The historic importance of the Musgrave Engine

The Musgrave Engine was last used in 1980 to drive the last rolling mills that were used in ICI’s core business at the time, the manufacture of locomotive fireboxes. Soon after ICI left, the engine suffered heavy damage as thieves stole the more valuable parts and the lead was taken from the roof. Ensuing dereliction has seen the engine fall into a very sorry state.

This scheduled ancient monument was listed as such because it was one of the first uniflow-type steam engines in the early 20th Century which provided massive improvements in efficiency. The Musgrave engine was the first Uniflow-type steam engine built by John Musgrave and Sons in 1910 when they bought the rights to Dr Schlumpf’s patent. Uniflow engines were seen as the ultimate development of steam technology prior to turbines coming to the fore and are still capable of greater efficiency than turbines below 1000hp output.

Pwysigrwydd hanesyddol y Peiriant Musgrave

Y tro diwethaf y defnyddiwyd y Peiriant Musgrave oedd ym 1980 i yrru’r melinau rholio a chwaraeai ran bwysig yng ngweithgareddau craidd ICI ar yr adeg, sef gweithgynhyrchu blychau tân i locomotifau. Yn fuan ar ôl i ICI ymadael, dioddefodd y peiriant niwed difrifol wrth i ladron ddwyn y darnau mwyaf gwerthfawr ac i’r plwm gael ei dynnu o’r to. Yn sgil y dirywiad a ddilynodd hyn, mae’r peiriant wedi syrthio i gyflwr truenus.

Cafodd y peiriant ei gofrestru’n heneb hynafol am iddo fod yn un o’r peiriannau stêm unllif cyntaf o’i fath yn yr 20fed ganrif i sicrhau gwelliannau aruthrol o ran effeithioldeb. Y peiriant Musgrave oedd y peiriant stêm unllif gyntaf a adeiladwyd gan gwmni John Musgrave a’i Feibion ym 1910, ar ôl iddynt brynu’r hawliau ar batent y Dr Schlumpf. Roedd peiriannau unllif (Uniflow) yn cael eu hystyried yn ddatblygiad gorau posibl technoleg ager cyn i dwrbinau ddod i’r amlwg, ac maen nhw’n dal i allu gweithredu’n fwy effeithiol na thwrbinau ag allbwn o dan 1000hp.

The example in Hafod is the only Musgrave engine of this type known to exist

Yr esiampl sydd yn Yr Hafod yw’r unig beiriant Musgrave o’r math arbennig yma sy’n dal i fodoli hyd y gwyddom

The introduction of Uniflow technology towards the end of the steam driven mill period means that they were and still are far less common than other more conventional mill engine types. The example in Hafod is the only Musgrave engine of this type known to exist, one of less than half a dozen Musgrave engines surviving and is also thought to be the earliest surviving uniflow engine of any make. The fact that it survives within its own engine house, still attached to the rolling mill it drove, makes it absolutely unique. The only other Musgrave engine in its original building is an earlier compound engine named “Edna” at Bamford Mill in the Peak district.

The value of the Musgrave Engine to the local community is significant, because of the importance outlined above and because of public dismay at its current state. The plight of the Musgrave Engine has always been a defining issue for the formation of the Friends’ Group. The site’s supporters have for many years been troubled by the state of the engine and it was one of four issues which led to the official formation and constitution of the Friends’ Group in 2015. The Friends’ Group have a facebook page and their post in Feb 2016 after a first visit to plan how to bring the Engine to life attracted 1364 views which remains the most viewed post by a large margin. This is an indication of the level of interest in this particular aspect of the Hafod-Morfa Copperworks site.

Gan mai tua diwedd oes y melinau stêm y mabwysiadwyd y dechnoleg Uniflow, roedd y peiriannau hyn – ac maen nhw’n dal i fod – yn llai cyffredin o lawer na mathau eraill, mwy confensiynol, o beiriannau melin.  Yr esiampl sydd yn Yr Hafod yw’r unig beiriant Musgrave o’r math arbennig yma sy’n dal i fodoli hyd y gwyddom, ac mae’n un o lai na hanner dwsin o beiriannau Musgrave sydd wedi goroesi. Credir hefyd taw dyma’r esiampl gynharaf o beiriant unllif o unrhyw fêc sy’n dal mewn bodolaeth. Mae’r ffaith ei fod wedi goroesi yn ei beiriandy ei hun, ac yn gysylltiedig o hyd â’r felin rowlio yr oedd yn arfer ei gyrru, yn ei wneud yn hollol unigryw yn y byd. Yr unig beiriant Musgrave arall sy’n dal i sefyll yn ei adeilad gwreiddiol yw peiriant cyfansawdd gynharach o’r enw “Edna” yn Bamford Mill yn y Peak District.

