The Brown and May Trust

Brown and May 6226

Dedicated to the preservation, restoration, operation and display of steam engines and other historic artefacts, especially items used in Wiltshire or manufactured by Brown and May of Devizes. 

The Trust Formation.

Lackham Museum of Agriculture and Rural Life, in Wiltshire, was closing. It owned engine no. 6226, a 10hp portable engine from 1890. A small group of steam enthusiasts, local to the town of Devizes began working with the Trustees of the Lackham Museum to form a plan to keep the engine in Wiltshire. From this initial idea, the Brown and May Trust were formed in June 2013.

By coincidence, at the same time, a Nalder & Nalder Threshing Box was also in need of a home. Nalder and Nalder had a working agreement with Brown & May (see below). The Brown & May Trust offered to house the threshing box.  

Brown & May 6226

Brown & May portable steam engine 6226 was manufactured 1890. Some of its’ history is known.

It was owned by Eames Brothers, London Colney, Herts. By 1960’s it had passed to T. Burton,Market Harborough, Leics; then to Cinema Park, Towcester. Latterlyit moved to Fleggborough Bygone Village,Norfolk.

In about 2004 whenthis closed, the engine was purchased at the sale by steam enthusiast Alan Rundle, on behalf of Lackham Museum of Agriculture and Rural Life. Kindly passed to the Brown and May Trust in June 2013.

Brown & May Portable Steam Engine Number 6226.

 Being collected from Lackham.

Brown & May Portable Steam Engine Number 6226.
Brown & May Portable Steam Engine Number 6226.
Brown & May Portable Steam Engine Number 6226.

On display at The Brown and May Day, Devizes, July 2013. The engine on the right of the photo is the only other 10hp engine in the UK, no. 8320.

Nalder & Nalder Threshing Box

Nalder and Nalder Treshing Box.


Brown and May and Nalder and Nalder

Brown and May has a close working relationship with Nalder and Nalder. From 1870 to 1875 they exhibited threshing machines built by Nalder and Nalder, of Wantage at the Royal Shows, and the catalogues at this period state:-

Brown and May’s Prize Portable Threshing Machines; specially manufactured for them by Nalder and Nalder, of Wantage, who devote their whole attention to the production of this class of machinery.

Nalder and Nalder recommended Brown and May steam engine and this mutual arrangement continued until 1909 when the workers at Wantage went on strike for more pay. Nalder and Nalder would not give way, and they transferred all thrashing machine work to Brown and May.

Some of the Wantage workers transferred as well. These included Frederick Sims who became threshing machine shop foreman, G.Phillips who became cashier, E.Barnett, carpenter and Ernie Damet, Threshing machine erector.

Nalder and Nalder Treshing Box

This box was given to the Trust by Dr Squires of Wantage. He obtained the box directly from Mr Nalder.

Nalder and Nalder Treshing Box Company Nameplate.

The Brown and May Trust has displayed these items at the following events:

Brown and May Day, Devizes on Sunday 14th July 2013

Road Locomotive Society Visit on Saturday 3rd May 2014

Wiltshire Industial Archeology Society Visit on Wednesday 16th July 2014 

The Brown & May Portable Steam Engine and  Nalder and Nalder Threshing box can be viewed by appointment. Please contact Michele via the contact details page. 

 Brown & May Trust web page is kindly hosted by the Goddard family and their webpage.