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Sunday, 4 November 2012

The Name's Jones - Casey Jones.

It's hard to believe some of the things that were used by the MOD in the Second World War.

I recently acquired a little steam engine manufactured by Stuart Turner, who are well known for their models, but this one looked a little bit unusual. A bit more substantial, a bit more professional looking and really quite rugged instead of pretty. Turns out that it was originally part of a 'Firefly Generating Unit', which was apparently parachuted behind enemy lines to enable spies to re-charge their radio batteries.

Quite how an Agent could get some coal and water,  fire up a boiler and then operate a steam powered generator whilst remaining under cover is beyond me, but apparently they did.

Standing about 6" high, it's a 2 cylinder engine that produces somewhere around a third of a horsepower. The last pic shows the engine in situ as part of a Firefly Generator. The boiler was additional to this and would be the hardest part to conceal under your coat.