New life breathed back into industrial engine

Pictured with newly-restored Hornsby Hot Bulb Engine are Coun Betty Barlow (Worsbrough ward), engineer Alan Roebuck, Coun John Clarke (Worsbrough ward), and second engineer, John Roebuck.

Pictured with newly-restored Hornsby Hot Bulb Engine are Coun Betty Barlow (Worsbrough ward), engineer Alan Roebuck, Coun John Clarke (Worsbrough ward), and second engineer, John Roebuck.

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A PIECE of South Yorkshire’s industrial heritage has been fully restored thanks to the dedication of two brothers.

The Hornsby Hot Bulb Engine was rescued from a derelict mill at Sykehouse, near Thorne, Doncaster, in the 1970s and restored and moved to Worsbrough Mill, Barnsley, but then lay untouched for 16 years. But, over the last 12 months, brothers John and Alan Roebuck came to an agreement with the Worsbrough Mill volunteer group to bring the engine into use.

The mill group agreed to cover the cost, while the brothers carried out the work.

The project has taken a little over a year, with the brothers spending time on the engine every week. It has been repainted in its original colours.

John said: “As a fitter in engineering for 50 years and an active member of Elsecar Railway volunteer group I am interested in old engines, so when my brother Alan, who is still working as a machine tool operator, and I saw the hot bulb engine at the mill we thought it was a shame it was no longer running.”

The job was complicated, as two important parts were missing and the brothers had no records to work from.

“We visited different places that had similar engines and took photos to help with the dimensions,” said John.

“We are both very pleased we have been able to contribute towards the restoration of this fine engine and it has been rewarding working with the volunteer group who financed the project.”

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