canterbury, Kent, UK. Michael List Brain (as at Oct 2008).
|TE||7||S||19413||1916||War Office, UK.|
Hinckley, Leics, UK. Robert Holt.
Note: Undergoing restoration since at least 2000. By March 2001 the engine had a new barrel, fire-box, smoke-box and front tube plate. By January 2003 a new tender had been made and fitted. As at April 2008 Mr Holt hoped to have the engine back in steam by about December (2008).
|PE||3||S||19529||1917||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
|PE||4||S||19530||1917||John Blyth & Co, Sydney. / Moffat Virtue (agents)|
Australia. John & Andrew Uden.
|PE||4||S||19584||1917||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Maimuru, NSW, Australia. Graham Clegg.
near Whitby, North Yorks, UK. Charlie Dore.
Notes: In another listing this engine was shown to be located at Canterbury, Kent, UK. After appearing at the Cheffins Cyril Philip sale at Castle Hedingham, Essex in July 1995, it was with Michael List Brain, of Preston Steam Services at Canterbury for a number of years. Acquired by Charlie Dore in 2003.
Flywheel and much of motion is missing.
Previously described as a 3NHP engine, it is now considered to be a 4NHP engine (judging from the size of the cylinder).
Although long considered to have been built in 1918, one wonders on what evidence. As the crankshaft is missing, the engine number cannot be ascertained.
|PE||3||S||20178||1920||Sousa & Cahda, Lisbon, Portugal.|
Colchester, England, UK. Duncan Pittock.
Note: Ordered 3 Dec 1919. 6½" bore x 12" stroke. Seen in Portugal in 2006 in unrestored condition. Purchased by present owner and brought back to England in November 2006.
|PE||20||C||20428||1921||Chapman Son & Deekes for Auckland, NZ|
Matakohe, North Island, NZ. Kauri Museum
Notes: Ordered 13th May 1921 and despatched from Paxman 5th October 1921. Compound engine. Working pressure 140 psi.
|PE||8||S||20624||1921||Eduardo Puito de Sousa, Lisbon, Portugal.|
Berlin, Germany. Deutsches Technikmuseum.
Somerset, UK. Brian Hill
Notes: Ordered 26 November 1921, despatched from Paxman 2 January 1922. One of only two known surviving Paxman compound portables. Returned to the UK in 2008. As at January 2017 a major restoration is approaching completion and the engine should be back in steam later in the year.
|PE||8||S||20985||1922||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
|PE||8||S||20986||1922||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Note: Working pressure 120psi.
|PE||14||D||21023||1922||John Blyth & Co, Sydney.|
Note: Duplex - cylinders both 9¼" bore x 12" stroke.
|PE||3||S||21693||1925||Neuchatel Asphalte Co, London (to Billericay?)|
East Sussex, UK. Peter Love (confirmed 2010).
|Some Unidentified Paxman Portables|
|Type||NHP||Cyls||Number||Year||Last known Location.|
Note: Boiler, wheels & chimney base only. As at June 2015 what is left of this engine is still on a roadside near Kidderminster, in a very poor and derelict state. It is thought that at one time the boiler was used for raising steam for soil sterilisation, which would explain why the motion and other related parts were removed. Steam sterilisation of soil in market gardens and nurseries was a common practice many years ago.
|PE||8||Canterbury, England. Michael List Brain, Preston Services.|
Note: As at January 2005 advertised for sale on Preston Services website. Believed to have been imported from South America, possibly Chile. At some stage the engine's number has been defaced by hammering so that only the first two digits, 1 and 7, are legible so details cannot be checked in the Paxman order book.
|PE||D||Morven Historical Museum, Queensland.|
Note: In building No 5, currently undergoing restoration.
|PE||?||Tallaganda State Forest, near Canberra, NSW.|
Note: All the motion, including crankshaft and flywheel(s), is missing so it is unlikely ever to be identified. From a picture on the internet it looks as if it was a comparatively large engine.
|PE||5||S||Anthony Lagoon Cattle Station, Northern Territory, Australia.|
Note: Supplied to Anthony Lagoon around 1915 by the Commonwealth Government and the Administrator placed it under the control of the local storeowner, Charles Biondi. The steam engine drove a walking beam pump and supplied water to the Gulf Cattle Co, the Police, travelling public and stock travelling the Barkly Stock-route.
