The collection comprises a group of award winning aero engines, half size motor cycle engines and a gold medal winning 5 inch gauge model of the Britannia class 4-6-2 tender locomotive ’Hereward the Wake’ no. 70037.
Bill Connor (1930-2018) grew up in South London and learned model engineering from his father who built boats and locomotives using just a treadle lathe and hand tools. Bill started out as an apprentice instrument maker at Siemens and did his National Service with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. He also worked at Everard Engineering of Greenhithe and Arnolds Precision Engineering at Branbridges, East Peckham.
His skills were used to the full in his later life when his model engineering projects took off. He adored motorcycle engines and hit upon the idea of building half size engines dating from the 1930-60s. As these came without plans he took photographs and measurements and made his own scale drawings. All parts were made from solid billets of aluminium and steel and took hours of hand matching. Bill Connor went on to win many gold medals and trophies for his model engines and his presence at exhibitions was always a big draw to visitors who would bombard him with their questions.
A Gold medal winning 1/2 size working model of a 1938 350cc Velocette racing motor cycle engine, mounted on plinth 40cm by 36cm, and overall height: 36cm. This model won a Gold medal at The Centenary Model Engineering Exhibition 2007. The gold medal and certificate are being sold with this model.
A Gold medal winning 1/2 size working model of a Matchless G45 twin cylinder motor cycle engine, mounted on wooden plinth 38cm by 23cm, and overall height: 32cm. This model won a Gold medal at The Model Engineering Exhibition 2005 and The Edgar Westbury Memorial Trophy 2005. The Gold medal and certificates are being sold with the model.
A Gold medal winning 1/2 size working model of a 1956 ‘Manx Norton’ short-stroke motor cycle engine, mounted on wooden plinth 45cm by 22cm, and overall height: 37cm. This model won a Gold medal at The Model Engineering Exhibition 2008 and The Edgar Westbury Memorial Trophy 2008. The Gold medal and certificates are being sold with the model.
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