Blackstone Engine & Generator

Hi Sean,

I have been watching with great interest the installation of the engine and generator at Mockmoyne.It is great that they were able to refurbish and return it almost to the original condition.
I have a special interest in it as I served my apprenticeship with Mr.Stewart in the late forties early fifties. During that period we had 4 diesel and 2 water turbines generating electricity. Three of the engines were Blackstone and one National engine. The one on display was the smallest Blackstone. In some of the writings about this subject I got the impression that the subject engine was the sole engine producing electricity for the town. If that was the case there would have been a lot of blackouts.
During the evening peak hours and with all generators running it was sometimes touch and go. Mr.Jack, as he was known, was a very accomplished engineer and ran a very fine-tuned operation. He personally taught all of the apprentices how to operate the power plant, the switch board, starting and stopping the engines and turbines and getting them ready for when they would be needed again.
Mr. Stewart was a strict boss who did not suffer slackers easily. I will be ever-grateful to him, R.I.P., for the training, his sharing of his electrical and mechanical knowledge that helped me in my endeavors later on in life.
I hope this will not bore you, just thought you or some of your readers would be interested in the workings of the great Metropolis of times gone by, and it WAS great, at least in our eyes anyway.
Bye and all the best for now, keep up the good work.
Sincerely, Padraig Biesty.