Last arch of Blackfriars


Today, a train journey into London crossing over Blackfriars Railway Bridge provides the curious sight of a series of bright red bridge columns stretching out across the Thames. A clue to the origin of these columns lies at the South side of the river; a splendidly restored abutment displaying the insignia of the London, Chatham and Dover Railway (LC&DR).   The columns mark the position … Continue reading BLACKFRIARS

WWI engineering workshop


This week marks 100 years since (some) women got the vote in this country. It is also 100 years since a woman first presented a paper at the Institution. Olive Monkhouse talked about The Employment of Women in Munitions Factories. World War I brought with it a huge increase in demand for munitions, at the same time the workforce was reduced by men signing up … Continue reading EMPOWERING WOMEN



The modern engineer can research and record engineering ideas using mobile devices and camera phones, as well as more traditional methods. In the 19th century engineers carried notebooks and a pencil to sketch designs on the move.  A man who exemplifies the image of the Victorian engineer as artist is David Joy, born in Leeds in 1825.  A collection of his drawings and his diary … Continue reading DAVID JOY

Latest project before painting.


Cherry Hinds Hill is a well-known name to those in the model engineering world and her models are considered remarkable for their quality. The Duke of Edinburgh Challenge Trophy and the Championship Cup has been won by Cherry 9 times. Yet she has always maintained a low profile-she has allowed her work to speak for her. Cherry’s models are based on both historic working engines … Continue reading CHERRY HILL


Kitty May Brunell was one of a clutch of women motorsport riders in the 1920s-1930s. Born in 1911, Kitty grew up surrounded by racing. Her father was Bill Brunell (officially William Joseph Brunell), a well-known photographer of motorsports. Her mother was Katie Margaret Meech. Brunell officially began rallying in 1928, she was only seventeen at the time, but it seems she stopped around 1933. Despite … Continue reading WOMEN RIDERS


Recently we were invited to visit the workshops at the National Motor Museum where they are working to restore the 1927 1000hp Sunbeam twin engines that hopefully be running again in March (more on that in a future post!). The Museum tells the story of the advancement of the motor cars and propelled transport, from penny farthings, to steam cars, to icons such as the … Continue reading BEAULIEU: VISIT REPORT


Creating a virtual archive for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers IMechE’s Virtual Archive In conjunction with Townsweb The vast archive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) spans over 150 years in scope and is of National importance. So we were privileged to be selected by the Institution to build a Virtual Archive portal and publish their prestigious holdings online. Above image: Napier Deltic engine, … Continue reading CREATING A DIGITAL ARCHIVE

Flying testbed B2 Canberra WK163 fitted with a NSc D1-2 Double Scorpion rechargeable booster rocket. Stamped on rear - Napier Luton Airport, Neg no 22641, and Secret.


Whether you are in Dundee, Devises, Doha or Delhi you can now gain access to key items held in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers archive collection, all for free, just by going online. Curated from our extensive physical collections, our Virtual Archive showcases a selection of models, items, drawings, notebooks, photographs and documents about the history of engineering and the Institution. We have captured 3D … Continue reading VIRTUAL ARCHIVE: ENGINEERING HISTORY ONLINE

View of the fleet from an airship


“Battle cruiser seems in distress…” On 5th June 1916, a German u-boat mine claimed a prize- the life of Field Marshall Earl of Kitchener, Minister for War. He had been enroute to persuade the Russian Tsar to keep his troops engaged in the First World War. With him were 643 crew and his staff. Also killed were two IMechE members, Sir Frederick Hay Donaldson and … Continue reading HMS HAMPSHIRE SINKS

Destroyer fitted with high speed submarine mine sweep/paravane


Engineers at War: From Home Front to Battle Front online exhibition Paravanes were developed 1914-1916 by Lieutenant Burney and Commander Usborne as a direct result of the First World War, due to the need to destroy oceanic mines. We have original coloured drawings of the devices, alongside illustrations showing how they were used and our exhibition on engineering and the War has more details about the … Continue reading PARAVANES