Monday, February 12, 2007

Fire and steam

There was another steam engine incident when I took it to David’s house. We had the steam engine set up on a desk in his bedroom, right in front of a large window which we had opened to let the fumes out. The steam engine was running beautifully when David noticed a little bit of water leaking out around the whistle mounted on the boiler. After some discussion we decided to tighten it up with a pair of pliers. We were not deterred by the fact that the boiler was pressurised. David had the pliers and started to tighten the whistle, I leaned in to watch what he was doing. It was at that point that the screw thread stripped and the pressure blew the whistle up in the air. Naturally a huge amount of scalding steam followed it. We both fell over backwards fortunately avoiding the steam. The pliers went out of the window and through the roof of the conservatory landing in David’s father's lap. David knocked the engine with his hand and the burner fell off the desk onto the lino covered floor. I knocked over the bottle of methylated spirits which spread over about three or four square metres and was ignited by the burner. The fire was between us and the door so we tried to blow it out, yes I know now you can’t blow it out, but every time we blew the flame moved away and when we stopped for a breath it came back. This happened three or four times, then as the meths was spread so thinly it burned itself out. Luckily for us nothing else caught fire. We picked everything up and put it on the table and then David’s father walked in to find out why the pliers came through the roof. We told him it had slipped out of our hands. He noticed the bottle of meths had no top on it and told us to be careful because it could start a fire. He made us pay for the broken glass, it cost me five shillings .

1 comment:

  1. Note to self: keep Brian away from Steam Engines!

    This one was very funny. Almost like an episode of Leave it to Beaver.


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