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The Mirrlees No.1 on Display at the Museum

Ruston Hornsby 25 hp horizontal engine from the University of Sheffield, a model 6H built in 1927

The Anson Engine Museum is situated on the site of the old Anson colliery in Poynton, Cheshire, England. It is the result of years of work by Les Cawley and Geoff Challinor who began collecting and showing stationary engines for a hobby. When the number and size of engines they collected increased, they decided to start a museum. A charitable trust was formed and work began on the first building in 1986. The museum first opened to the public in 1989. For many years it opened only on odd days and times to suit their hobby and the small number of visitors that dropped in to see the collection. In July 2002 Les Cawley died and Geoff Challinor dedicated himself to making the museum into an attraction that would bring visitors from around the world – The Anson Engine Museum.

Some of the earliest engines are the original number 1 engine built by Crossley and Mirrlees. Manchester became predominant in the development and manufacture of stationary engines. In fact, in the 1900s, there were over 20 engine makers in existence within 20 miles of the museum.

Mirrlees Bickerton and Day, in Hazel Grove, concentrated on developing the light and heavy oil diesel engine and L Gardner and Sons Ltd of Patricroft become known the world over for their role in bringing the small high-speed, quality diesel engines to the industrial and marine markets and Crossley Brothers in Oppenshaw took up Nicolaus Otto and Langen patents. Local manufacturers are the prime focus of the museum exhibits.

Today the museum has one of the largest collection of engines in Europe and attracts stationary engine enthusiasts from around the globe. Over the past few years it has picked up awards [1] for its displays, volunteers and for some of the engines.


Among their top attraction engines are:-

  • Largest running example of a Crossley Atmospheric gas engine;
  • Award Winning, original L Gardner and Sons Ltd L series engine along with Engineering Heritage Hallmark Scheme (EHHS) plaque [2] from Institution of Mechanical Engineers;
  • Oldest diesel engine in the UK - Mirrlees No1;
  • Original Crossley No1 engine;
  • Steam engine area with a Stott cross-compound mill engine and a Fowler beam engine;
  • Very rare Griffin 6-stroke engine;
  • Heritage Award from Institution of Diesel and Gas Turbine Engineers for the "Rattling Monsters" section of the museum;[3]
  • Rare Atkinson cycle engine;
  • Crossley over-hung crank engine;
  • Hugon gas engine;
  • A 63 ton Ruston & Hornsby engine used at Ealing Studios.

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