Early in 2000, Albany’s Sales Department took an intriguing telephone call, enquiring if anyone knew about a water pump made in the 1930s by a company called Salaman & Handoll. The sales estimator knew his company history; Albany Pumps had been named Salaman & Handoll before being blitzed out of London and moving to Lydney during WWII.
It transpired that the pump handled seawater for cooling a Thornycroft RP4 engine in the ‘Daphne’, a 25ft launch, built in 1932, one of the gallant ‘Little Ships’ of Dunkirk. Its owner needed the pump refurbishing so that he could take the vessel across the channel in the last ever convoy re-enacting the historic evacuation in 1940.
Albany took on the job and the pump was returned looking, and operating, as new. The ‘Daphne’ was able to join the convoy and sail from Dover to Dunkirk on the 1st June 2000.
The Thornycroft engine is a petrol engine, and we wonder how many ships are left powered by petrol engines. ‘Daphne’ survives today.