Innovator is in good company among previous award winners

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DAVID Theodore Nelson Williamson and now the Waverley Paddle Steamer are recipients of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers Heritage Award, and they are in good company. Others include:

n OLD BESS: Built in 1777 and working until 1848, Old Bess was the second engine constructed by James Watt in Birmingham. She was used to pump water from the bottom of a water wheel to the top, continuously recycling water, and so reducing reliance on external water sources for the Matthew Boulton Soho Manufactory. She was one of the engines which led the way in the Industrial Revolution.

n THE BOMBE: The Bombe at Bletchley Park is an electromechanical device in which 111 drums, within which are four rows of 26 brushes – one for each letter of the alphabet – rotate. It was designed by Alan Turing, Gordon Welchman and Harold Keen and was a closely guarded secret of WWII. It played a pivotal role in cracking the German Enigma code.

n THE ENGLISH ELECTRIC LIGHTNING: A supersonic aircraft of the Cold War era, it is remembered for its great speed and natural metal exterior and was the only all-British Mach 2 fighter. It was in frontline service for the RAF from 1960 to 1988, a record for a fighter jet. Pilots described it as being saddled to a skyrocket.

n ROBERT STEPHENSON’S WORKS: The Stephenson Works in Newcastle housed the world’s first purpose-built locomotive works. These buildings were the birth of the steam locomotive which revolutionised the railway industry.