Cowra A 12 hp, 1913, twin cylinder (i.e. duplex, not compound) portable was advertised for sale at Cowra, NSW, Australia, in late 2003. The address of the person to contact was given as Cowra, NSW, but attempts to make contact have so far been unsuccessful. Initially it was thought the engine might be No 15643 but comparing photographs show it to be a different engine. On this engine the manhole is on the boiler barrel whereas it is on the firebox of No 15643. If the advertised details of the engine are correct then its number is probably 18302. In the Paxman order book this appears to be the only 12 NHP double cylinder engine for Australia built in 1913. No 18302 has cylinders of 8¾" bore x 12" stroke and was despatched on 28th July 1913. The only other duplex for Australia in 1913 was a 10 NHP engine, No 18199, despatched in May. Both were ordered by John Blyth & Co of Sydney. Confirmation of the correct number would be appreciated.
Darwin River Dam, Northern Territory, Australia: A Paxman portable is displayed in the small museum of the Northern Territory Power & Water Authority at Darwin River Dam. We are in touch with the Authority and attempting to reconcile the number which appears to be stamped on the engine's flywheel with numbers in the Paxman order book.
Bookham, NSW, Australia: As at 2009 a large and a small Paxman portable are in a collection of about 20 portables at Bookham, on the Hume Highway between Melbourne and Sydney. If you know the number of either of these Paxman engines please let me know.
Garrett Portables built for Davey Paxman
Between 1920 and 1932 Davey Paxman and Richard Garrett & Sons of Leiston were both members of the Agricultural & General Engineers (AGE) combine. AGE laid down a policy that portables work should be split between the two companies with Garrett building all the single cylinder types and Paxman the two cylinder types. Garrett built 65 portables, to Garrett designs, for Paxman under this arrangement. It should be added that Paxman continued to build some single cylinder portables to their own design during this period.
One listing of surviving Paxman portables in Australia includes Nos 34274 (which is actually 34278), 34337, and 34419. These are Garrett, not Paxman, numbers. It is clear from Garrett records that the engines were built by Garrett for Davey Paxman, presumably in accordance with AGE policy. We are told the engines carry Moffat Virtue agents plates (Moffat Virtue were Davey Paxman's Australian agents), but that they have no Paxman badging on them.
The three Garrett designed and built engines mentioned above each have a piston valve, not the slide valve arrangement found on Paxman portables. Each was designed for a working pressure of 140 psi.
No 34278, built in 1923, is a Type WS1 (8 NHP) of 6¼" bore x 12" stroke.
No 34337, built in 1923, is a Type WSB (5 NHP) of 5¼" bore x 10" stroke.
No 34419, despatched 4th January 1924, is a Type WSII (10 NHP) of 7" bore x 12" stroke. It has a colonial firebox and is believed to be located in Victoria. (Seen c.2006)
Four other surviving Garrett portables built for Paxman are
No 34233, Paxman Order No 15024 of 30/12/1922, despatched 25/01/1923, a Type WS 1 L8 (8 NHP, 22 BHP), originally supplied to John Blyth & Co, Sydney, Australia. Seen in 2016 in New South Wales this engine carries a Moffat Virtue badge. Like the three engines listed above, this was fitted with a piston valve, not a slide valve, and was designed for a Working Pressure of 140 psi as noted in the relevant Paxman copy order book entry. (Paxman Order No 15025, placed at the same time by John Blyth & Co, was for an identical engine which was given the engine number 34244.)
No 34389, Paxman Order No 15233 of 01/10/1923, despatched 22/10/1923, a Type WS II (L10; 10 NHP, 27 bhp), originally supplied to John Blyth & Co, Sydney, Australia. A recent photograph of part of this engine shows the remnants of a Paxman transfer.
No 34400, Paxman Order No 15234 of 01/10/1923, despatched 22/10/1923, a Type WS II (10 NHP), originally supplied to John Blyth & Co, Sydney, Australia. As at 2012 owned by Ian Larcher of Forbes, NSW.
No 34472, despatched 31/3/1924, also a Type WS II (10 NHP)
A surviving Garrett-built portable made to a Paxman design is No 35188. This 10 NHP single cylinder engine was despatched (to Chile?) on 17/10/1928. There is no entry for this engine in the surviving Paxman copy order books but details have been confirmed from surviving Garrett records. It would seem that various parts and patterns were sent from Paxman at Colchester to Leiston for the building of this engine which was possibly the last portable to be built to a Paxman design (only a handful of portables, if that, were built by Paxman after 1925). No 35188 was acquired by Duncan Pittock in 2009 from David and Michelle Goddard who brought it back from South America.
Sadly this engine was very badly damaged when it came off a low loader on 23rd September 2015 while being transported back to East Mersea from the Henham Steam Rally in Suffolk. The extent of the damage is such that repair of the engine will undoubtedly be a very expensive and lengthy project.
© Richard Carr
Page updated: 12 Sep 2023 at 14:21