The Pallot Heritage Steam Museum is a mechanical heritage museum located in Rue De Bechet in the Parish of Trinity on the island of Jersey. Lyndon Pallot (known as Don) amassed a large collection of Jersey's mechanical, agricultural, and transport heritage, with a view to preserving the artefacts, and eventually exhibiting them. This ambition was realised in 1990, when the Pallot Steam Museum was opened. Items were purchased or acquired on long-term loan, and railway locomotives were brought to Jersey from Great Britain, Belgium, and Alderney. Members of the Pallot family, and other volunteers working with them, also carried out extensive repair and restoration work on most of the exhibits, restoring their original appearance through cosmetic restoration, or (in many cases) restoring items to full working condition.
The L C Pallot Trust was established in 1985 with the object of promoting the permanent preservation of steam engines, farm machinery, vehicles, and other exhibits. Since the death of the museum's founder, the Trust has continued to work according to his original vision. The current trustees are Don Pallot's surviving children.
Shortly after the opening of the museum, the trustees began planning for expansion. On the same site as the original museum buildings they were able to lease a larger and more modern exhibition hall from a property company also owned by the Pallot family. This building now houses the main collection. A Church Pipe organ and Compton Theatre organ were amongst a large collection of musical instruments, farm machinery, motor cars, other road vehicles, and steam locomotives housed in the new premises. Display cases were installed for the demonstration of models and memorabilia. The official opening ceremony of the new premises took place on Liberation Day 2002, when Michael Wilcock, owner of the former Jersey Motor Museum, cut the ceremonial ribbon.
The fascinating collection includes many wonderful exhibits. The 'Dolly May'; This Ransomes, Simms & Jefferies traction engine named in honour of Dolly May Pallot, wife of the founder. This engine was brought over to Jersey soon after the Occupation, to be used for soil sterilization at La Valeuse Farm, St Brelade. Fortunately, the ‘workings’ remained intact and eventually it was ‘put out to grass’. It was only when the scrap man had been contacted on several occasions in the 1960’s and had failed to collect the machine that, in desperation, the owners got got in touch with the late Don Pallot, founder of the Steam Museum, and a deal was agreed for the sum of £12. 10 shillings. One of the most popular exhibits in the museum the engine is maintained in full working order, and is used annually to drive the threshing machine at the Steam Threshing Fayre.
1924 Merlin 6 n.p.h. Portable Steam Engine. Portable steam engines were used to drive belt driven machinery of various types, in agricultural use this would have mainly been to drive threshing machines. Built by French company of Merlin et Cie, Vierzon (Cher) in 1924, this machine was bought from a vintage car dealer near Le Mans, and came to the Pallot Steam & Motor Museum for restoration in 1984. Unlike a traction engine, it cannot move itself, so had to be drawn from place to place by horses. Many makers built portables (they were cheaper than traction engines) and this charming example – with a second model under restoration – are thought to be the only two of their kind in the British Isles.
1922 Marshall Compound 12 Ton Steam Roller. Used by the Parish of St Saviour Into the 1950’s. Apart from its weight, this machine is very similar to the 8 ton roller. The principle difference lies in the engine layout, where the positions of crank and valve gear have been transposed. As in the 8 ton roller, the exhaust pipe from the cylinder block to the chimney can be seen on the near side, but in this case, live steam enters the block by an external elbow pipe – as in the Ransomes – instead of through a hole beneath the cylinder block itself. This arrangement requires only two smaller steam tight joints instead of one large one.
Like the 8 ton roller, it is a compound engine, the exhaust steam passing on to do more work in a second – larger diameter – cylinder before escaping up the chimney. If the work done in both cylinders (and hence the effort made on the crankshaft) is to be approximately the same, the second cylinder has to be larger since the steam it uses will have expanded much of its energy in the first, and will have expanded to a greater volume and lower pressure and temperature. Of additional interest is that both 8 and 12 ton rollers are fitted with the PICKERING governor originally devised in 1865 by Mr Thomas Pickering of New York. The aim of any governor design is to obtain the closest possible control over variations in any desired engine speed, and this pattern is one of the most successful.
Prototype motorised implement, designed and built by the late Don Pallot. This prototype motorised implement was designed and built just after World War II by the late Don Pallot. The intention was for it to be used for the purpose of row crop work such as banking and scarifying potatoes. It was powered by a Villiers engine and fitted with agricultural type tyres. The tubular steel frame was fabricated at Central Motor Works, Sion.
