The International Steam Pages


Surviving Marshall equipment in the Azores

James Waite reports on a discovery made during an October 2014 visit.:

These photographs are from the Gorreana and the Porto Formoso tea factories which are about mid-way along the north coast of Sao Miguel, the main island (the same island which is home to the broad gauge locomotivess). The first 6 pictures are all from Gorreana (http://www.gorreana.eu/), the larger of the two factories. The relatively modern machine in the first two photos was in use, drying tea, and the area around it was very hot and humid! Marshalls had a tea machinery department (officially Marshall Tea Machinery Co. Ltd.) at Gainsborough (see http://www.gainsboroughlincs.co.uk/marshalls4.htm and http://www.gainsboroughlincs.co.uk/marshalls6.htm) and no doubt some of its products also survive in places such as India and Sri Lanka. 

The older-looking machinery in the third picture, also made by Marshalls like all the old machines we saw at both tea factories, is also still in use though wasn't working when we were there. The electric motor apparently dates from the 1920's while the factory is around 40 years older. There was a vertical boiler, also by Marshalls, in the basement which was last insured in 1960 and I suspect that the electric motor may have replaced a stationary steam engine. The portable engine (46583/1907) is 'parked' in a yard behind the factory.

The last photograph is looking over the field at the Porto Formoso factory with its tea plants towards the coast. Its old Marshall's machinery has been replaced by modern equipment and now forms part of their museum.

The entrances to both factories are off the main north coast road between Ponta Delgada and Nordeste which at this point runs quite a long way inland and at quite a high altitude. They can't be more than about 2km apart and are a long distance away from the villages from which they take their names which are at or close to the shore.


Tea Machinery

The portable engine:

The view over a field at the Porto Formoso factory looking down towards the coast.


Rob and Yuehong  Dickinson

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