Merryweather ‘Valiant’ engines. This model was the company’s answer to the British Government’s request for a steam pump that was sufficiently portable to allow it to be taken ashore on a boat, and powerful enough to quickly fill the tanks of warships. It had been put forward by the Captain of H.M.S ‘Valiant’ and pushed forward by the Admiralty. Merryweather more than fulfilled the request producing an engine that came in three sizes, the smallest of which weighed just 7cwt. with an of output that ranged from 100gpm for the No1 size upto 260gpm for the No3 size. The No2 delivered 200gpm.
I know little of the history, or use, of ‘Woudse’. This ‘Valiant’ is one of two that I photographed at the Bedfordshire Steam and Country Fayre in September 2001. Included in displays was a Steam Fire engine Spectacular which hosted the greatest number of steam fire engines that I have ever seen in one place. A wonderful display. This engine has been fitted with a new boiler and is managed by Stichting Historisch Brandweermaterieel (SHB) in Holland.
This example of a Valiant was purchased in February 1918, by 1918 Great Yarmouth Port and Haven Commisioners for washing down fish wharfs. It remained in use until May 1949 and is now on display in the town’s ‘Tower and Curing Works Museum’. Another example of the various uses to which this versatile engine was put to use.
My thanks to Norfolk Museum and Archaeology Service for the above details.
My thanks to the staff at the museum for the above imformation, and the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service for the photograph.
There is a Merryweather Valiant in the “Bakkersmolen” collection at Wildert north of Antwerp. Kevin Hoggett informs me.
This Merryweather Valiant is working order and is owned and operated by Mr Daniel Veerman of Eeklo in Belgium. It was recently seen at this years Maldegem Steam festival. My correspondent writes that “Daniel found the pump in as new condition – stored apparently since the war unused. It is in full working order.The trolley is a recent creation in order to make it transportable. The wheels are easily removed for steaming.”
These details and photograph were kindly supplied by Kevin Hoggett.
Merryweather & Sons ‘Valiant’.
Ron Henderson sent me information regarding this engine recently. Sadly it seems that since taking the photograph in July 2009 the Fire museum has been forced to close due to the dockyard wanting the property and the exhibits dipersed.