Doc’ Giles Romanes was the Dorset eye surgeon. He loved steam engines and was very knowledgeable about them and their history and wrote several books about them. He owned and exhibited “Goliath”, this small Wallis & Steevens engine at many local events including the Great Dorset Steam Fair, driving it there rather than having it transported by low-loader. It was never shown as a static exhibit and was always used to drive a piece of machinery (threshing drum, rack saw bench, etc.). I think this pictures was taken somewhere near Bere Regis, but that is just a guess. Goliath weighed in at 3 tons and produced 3 n.h.p. (nominal horse power – bigger than our modern brake horsey power and probably it was in excess of the 3 when it was new).
This picture is not one of Harry’s. My dad took it on Boxing Day1968 and it shows me and my buddy John. We were members of the Weymouth Underwater Club and learned to “skin dive” under the tutelage of Ron Parry, an ex Royal Navy hard-hat diver who ran the local diving shop in Walpole Street. In those days off-the-peg diving suits weren’t available, so Ron would cut out the neoprene to the correct size and we would glue our own suits together with Evo-Stik. The air bottles that we used were whatever we could get hold of provided that they passed a hydraulic pressure test and would accept the correct demand valve connector. From what I understood at the time they mostly seemed to come from old aircraft or hospitals with the proviso that they hadn’t been used to hold anything toxic or poison, etc. It isn’t “skin diving” any more – it’s SCUBA diving. I haven’t done any diving since 1971, but I’ll bet it’s still good fun, even if it is a bit more sophisticated. The reason for the Boxing Day dive was for our annual underwater treasure hunt – on Christmas Day Ron would go to the ferrybridge and throw small weighted tins into the drink. In each tin there was a number that corresponded to a piece of treasure (cigarettes, beer, whiskey, etc.). On Boxing Day morning when Ron told us to GO, we headed into the water to look for the tins. Great fun but dam cold.