Page last updated at 10:59 GMT, Friday, 11 June 2010 11:59 UK
Pocket Power Station wins award
Pocket Power Station
The gas turbine was controlled over the Post Office telephone network and started or stopped as required

The only working example of a ground-breaking turbine has been awarded a major heritage award.

The Pocket Power Station is housed at the Internal Fire Museum of Power at Tanygroes, near Cardigan.

Commissioned in 1959, it paved the way for unmanned power stations and the use of lightweight gas turbines for power generation.

The award, given by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers will take place at a private ceremony in the museum.

The pocket power station was a major development in 1959 because it was remotely controlled over a telephone line
Paul Evans

The Bristol Siddeley - later Rolls-Royce - Proteus gas turbine was installed at the museum last year and is featured in the BBC's History of The World project.

The museum's curator, Paul Evans, said: "This is the only operational set on public display in the world and we feel this is a real feather in our cap to get this award.


"The Pocket Power Station was a major development in 1959 because it was remotely controlled over a telephone line.

"This was a significant innovation at that time."

The Engineering Heritage Awards celebrate engineering excellence and the Pocket Power Station has been recognised as a significant step in the development of generation.

This is the 55th award since its inception in 1983 and will be presented by the Heritage Chairman of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, Professor Isobel Pollock to the Chairman of the Rolls Royce Heritage Trust.

After the presentation the set will be started remotely from the Western Power Distribution Head Office at Avonmouth just as it was in 1959.

In 2006 the Internal Fire Museum of Power received the first Heritage Award to be presented by the Institute of Diesel and Gas Turbine Engineers.

This was for the restoration of the very early Sulzer diesel engine, currently the oldest working diesel in the UK and the oldest daily running diesel in the world.

The museum has more than 200 tonnes of engines and equipment on site and has more than 6,500 visitors a year.

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