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Engineering & Science Group
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 NW U3A Science  Day
Mathematics Group

2014 - No Details, please contact Chris Gibson if interested.

Wednesday, November 7th.  A visit has been arranged to the Theatre Organ Heritage Centre of The Lancastrian Theatre Organ Trust @ Alexandra Rd Peel Green, Eccles M30 7HJ.

The Trust’s objective is to save redundant theatre organs from cinemas that have been demolished and find a new home for them. Amongst those that have been saved are the Wurlitzer organs from the long gone Paramount (Odeon) and Gaumont theatres in Manchester and the Davenport Theatre, Stockport..

The organ from the Odeon was installed in the Free Trade Hall and was there until it was closed and turned into a hotel. It was installed in the ballroom of Stockport Town Hall and can now be heard on Monday evenings and Wednesday afternoons when it is played for dancing.

The visit will comprise a concert on the Wurlitzer organ in the Heritage centre @12.00pm followed by a talk about the trust and its work and in particular about the original designer Robert Hope-Jones. Robert Hope-Jones was an inventor holding over 40 patents for the electrical control of pipe organs. He started a company making organs employing these patents.

In later years he emigrated to America where he joined the Wurlitzer company and the rest is history.
For further information see the trust’s website:

 If you wish to hear the organ in the Town Hall there is a concert on Friday 21st  September @ 7.30pm. Other concerts take place on Monday Lunch times 12.30-1.30pm.

I will be away from 29/9/12 and be back by 19/10/21.

If you would like to go please let me know by e-mail to:
Chris Gibson
Friday, 26th August.   The inaugural meeting of the Engineering & Science group was held at The Anson Engine Museum in Poynton.  The museum is devoted to heat engines from the earliest atmospheric engines to the present day.  Following a talk by the co-founder and present chairman of the charity, Geoff Challinor, the tour started with the three dimensional diorama of Poynton in 1900. This model has been 3 years in the making and still on going and includes the oldest tree in Poynton. We could have spent all afternoon with the model but continued with the conducted tour.

Starting of with The Rattling Monsters, some early atmospheric engines, the first of which was Crossley No.1, built in 1877. These were followed by gas engines of increasing power and smaller size and diesel engines of which the first was a reproduction of Mirlees No.1 which was the first in Britain and third in the world. The original No.1 is in the Science Museum.

The visit concluded with the starting and running of two gas engines.

Tuesday, 25th October.   Visit to AVRO Heritage Centre.
Eight of us assembled at the Heritage Centre at the Woodford factory for a morning of the history of A.V. Roe and much of the British aircraft industry.

Locally the factory is known as the home of the Lancaster and the Vulcan bombers but this is only the tip of the iceberg.  Over the 100years life of the company there have been over 70 designs dating from the days of before powered flight to the 60s.

The first big seller was the Avro 504, a fighter and sold to airforces all over the world and became the plane “that taught the world to fly”.

Between the wars the company became part of The Hawker Siddley Group but the design responsibility stayed at Woodford with Roy Chadwick as chief designer, a position held until his death in a crash in test flight of an Avro Tudor in 1947.  During this period, amongst the aircraft produced were the Anson, Manchester, Lancaster, Lincoln, Shackleton and Vulcan.

In addition to these there were a number of development projects which never reached production as the money was not forth-coming from the government.  Included were a vertical takeoff aircraft in 1941, a super-sonic bomber and a Vulcan conversion to an airliner called the Atlantic.

In the death of Roy Chadwick the country lost a designer of international standing equal in stature to Barnes Wallace, with whom he worked on the bouncing bomb.

A very interesting visit which will be well worth a return when the new Heritage Centre is ready.

Chris Gibson
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