Villiers Engines




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The Villiers Engineering Company Ltd produced its first stationary type engine, the water cooled WX11 in 1927/28.  In the stationary engine world however, Villiers are better known for their vast array of small air-cooled engines, which they produced in two and four-cycle forms.

The uses to which Villiers Engines could be put was only limited by the imagination of the user. The company have supplied many thousands of engines for semi-stationary purposes.  One can only assume that the term “semi-stationary” was used in some technical sense.  It is not a word that would occur to someone spending the afternoon dashing around the lawn in pursuit of a motor mower.

Villiers engines have been used for driving lawn mowers and attachments, mower rollers, cultivators, railway trollies, band saws, compressors, pumps, garage tyre pumps, circular saws, house lighting sets, delivery tricars and invalid chairs.

Villiers must have felt that the reference to lighting sets in their booklet needed more explanation - or more promotion.  They devote a whole page to it, explaining that "Every Villiers engine is fitted with its own magneto, incorporated in the freewheel.  This arrangement gives a more intense spark than the ordinary horseshoe magneto and provides smoother running and easier starting.  In addition to this one of its principal advantages is that it generates its own electric light by the addition of two small coils which in no way affect the ignition circuit. ... The current is taken from a simple plug-in terminal at the back of the armature plate of the magneto".

"Villiers Group products are renowned throughout the world and their export activities can be gauged from the direct trading accounts they had with approximately 140 different overseas countries. The engines have performed without detriment to their established reputation for dependability in some of the most adverse conditions. They have operated in the frozen wastes of Greenland and Northern Scandinavia and in the steamy heat of the tropics. They have powered rock drills, air compressors and lighting sets during the building of the worlds highest road across the Andes Mountains. They are used for quarrying; they have powered light aircraft; and along stretches of the Scandinavian coast-line Villiers engines stand by to drive emergency generating sets should a mains electricity failure put lighthouses out of commission."

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