Mae gwerth y Peiriant Musgrave i’r gymuned leol yn sylweddol, oherwydd ei bwysigrwydd hanesyddol fel y soniwyd uchod, ond hefyd oherwydd siom a dicter y cyhoedd ynghylch ei gyflwr presennol. Mae cyflwr cywilyddus y Peiriant Musgrave yn ffactor cynhyrfiol a’n symbylodd ni i sefydlu Grŵp y Cyfeillion. Mae cyflwr y peiriant yn destun gofid ers blynyddoedd maith i gefnogwyr y safle, a dyna un o’r pedwar rheswm a’n hysgogodd ni i sefydlu Grŵp y Cyfeillion yn ffurfiol yn 2015. Mae gan Grŵp y Cyfeillion dudalen Facebook, a chafodd eu neges a bostiwyd ym mis Chwefror 2016 yn sgil yr ymweliad cyntaf i gynllunio sut i roi bywyd newydd i’r Peiriant ei darllen gan 1364 o bobl – dyna’r postiad a welwyd amlaf o bell ffordd. Mae hyn yn rhoi rhyw syniad o lefel y ddiddordeb sydd yn yr agwedd arbennig yma ar safle Gwaith Copr Hafod-Morfa.

At the height of its success, Swansea produced 65% of world copper, importing ore from as far away as Chile, Cuba and Australia.

Ar ei hanterth, cynhyrchodd Abertawe 65% o gopr y byd, gan fewnforio mwyn copr o fannau mor bell â Chile, Ciwba ac Awstralia.

The Hafod-Morfa Copperworks is the most complete monument to Swansea’s important Copper history and the Musgrave Engine house and rolling mills explain why.

In the 19th Century, Swansea and particularly the Lower Swansea Valley was the hub of the world’s first truly globally-integrated industry. At the height of its success, Swansea produced 65% of world copper, importing ore from as far away as Chile, Cuba and Australia. Its success came from the local supply of high quality coal, the global trade routes established to supply copper ore and the high quality of copper processed by the ‘Welsh Method’ of smelting copper, pioneered in Swansea, which involved repeated roasting and smelting in reverberatory furnaces. Global competition increased as coal started to be mined closer to the copper ore supplies and as the Welsh Method was adopted worldwide. As a consequence, most of Swansea’s copper works were closed in the first half of the 20th century and demolished in the 1960s and 1970s as part of the Lower Swansea Valley Project.

The Hafod-Morfa Copperworks, always innovative, focussed its activities on the area of the Musgrave engine and associated rolling mills, which became known as the ‘Loco Mill’. Powered by the efficient Musgrave Engine, the Loco Mill specialised in manufacturing locomotive fire boxes.

Gwaith Copr Hafod-Morfa yw’r gofeb fwyaf sydd i bwysigrwydd hanes y diwydiant copr yn Abertawe, ac mae adeilad y Peiriant Musgrave a’r melinau rhowlio’n egluro pam.

Yn y 19eg ganrif, ardal Abertawe a rhan isaf Cwm Tawe’n benodol oedd canolbwynt y diwydiant gwirioneddol fyd-eang cyntaf erioed. Ar ei hanterth, cynhyrchodd Abertawe 65% o gopr y byd, gan fewnforio mwyn copr o fannau mor bell â Chile, Ciwba ac Awstralia. Mae llwyddiant y diwydiant yn deillio o safon uchel glo’r ardal, y llwybrau masnachu a sefydlwyd ledled y byd i gyflenwi mwyn copr, a safon uchel y copr a gynhyrchid trwy gyfrwng y ‘Dull Cymreig’ arloesol o’i fwyndoddi a ddatblygwyd yn Abertawe, sef proses o rostio a mwyndoddi dro ar ôl tro mewn ffwrneisi adlewyrchol. Cynyddodd y gystadleuaeth ar draws y byd wrth i lo ddechrau cael ei gloddio yn nes at y cyflenwadau copr ac i’r Dull Cymreig gael ei fabwysiadu ym mhob man. O ganlyniad, fe gafodd y rhan fwyaf o weithfeydd copr Abertawe eu cau yn ystod hanner cyntaf yr 20fed ganrif a’u dymchwel yn y 1960au a’r 1970au fel rhan o Brosiect Cwm Tawe Isaf.

Penderfynodd Gwaith Copr bythol arloesol Hafod-Morfa ganolbwyntio ei weithgareddau ar ardal y peiriant Musgrave a’r melinau rhowlio cysylltiedig, a ddaeth i gael ei hadnabod fel y ‘Loco Mill’. Arbenigedd y Loco Mill, a yrrid gan y Peiriant Musgrave grymus, oedd gweithgynhyrchu blychau tân i locomotifau.