1938 International W14 Tractor. This 1938 International W14 is one of 1162 manufactured in only 1938 and 1939 by the International Harvester Company. This version is fitted with an optional (at extra cost) system which allowed it to burn TVO. Basically this consists of an inlet manifold (vaporiser) heated by the exhaust gases and a small tank for petrol (the small cylindrical tank set in the engine cover) which was used for cold starting. The W14 was rated as a two-plough tractor. Power output was rated at 17 hp and the transmission had three forward speeds with one reverse gear. Weight was approximately 3,300 pounds (1,485 kg). Rubber tyres were available as a factory fitted option.
1972 URSUS Agripol C-335 Tractor. This 1972 URSUS C-335 Tractor is one of only three versions of this model imported into the island by the local agents Le Capplains of St. Peter. It was sold new to a Mr Vibert a St. Ouen Farmer. The Polish town of Ursus has been connected with the farm equipment manufacturing industry since the Ursus Mechanical Works was established in 1893. Ursus Agripol tractors were first seen in the United Kingdom when The Maulden Engineering Co. Ltd. of Flitwick, Bedfordshire introduced the Ursus Agripol C-335 and C-350 to British Farmers in the mid-1960's. The C-335 was powered by a 35 hp twin-cylinder diesel engine, transmission was via a six forward and two reverse gear transmission.
The Pallot Tractor Mounted Potato Elevator Digger. Designed and built in Jersey by L C Pallot of Central Motor Works, Sion, Trinity. The digger was attached to the tractor via the three point linkage. The horizontal blade and flanking discs lift earth and potatoes onto the vibrating chain bar conveyor where the earth is shaken off and the potatoes left above ground for gathering. Note the power take off, and the elliptical shaking sprockets supporting the conveyor. Over four hundred diggers were made to this design.
1950's Coleby Market Garden Tractor. As horses disappeared from Jersey farms a replacement lightweight power source was required to take over the lighter tasks around the farm. These mainly revolved around the potato growing industry. Until the late 1960's Jersey farmers were very reluctant to employ any machinery that might compact the soil. Once using a horse was no longer an option the only lightweight machines considered suitable were either a Market Garden tractor or a Ransomes Crawler Tractor. Either option solved the soil compaction problem, but each presented their own problems. In most cases the Ransomes made the job a two person operation, one to drive the tractor, the other to guide the towed implement. While Jersey Farms of the 40's 50's and 60's were of a small acreage, all but the very smallest were considerably larger than an average Market Garden. While the Coleby and other similar machines were well suited for the job they were designed for, they were not really capable of replacing a horse both for strength and reliability.
Hand Cart With Milk Cans. This cart is a typical example of the type which was used during the summer for outdoor hand milking. It would also have many other uses around the farm. The Museum contains carts of many types and designs. Among the many examples are a wheeless cart which was had handles at each end, this was lifted by two men and was often used to position seed potato boxes at appropriate intervals for hand planting. For spreading liquid manure on the land a horse drawn cart with a large wooden cider or wine barrel mounted on it, and fitted with a large tap which emptied to contents into a box with drilled holes at it's base was used. An example can be seen in the Museum.
Cars & Light Commercial Vehicles. The Museum contains an interesting selection of Classic Cars and Light Commercial Vehicles. The display is rotated regularly and contains something of interest for almost everyone.
1898 Tangye ‘Colonial’ Steam Engine. Built by Tangye Bros. Birmingham (England) in 1898. Tangyes of Birmingham were among the major builders of steam engines, and this sturdy example of a horizontal engine would have been well able to carry its’ makers reputation into England’s then extensive colonies. No doubt the charming bas-relief of Queen Victoria would cheer the hearts of all who were feeling homesick in far away lands. In fact, it is almost certainly one of the ways in which the company celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee Year in 1897 – the sixtieth year of her reign. But with a 10” bore and stroke of 15”, steam of 100 p.s.i. and a governed speed of say 125/150 r.p.m. some 25 b.h.p. would have been available – quite sufficient to drive sawmills, stone crushers, pump and factory line shafting, etc.
Note the sensitive 3 ball PICKERING governor directly controlling the steam flow to the engine. The particular governors were supplied to the engine manufacturers as complete ‘bolt on’ units. The company also made hydraulic and other equipment. Between 1857/58 hydraulic water powered rams designed and built by Tangye’s pushed the 12,000 ton hull of Brunel’s ‘Great Eastern’ steamship down the launching ways at Scott Russells yard in the Thames estuary. It had been a Herculean task and the firm received much credit for it. Hence the proud boast the “We launched the Great Eastern, and she launched us”!
