No 8.  JUNE  2003
Building  Services  Engineering  Heritage  Group
A historic snapshot of Broadcasting House
Portland Square London
at present being
completely refurbished.

Broadcasting House, Portland Place
London, 1931
The challenge was to combine 22 radio broadcast studios, which had to be acoustically isolated and air conditioned, with administrative offices enjoying maximum natural daylighting. The architect, Val G Myers, solved this problem by placing the studios in an inner core, surrounded by an outer shell of offices.

The air conditioning was designed and installed by Carrier Engineering Company Ltd. The studios were served by four air handling plants with chilled water spray-type washers and steam reheat coils. Refrigeration was provided by a 200 TR centrifugal water chiller.

The steam raising equipment consisted of two 6700 lb/hr oil-fired return tube boilers.

A contemporary description of the installation reads:  “There are 32 fans handling 614 tons of air per hour,  16 pumps delivering 641 tons of water per hour under pressure, 54 electric motors having a combined capacity of 504 hp, sheet steel ducting weighing 120 tons, and 60 independent automatic controls.”

The services are described in “An Air Conditioning Achievement by Carrier,” brochure of Carrier Engineering Co Ltd, London, c.1931.

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Last year Mike Barber knowing about  the Editors great interest in all things to do with the old firm of Haden when they operated from Trowbridge, mentioned that he recalled seeing a Haden warm air stove when visiting this National Trust property many years ago.  So a visit was arranged with NT last November and what a treasure trove of engineering history they found there.

The house which has had many improvements and additions, was originally built  between 1684 and 1687. The Yorke family inherited the house and estate in 1733 and made their own improvements to the property.
In 1826 Thomas Hopper the Architect placed an order with G&J Haden of Trowbridge for the erection of a warm air stove at Erddig to heat the Ground floor rooms in the South Wing.

G & J Haden Warm Air Stove  1826

In one of the covered outbuildings the rusting remains of a Musgrave warm air stove was found, obviously removed during one of the previous owners building alterations. Musgrave warm air stoves still existing in any condition, are very rare engineering items to discover. 
The Editors research in the Haden archive held at the Wiltshire Record Office, found the order for the stove to be dated the 16th August 1826.The stove is  number 94 made by the firm G&J Haden.
When it is known that brothers George and James Haden set up their firm in 1816, this stove must rate as the earliest known example of a Haden warm air stove still existing in its original building.

It is most probable that James Haden himself carried out  the installation. How the heavy cast iron stove was transported in the pre-railways era would be interesting to know. Maybe using the canals.

Other engineering equipment at Erddig was to be seen in the Workshop, which dates from around 1860.  A Cornish type steam boiler and vertical steam engine provided the motive power to drive the various items of machinery.

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The  Heritage  Group’s  ongoing  project  is to seek out and discover Churches and other historic  buildings  from  the  Victorian  and  Edwardian period, which still retain examples of early heating  and  ventilating  equipment  or  memorabilia.       Shown below are  more of the  items  discovered.

Cast iron ventilating radiator in
          St Andrews Church  Ipplepen                          Devon                                         

Cast iron S&S valve with Crispin  Bristol  inscription  in  St John’s  Church  Bristol

Cast iron ‘ Sunbeam’ radiator by Longdon
in All Saints Church Brixham  Devon

An item of cast iron heating pipeline equipment
with operating handle ( of  unknown purpose) in
Lacock Abbey Wiltshire


The Town Hall at Todmorden, built 1860-75, was at the time in Lancashire. The hot water heating was due to Wilson Weatherley Phipson. In 1888 the town was placed, for administrative purposes,  in the West Riding of Yorkshire and in 1974 in West Yorkshire. The traditional county boundary between Lancashire and Yorkshire at this point is the River Calder which flows in a culvert under the centre of the Town Hall. Since no legislation has ever been introduced to change county boundaries, the Town Hall remains in both counties. Thus the original Phipson heating system (and its ghost) may be unique in being in two places at once.
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The Heritage Group reaches the 30th anniversary of its foundation this year and plans to celebrate this anniversary with the issue of a special Newsletter later in the year.
Also in March at the invitation of Haden Young,  HG member John Barnes gave a talk in Trowbridge titled ‘Haden’s of Trowbridge’ to the West Wilts Industrial Archaeology Society. 
The HG held their February meeting and AGM by kind invitation of The National Trust at their London head office in Queens Anne Gate. Following the meeting HG members were given a presentation by NT showing their Country Houses Technology Survey, and also an update of current developments to the NT website database.

Recent research at the Battersea Record Office      found that Wilson Phipson’s father Samuel was buried in the  Putney cemetery. When Richard Forster visited the cemetery he was able to photograph  the family gravestone which was also found to be the last resting place of Wilson Phipson.  All the HG needs to do now is to find that elusive likeness of Wilson Phipson.

HG members have been busy in 2003 giving presentations to several CIBSE Regions. In March, Mike Barber and Frank Ferris gave a co-presentation to the South Wales region, for the first time using the two new Power Point Presentations prepared by the HG. The first showing recent discoveries made by the Group, and the second showing the historical engineering services at the Mechanical Technical Institute in Belfast. 
John Barnes is also making arrangements for two manhole covers both bearing Haden inscriptions that were  made at the Haden foundry in Trowbridge (which closed in1910) to be removed and given, one to the Trowbridge Museum Haden exhibit and the other to Haden Young.

The HG are proud of the discoveries they have made which help Engineers to know and understand about the history of our engineering industry, its creation and the pioneering people who made it happen, A major aim of the HG is to make this information available to a greater audience.

A few examples of  the HG’s  recent discoveries.

1.    The forgotten heating engineer Wilson                      Weatherley  Phipson   1838 – 1891.
2.    Steam engines that are still providing the motive        power for ventilation fans.
3.    Perkins Victorian heating systems, some still              complete with their brickwork furnace heating  the  original building.
4.    Haden Warm Air Stoves dating back to 1826.

Following the removal and disposal last year of the Victorian Perkins heating system in Northaw Parish  Church,  NADFAS has asked the HG to write an article for the next issue of their Magazine  describing the Perkins heating system and its history. This will enable all NADFAS Recorders to be able to identify any Perkins systems found in the Churches that they are currently recording.

A Heritage Picture Gallery has recently been added to the HG website. Visit the site and enjoy the pictorial history of our industry.
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