Steam Boiler Workshop

Traditional steam boilermakers.

Our family business offers complete steam boiler repair service. We focus on traditional construction methods to the original design. The range of work depends on the condition of the boiler but we try to salvage as much of the original as possible to retain the historical value of the boiler and therefore it’s engine.

We have repaired steam railway locomotives, traction engines, road rollers and portable steam engines. From fireboxes and tubeplates to throatplates and backheads. Have a scroll through some of our previous work below.

A nice ‘pair’ of fireboxes. Burrell on the right and a couragated Fowler on the left. We are fitting the Fowler box in our workshop. The Burrell is going to be fitted by the owner.

The following photos all relate to repairs to an Aveling engine. It required a backhead and barrell repair and a new firebox. 

Independent Non Distructive Testing (NDT) testing is carried out on site. 

This is a ‘Garrett style’ box fitted to a very late Aveling. I think that there are only two Avelings in preservation with this style of fire box.

The new firebox takes shape. 

The is a 'Garrett style' box fitted to a very late Aveling. I think that there are only two Avelings in preservation with this style of fire box.

The next selection of photos are those of a Burrell single cylinder road roller.Generally the outer wrapper was in good condition but the box had seen better days. The rivet heads had all wasted away. 


We have recently added a new barrel section to a Marshall Britannia boiler. The small pad at the top in the photo is for the factory fitted safety valve. They seem to deteriorate around here between the crank brackets. The second photo is the view down the firetube. These engines usually have four stays between the bottom of the firetube and the outer plate. All the ones I’ve seen have been broken!

New barrel section to a Marshall Britannia boiler

Another portable which has recently had some repairs is a little 2 1/2hp Clayton. This engine received a new firebox several years ago but now requires a new barrel and tubeplate. Obviously, with a traditional design portable engine, the crankshaft brackets are riveted to the barrell along with a number of pump pads and mudlid door doubler.

2 1/2hp Clayton. This engine received a new firebox several years ago but now requires a new barrel and tubeplate.

Another portable in our workshop is the French designed Nassivet and Onillion engine. As you can see in the photo the motion is held on a framework that bolts to the top of the boiler. The is usual in most French-designed machines. This engine required a new backhead, firebox and tubeplate. Now back home in France!

French designed Nassivet and Onillion engine. This engine required a new backhead, firebox and tubeplate.


Another boiler design is a ‘wet bottomed’ boiler. This is an  Aultman 

This is prefitting the crank brackets and chassis rails to the outer wrapper. All the fixings require positioning prior to fitting the backhead/box assembly.  These will then be removed to allow the box to be fitting and stayed.

Test fitting the crank brackets and chassis rails to the outer wrapper

This is the wet-bottomed firebox and backhead assembly for the Aultman Taylor traction engine.  It is a very interesting machine to rebuild due to the original construction design. Take a look……

The old firebox assembly. On this end note that the one rivet, one side stay along the joint.

The old firebox assembly.

Fireboxes have different methods to support the firebox crown. Here we are fitting the original girder bars with new studs.

The old box wrapper.


The boiler of the Aveling & Porter M Class convertible engine nearing completion. 

Here is the 2′ gauge loco we have had in the boiler shop. Looks much better now. She is plumbed up for an initial hydraulic before she goes ‘home’.

2' gauge loco we have had in the boiler shop.
2' gauge loco we have had in the boiler shop. Viewed from Firebox End.

Inside the box showing the girder stays, palm stays and tubes newly fitted.

Inside the box showing the girder stays, palm stays and tubes newly fitted.
Working on the firebox.
Inside the boiler.

In this case the owner has decided to use a box of welded construction. We have made new girder bars for this engine.

We have a special fondness for portable engines, in particular Brown & May portables. Recently we have been working on B & M 4561 of 1890. Here are a couple of photos of her firebox. 

Recently we have been working on B & M 4561 of 1890. Here are a couple of photos of her firebox.

And before . . .  . .

Recently we have been working on B & M 4561 of 1890. Here is a photo of her firebox before restoration.

Robey portable engine of 1882. New backhead, new firebox and tubeplate.

Robey portable engine of 1882. New backhead, new firebox and tubeplate.

The firebox in place, now drilled for rivetting and stays.

The new backhead was made, here at home. The regulator box had to be fitted prior to the firebox since on this early type it is internal.

The firebox in place, now drilled for rivetting and stays.

New tubeplate and angle ring – there are photos below of this being made.

New tubeplate and angle ring

This is the boiler once stripped of the front end and the backhead removed.

Here is a photo of the big Ransomes direct ploughing engine. The boiler work is now complete. We were blanking off the fittings and fitting the mudlids today so here she is with the ‘team’.

 Ransomes direct ploughing engine boiler work complete.

David has been working on the RSJ direct ploughing engine boiler. 

The tubeplate for a 12hp duplex Marshall britannia portable is now rivetted in. 

The tubeplate for 12hp duplex Marshall britannia portable is now rivetted in.

 Very interesting design on the crown on this Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies direct ploughing engine.


David has been busy with our 20hp Marshall semi-portable – the tubes are fitted and we have started on sorting the fittings out. 

The tubeplate for 12hp duplex Marshall britannia portable is now rivetted in.

A very early Brittania being 1903 and is fitted with slide bars rather than a trunk guide in steam in the yard. Lovely engine.

A very early Brittania being 1903 and is fitted with slide bars rather than a trunk guide in steam in the yard.
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