On Monday 8th July Robert Crawley of The West Country Historic Omnibus and Transport Trust gave us a talk on the restoration of a 1929 Exeter Corporation Bus, registraion FJ 6154 (Ex Exeter Corporation 5). This Maudslay / Northern Counties bodied bus was one of seven vehicles that the council purchased that year to supplement the tram system. This particular vehicle was withdrawn from service in 1939 and sold to a local farmer for use as family accommodation in Woodwater Lane. It later ended up in a barn at the top of Telegraph Hill where it remained until 1965 when it was purchased by a coach operator in Northampton. In November 2011 ownership of the bus changed hands and it was immediately placed in the care of the Trust (WHOTT) since when a lot of research into the original livery and interior design enabled a full restoration to take place. Robert described the restoration in details with the seating being the most challenging. On 2nd May 2015 the bus returned to the streets of for the outgoing Lord Mayor’s final charity coffee morning at the city’s Guildhall. FJ6154 is believed to be the oldest surviving Maudslay bus in running condition and carries the oldest surviving bodywork by Northern Counties Engineering of Wigan. The 32-seat interior is arranged in two compartments, the rear one allowing for smokers. Full details can be found at www.busmuseum.org.uk, and a video of the bus on its trip to Exeter can be found on YouTube.
On 10th June 2019, Neil Harris gave a talk entitled "30 Years of Wind Power". This was his personal account of his experiences in wind power generation, starting off in geotechnical engineering in Cornwall, and covering his work in various countries with ever increasing sizes of turbines. He particularly highlighted the problems encountered, and showed us images of turbines that had failed. Various types of foundations were discussed including concrete pads, deep foundations, and caissons. Pads are by far the most common type and seemed surprisingly small for such large structures. Neil also touched on vertical axis turbines but these are less common. Neil's profile can be found on LinkedIn or on https://intouchnetworks.com/member/18779.
On 13th May 2019, John Smith gave a talk entitled - "Roman Army in Exeter, Finds, Facts and Fiction" John Smith is an archaeologist, specialising in Roman Military History. His commitment to Archaeology started in 1971, participating in excavations that covered sites from Iron Age to World War 2. He has worked on Roman Villa Heritage sites, ultimately as Curator at Bignor Roman Villa. John presented Roman military equipment used and, in some cases, made in Devon and discussed its practicality, construction and uses. He illustrated the different types of armour, showing that the chain mail was the most effective and flexible type of armour. Lances were cleverly designed to deform or break on impact so that they could not be used by the enemy. In the process John debunked some popular portrayals of the Roman Army. The 2019 AGM followed the talk
On 8th April Peter Marsden gave an informative talk entitled "Cesspits, Cemeteries and Sewers - Adventures in Archaeology" Peter was formerly an archaeologist from the Museum of London, but has now retired to the Exeter area. He brought with him examples of artifacts that he has discovered in cesspits and rubbish pits. He is the author of several books on archaeology which can be found on his website https://petermarsden.net/
On 11th March Mark Maynard gave a talk entitled “Repairs and Strengthening Works to the M5 Bridge Over the River Exe”. Being a local structure, driven over by most members at some time, it was a fascinating insight into the problems encountered in a post-tensioned concrete structure. Some of the strands had failed due to corrosion adjacent to the anchorage. Lane closures were required to reduce the traffic load while emergency repairs were carried out. These repairs consisted of new strands external and internal to the structure to give an acceptable factor of safety. Eventually all of the original strands will be replaced.
On 11 February 2019 Andy Robinson gave an interesting talk entitled- Voyager: The Vision, The Achievement, The Legacy. The twin Voyager 1 and 2 spacecraft are now in interstellar space moving faster and further than any other man-made objects. They entered interstellar space in 2012 and 2018 respectively. The primary mission when launched in 1977 was the exploration of Jupiter and Saturn. After making a string of discoveries there — such as active volcanoes on Jupiter's moon Io and intricacies of Saturn's rings — the mission was extended. Voyager 2 went on to explore Uranus and Neptune, and is still the only spacecraft to have visited those outer planets. The current mission, the Voyager Interstellar Mission (VIM), will explore the outermost edge of the Sun's domain, and beyond. Andy answered the many questions in great detail./p>
The lunch on Thursday 28th February at Lamb Inn Longdown was well attended and enjoyed by all.
On 14 Jan 2019 Michael Pitkeathly gave a very humourous and interesting talk entitled ‘Living in a nuclear submarine". He described the living conditions and equipment needed to sustain life on board HMS Courageous. This submarine operated from 1971 to 1992, and can be visited in the Devonport Naval Heritage Centre. See website https://devonportnhc.wordpress.com/warshiptours/ for information.
On 10 December Dr David Kernick gave a most interesting talk on rationing in the NHS. David started his carreer in chemical engineering and then moved into medicine. He has been a GP in Exeter for and has been involved with NICE and health service projects, including the Exeter Headache Clinic. He recommended that members should view a 6 minute video on YouTube made by Kings Fund -"An alternative guide to the new NHS in England". The link is https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8CSp6HsQVtw.
Members of the Club enjoyed an early Christmas celebration when they and their guests met at the Langstone Cliffs Hotel for a very pleasant lunch on 22nd November, where the Orchid Room proved an excellent venue. The Past-President, Neil Macaulay, proposed the toast to the Club and its Guests, and the Chairman, Rodney Battey, replied by taking as his theme some of the problems of attempting to stereotype the role (and personality) of engineers.
On Sunday 25th November a group of some 10 Engineers and partners visited Coldharbour Mill for a “Victorian Steam Day”. The mill opened in1799 and ceased commercial operation in1981. It is now restored and operates as a working museum. On offer were tours of the working woollen mill including the engine house where a beam engine was operating on steam. We were given demonstrations of how the fleeces were carded and spun into yarn and then how the yarn was woven into cloth or carpets. Production continues today by a team of volunteers who produce yarn and cloth or carpets for sale to visitors.
On 12th November David Pilkington gave us a fascinating glimpse into his time maintaining very expensive classic racing cars for the owner of the Mulberry fashion group. There was a good turnout for our first meeting in our new venue, the Exeter Golf and Country Club, and everyone seemed very satisfied with the arrangements.
On 17 October 2018 club members and guests enjoyed a visit to the Lidl Distribution Centre. Our thanks to Lidl for an extremely interesting and informative visit.
At the 8th October meeting the members showed a clear preference for a new venue with onsite free parking. Exeter Golf and Country Club, which the club has used in the past, was a clear favourite as it is well served by public transport and is close to the M5. Arrangements have therefore been made with EGCC for the next year, starting in November 2018. The meetings will not necessarily be held in the same room every month. The events page indicates the room we will use and has a link to a map.
At the September meeting our secretary said that the year book will be published with members names only unless permission is given to include details similar to those in the 2017/2018 yearbook
The Robert Flux Memorial Prize is awarded annually to the Exeter University engineering student who, in the judgement of the Department, has made the best oral presentation of a final year project report. The 2018 Winner is Ms A. O'Riordan, an MEng student in Engineering and Management, for her work - from initial concept to prototype manufacture - in the design of an encapsulating shell for an endoscope: of particular concern was the stress analysis of a component subject to peristaltic forces within the gastro-intestinal tract. The Award Certificate, prize cheque and letter of congratulation will shortly be sent to the successful student.