Bellis and Morcom Ltd. 'Patent Self Lubricating Engine' Driving an Electrical Construction Co.Ltd. Dynamo. Before the advent of the National Electricity grid in the early 1930’s, cities, towns, factories, large private houses, tramway systems, etc., generated their own electricity using dynamos driven by various steam or oil engines. Up to the 1890’s steam engines tended to be large and slow running, and so the much higher speeds demanded by the dynamo were met by belt drives designed to multiply the speed. But a smaller, direct coupled engine running at the same speed as the dynamo made for a better and more efficient layout and in 1890 the famous Birmingham company of Bellis and Morcom Ltd, brought out their first engine of this kind running at 625 r.p.m. The secret, as with the Sisson’s and many others, was total enclosure and forced lubrication – like a modern car engine – and this example, last used at the Besco Laundry at Beaumont, Jersey, can generate 25k.w. at 220 volts.
In addition there is a 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge railway which operates around the perimeter of the museum site. A Victorian style station was re-constructed using surviving elements of Snow Hill railway station, St Helier, and officially opened on Liberation Day 1996 by Senator Dick Shenton. More recently a lean-to shed has been constructed over the main running line, and adjacent to the exhibition hall, to house the standard gauge service train. The railway usually operates on Thursdays when the museum is open, and visitors are able to purchase travel tickets to ride on the train. A ride consists of two circuits of the railway, and the duration of the journey is approximately ten minutes. Passengers are conveyed in two restored Victorian railway carriages, originally built and operated by the North London Railway in England. The two carriages were discovered at Stratford and were transferred to the Pallot museum in 1989 for restoration. Their original wheels had not survived, but were replaced from the Woodham Brothers scrapyard at Barry Docks in Wales.
The museum owns five standard gauge locomotives. One diesel shunting engine is stored out of use, awaiting restoration. Two steam locomotives are housed as museum exhibits, but are not suitable for use on the railway, owing to its tight radius curves. These engines are: 0-6-0T "La Meuse", built in Belgium in 1931, with outside cylinders and Walschaerts valve gear; 0-4-0ST "Foleshill", built in Bristol, England, by Peckett and Sons, works number 2085, in 1948. The other two steam locomotives are available for use on the demonstration railway, and are: 0-4-0ST "Kestrel", built at Bristol, England, by Peckett and Sons, works number 2129, in 1952; 0-4-0ST "J T Daly", built at Stafford, England, by W.G. Bagnall, works number 2450, in 1931. "Kestrel" is currently the main locomotive operating the demonstration railway. "J T Daly" previously operated on the Foxfield Light Railway and the Alderney Railway before coming to the Pallot Museum in 1993.
A narrow gauge railway forms a simple loop around a large paddock behind the main exhibition hall of the museum. This railway is equipped with four open passenger coaches for providing pleasure rides to visitors. Motive power is provided by an 0-4-0 steam-outline Simplex locomotive. This railway is operationally complete, but currently out of use.
The North London Railway as it was called from 1853 onwards, passed through the suburbs of Victoria, London, and was very much a commuter passenger line, the stations being on average some three minutes traveling time apart. The city terminus was Broad Street and the line ran from Richmond in the South West to Stratford and thence on to Poplar Docks in the East. The coaching stock was all of the four wheeled variety and in order to get as many coaches as possible into the station platforms was made up as close coupled ‘block trains’. The finish was varnished teak and these particular coaches are thought to date from just before the turn of the century. In 1989 they were brought to the Museum for restoration, with under-frame material and wheels coming from the well known railway scrap yard of Woodham Bro's., Barry, South Wales. For a film of the railway please click here.
The museum was founded by Lyndon Charles Pallot, (known as ‘Don'), who was born in Trinity and educated at the parish school. He developed an interest in mechanics from an early age and, after leaving school at the age of 14, started remaking bicycles until he became a trainee engineer at Jersey Railways where he developed his enthusiasm for steam. In the early 1930s Pallot opened Central Motor Works at Sion, Trinity, an agricultural works. He was a gifted engineer, and invented several agricultural implements which were employed on Jersey farms, and are now displayed in the museum, including the Pallot elevator digger, the last furrow reversible plough, the single furrow reversible plough, the tractor mounted Côtil winch, and the tractor mounted 2 point linkage transport box. His ability to improvise proved invaluable during the difficult years of the Occupation of Jersey by Nazi Germany during World War II. Pallot lived at Sion in Jersey, with his wife Dolly, and had a large family of 6 sons and 5 daughters. He died in 1996 at the age of 85.
There is free parking available. There are toilet facilities for the disabled. The museum is wheelchair accessible. Assistance dogs are welcome. Winter visitors welcome by appointment.
Location : The Pallot Steam, Motor & General Museum, Rue de Bechet, Trinity, Jersey, Channel Islands JE3 5BE
Transport: Poole Ferry then bus. Bus Routes : 5 to Sion Village North.
Opening Times : 3rd April to 28th October, Monday to Saturday, 10:00 to 17:00.
Tickets : Adults £6.50; Children (5+) £2.50; Seniors £5.50.
Tel: 01534 865307