Post by spined on Oct 14, 2014 11:40:32 GMT
Model engineering is usually a man thing. Arguably, the greatest model engineer is a woman. Cherry Hill has made going on for 20 models over a 60 year period, after her father gave her an old lathe from the workshop of his agricultural machinery business.
The word ‘models’ hardly does justice to what she produces. For the past several decades she has created scaled down versions of traction engines. Not just run of the mill types, but Victorian flights of fancy. Extensive research and design is the secret of her success. In one or two cases she discovered that the original designs could not have worked. Part of the creative endeavour is to produce models that will work. They all do.
What comes out of her workshops in Worcestershire and Florida is perfection. Every last part, even tiny chain links are made there, all from metal stock. No parts are bought in.
Once completed all the models have been given away, early ones to friends and family and later ones to the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Typically a model will occupy 7000 hours work.
David Carpenter was originally an engineer who moved into journalism, working for National daily and weekly newspapers. David retired after some time as a communication consultant to blue chip companies and in the public sector but came out of retirement to edit Model Engineer magazine and, later, to set up the weekly web magazine, Model Engineering Website. He is also a model engineer “sadly not in the Cherry Hill league!”
Cherry’s Model Engines
by David Carpenter
Published by Robert Hale Ltd
£30 from booksellers