‘Valiant’ engines

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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.


1943 Merryweather ‘Valiant’.

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.

Great Yarmouth

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1918 Merryweather ‘Valiant’.

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. 


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Merryweather ‘Valiant’.
Photograph forwarded to me by a correspondent. Sadly he was unable to give the use to which it was put or its history except that it is now on display in a Yorkshire railway museum.

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Merryweather ‘Valiant’.
A four wheeled example of a ‘Valiant’ on display at Shrewsbury fire HQ.
Grodon Brillie

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Merryweather ‘Valiant’.
This really is a superb fire engine. A ‘Valiant’ No 2 steam pump mounted on a 1907 Gordon Brillie chassis. This conversion, from chauffeur driven charter car to fire fighting vehicle, was carried out around 1913. The steamer itself had previously been fitted on a Conventry Humber chassis so it was not its first motorised employment. As well as fire fighting duties it has also doubled up as a crop sprayer and in 1938 appeared in the film ‘Fire Cracker’. It was acquired by Lord Montague in 1956 who now has it on show at his world famous National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, Hampshire.
My thanks to the staff at the museum for the above imformation, and the Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service for the photograph. 

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Merryweather ‘Valiant’.
On show at Bressingham.
North Ings Farm Museum, Lincoln, have by all accounts two Merryweather Valiants in their collection.

There is a Merryweather Valiant in the “Bakkersmolen” collection at Wildert north of Antwerp. Kevin Hoggett informs me.

Eeklo, Belgium

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Merryweather & Sons Valiant

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. 

Andy Badman is another correspondent who owns a working Valiant. A short film clip he sent me shows his engine providing a very good jet of water.
Jack Meatcher writes to tell me he is involved with a private museum which runs a Merryweather Valiant portable fire pump built in 1942. He would very much like to hear from anyone who can help him with details of operatinging and maintenance details of such an engine in particular a tool for adjusting the pump cylinder gland. he goes on to tell me that they use their pump for demonstrations and for pumping water to fill the tank of a full size steam locomotive. It has just passed its steam test and was re-built last year, but keeping the glands steam and water tight requires regular attention. Offers of assitance will be passed on to Jack.

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Merryweather & Sons Valiant


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.

I recently came across a photograph of a ‘Valiant’ in the Museum Maurice Dufresne. A technological history museum located in the mill at Marnay, near the Château of Azay-le-Rideau, France. Unfortunately it gave no details regarding the machine.
Chasewater Light Railway Society has restored an ex. Cambrian Railways Merryweather ‘Valiant’ pump to a steamable condition.