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John Porter

John Porter

John Porter retired in 1993 after a lifetime in the marine industry.  After a degree in mechanical engineering at Edinburgh and apprenticeship on the Tyne, he went to sea with Shell Tankers.  He then worked in Shell International Marine's Application and Development section and technical management before moving to the P&OSN Co in 1969.  There he was involved in the full range of shipowner’s technical work -- new buildings, major conversions, superintendency, troubleshooting and development.  This also involved work as a consultant with other shipowners and the offshore industry.  Latterly he was involved with quality control administration, safety certification and inspections with the P&O Group safety audit team.  Before retirement and since, he has been active with the Kew Bridge Steam Museum (Five original early 19th C Cornish cycle non-rotative steam pumping engines plus four large rotative units re-erected there) and the Kempton Great Engines Trust (two very large reciprocating pump units plus two turbine units) as a driver, a restorer and a general volunteer. Until recently, he was a Trustee of the Kew Bridge Museum. He has also been active with the Newcomen Society and has written papers and journal articles, given talks and enjoyed visiting many of the world’s stationary steam engine sites.

Paper: Preservation by Operation

Abstract: Restoring a superseded large stationary steam engine to an operational condition for educational and entertainment reasons is an attractive proposition to many, including professional engineers. Yet there are many problems in adapting such machines to work under off-design conditions in the context of a voluntary group in the culture of 21st century safety and responsibility. This paper discusses the experience gained over thirty five years at three such museums in London. In particular, the need for careful appraisal of how the engine will behave in its new role, the requirement to carry out the work within conservation guidelines, and the problems of maintaining and operating the engine after restoration is complete are reviewed.

Sir Neil Cossons
Paul Davies
David Dolan
Wayne Johnson
Euan McQueen
Robert McWilliam
Duncan Waterson
David Beauchamp
Trevor Butler
Matthew Churchward
Andrew Cleland
Rachael Egerton
John Fitzmaurice
Don Fraser
John Gibson
Owen Graham
David Hamilton
Bill Harvey
Peter Holmes
Kevin Jones
Paul Mahoney
Tom Williamson
Peter Lowe
Peter Marquis-Kyle
Gavin McLean
Rob Merrifield
Owen Peake
Miles Pierce
John Porter
Nigel Ridgway
Tony Silke
Jim Staton
Richard Venus
Ian Walsh
Daniel Woo
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