Over the last few weeks, turning into months, I have been taking a long and hard look at all the things I’ve acquired over the years that I’m still hanging on to, for whatever reason. It is well documented here on this blog that at one time I had an enviable collection of Lister stationary engines, the majority of which were sold during the early 1990s, but for some reason I held onto a few of them. Why I don’t really know, three of them were the ubiquitous “D” type engines, easily obtainable and not at all unusual. I guess they remained as two of them were in pieces and the third was powering a cement mixer, even though the mixer fell apart 15 years ago leaving just the engine. The other engine that remained was an unusual “G” type industrial stationary engine, hopper-cooled of the style that might at one time have been fitted to a large hopper-fed cement mixer. Despite the fact that the “G” hadn’t been to a rally since about 1989 I kept it as a reminder and in the faint possibility I might start attending rallies again. The photo here shows the engine at Kidwelly Tin Plate Museum at the close of an event in the 1980s.
Last week, on a whim, I advertised the three “D” Lister engines for sale via a Facebook enthusiasts group. Within minutes I had an enquiry and within a couple of hours they had been sold. This was good and quick work so decided to have a go at selling a very large corn mill that’s been in my possession for nearly thirty years but which I’ve never used, it made a good static exhibit in the shed. That too, sold very quickly and arrangements were made for it to be collected. On the day of collection one thing led to another and I found myself agreeing to sell the Lister “G” as well, something I had been considering but was going to first give it a good clean and possibly do the minor repair needed to get it running again. It was all too quick really as I didn’t have time to adjust myself mentally for not having a stationary engine in my ownership, I acquired my first Lister in 1975, that’s nearly forty years. With a little sadness in my heart I helped load the trailer which was going to take it to a new life elsewhere and watched as it drove off into the sunset.
It was an end of an era, except that the era really ended back in the late 1980s when I gave up rallying with my vintage engines. They were good fun whilst I had them and they led to a very interesting life with an unusual circle of friends. Farewell last Lister, we shall remember you and your shed-sisters with pride and loads of good experiences.