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Western Steam

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FMES03/12/2018 10:25:09
602 forum posts
2 photos

Has anyone had any experience of Western Steam - boiler manufacturers in Somerset?

I ordered a boiler in january '16 and am still waiting for it, it was estimated to be complete by jul 18, the email address used in the original communication is no longer valid, but I did manage to make contact via phone at the end of August for a forecast, only to be told it hadn't been started yet and should be ready by mid Sept.

So far no boiler.

Regards

Clive Brown 103/12/2018 11:39:52
278 forum posts
7 photos

My dealings with them about a year ago were entirely satisfactory. Prompt responses and helpful by 'phone and email.

The estimate of 30 months to fulfill an order surprises me.

3404603/12/2018 11:54:11
760 forum posts
4 photos

Something like Morgan cars

Take a hefty deposit which is banked and no doubt accrues interest. Thank you, deliverywill be sometime in the future.

To be fair to Helen, I have had Minnie boiler flanged plates and similar small parts, all spot on and around a two week delivery time.

The completed boilers which I saw when visiting are works of art.

Bill

David Standing 103/12/2018 12:25:50
1279 forum posts
46 photos
Posted by Bill Chugg on 03/12/2018 11:54:11:

Something like Morgan cars

Take a hefty deposit which is banked and no doubt accrues interest. Thank you, deliverywill be sometime in the future.

Not any longer. The Morgan waiting list issues of the past are just that, a thing of the past.

3404603/12/2018 13:12:56
760 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by David Standing 1 on 03/12/2018 12:25:50:
Posted by Bill Chugg on 03/12/2018 11:54:11:

Something like Morgan cars

Take a hefty deposit which is banked and no doubt accrues interest. Thank you, deliverywill be sometime in the future.

Not any longer. The Morgan waiting list issues of the past are just that, a thing of the past.

I did not realise that. Thanks for correcting me. I waited three years for mine, some years ago, but it was worth it.

Bill

old Al03/12/2018 13:36:15
141 forum posts

I hope you have made 'nice' follow up calls to see the progress of your order. They are a company that i would trust with my money, but we do live in a quickly changing world.

Keep on top of them, but be polite.

FMES03/12/2018 17:59:51
602 forum posts
2 photos

Cheers all,

I think it may have been Helen that I spoke to when I finally managed to get through on the phone, I don't mind waiting for it as I know they are really busy, but it would be really good to have a progress or non-progress report occasionally.

And apologies, it was January 17 I ordered it - just feels like a long time, still its coming up two years.

Regards

Zan04/12/2018 13:33:50
104 forum posts
2 photos

My boiler from them took a very long time, but I ordered it at the start of the build so there was plenty for me to go at. The quality of the boiler is excellent and well worth the premium price and delay. If a boiler maker can supply a boiler with a short turnaround, does it indicate a lack of business? If so are they any good? Will it perform in 10 years?

Bruno Taylor06/12/2018 18:04:48
avatar
39 forum posts
13 photos

Hi,

Sorry you appear to be having problems comunicating with Western Steam but please be patient. Yes 2 yrs delivery does seem a long time but it will be built and almost certainly excellent. Bear in mind, they like many others of our suppliers are very small businesses. It is well worth popping in to see them, Weston is not exactly the moon and the M5 is very close.

If more of us took the plunge (and l am) to build their own boilers waiting could be less!!

I have one of Helen's boilers and hopefully in steam next year. Luckily Western Steam could suuply from stock after my previous supplier (Cheddar Valley Steam) disappeared taking my deposit with them.

Best wishes.

alan-lloyd06/12/2018 19:33:58
avatar
157 forum posts

I've had two boilers made by Helen, they were both works of art, could not be faulted, but took over a year each, they may wait for multiple orders, before starting a batch, makes sense.

FMES06/12/2018 19:55:44
602 forum posts
2 photos

I spoke to Helen this afternoon, their email has changed - westernsteamltd@gmail.com for anyone that needs it. I've seen the quality of construction, and as you say, it can't be faulted. Really looking forward to getting mine to be able to start the build.

I've been building boilers since the mid eighties, but with certification and gas prices for the bigger units going up and up, decided to get a fully commercially built and properly certificated unit for this time.

Regards

Robert Thompson 827/02/2019 18:42:47
48 forum posts

Hello I too am still waiting for a boiler which was due in Oct 18th 2018. I have had various extensions to this date each with its own excuse.

Today I have received a letter to say that Helen has broken her collar bone and that delays in the oder of 6 months are to be expected.

Having suffered a similar episode with the now defunct Cheddar Valley Steam I am starting to fear the worst for this company.

Bob Thompson

Jon Lawes27/02/2019 19:30:03
avatar
325 forum posts

Previous experience aside, I reckon a broken collar bone is a pretty fair excuse!

Robert Thompson 827/02/2019 19:42:38
48 forum posts

I quite agree and feel really sorry for Helen its a very painful experience indeed.

However with the list of previous excuses including such things as apprentices leaving etc etc it does make one a wee bit concerned.

At the end of the day they are running a business after all and the customers are surely entitled to some consideration and attention.

Bob

Dave Halford27/02/2019 20:06:20
468 forum posts
4 photos

I've been to Western Steam / GS Model Supplies in Burnham on Sea, it's a very small place and a bit 'sole trader' in scale and I suspect there is only one boiler maker and if you think another can be dragged in off the street to make up the numbers I fear you may be disappointed.

Surely you are only risking 20% anyway not £2000?

Robert Thompson 827/02/2019 21:08:01
48 forum posts

Yes indeed it is only 20% plus the 20% I lost to Cheddar Valley previously, plus nearly 4 years ive been waiting with a half finished loco.

Be interested to hear how long you have been waiting for yours????

Clearly we have the Wester Steam appreciation society in tonight.

BCPROF28/02/2019 13:18:14
107 forum posts

Robert

It is a sad fact of life that when dealing with any business be, it ,large or small, that your money may be at risk. Hence the advice to pay by credit card . Is a 20% deposit really excessive? The company will at some stage have to purchase the materials ,we ware all aware of manner in which the price of materials, in this case copper and silver fluctuate

The work will need to be fitted into a schedule and a small company can not afford to have gaps. A number of factors, among them staff shortages and illness will cause problems with completion dates .

Boiler makers are in short supply and, having found one with an excellent reputation , I for one would not hesitate to place an order . It is a real ………… to have the completion date put back but we are model engineers and hence philosophical ( poor designs , plan errors, material problems ….)

Brian C

Dave Halford28/02/2019 14:32:30
468 forum posts
4 photos
Posted by Robert Thompson 8 on 27/02/2019 21:08:01:

Yes indeed it is only 20% plus the 20% I lost to Cheddar Valley previously, plus nearly 4 years ive been waiting with a half finished loco.

Be interested to hear how long you have been waiting for yours????

Clearly we have the Wester Steam appreciation society in tonight.

Mine is waiting for me to make it, I'm almost tempted to sue.

Robert Thompson 828/02/2019 18:37:19
48 forum posts

I rest my case Dave .

FMES01/03/2019 06:38:35
602 forum posts
2 photos

I visited the shop back in january to collect my Simplicity 4 1/2 boiler, and to say I am delighted with it is an understatement, Its a difficult build at best as a number of the dimensions have to be calculated from the installation of other parts.

Helen coped with this admirably, and when you consider tha amount of work involved and the cost of the raw materials I was more than happy with the price.

Yes, as I mentioned before there was a delay, and a lack of commnications due to an email address change and the sheer amount of work Helen had been asked to cope with, made for a worrying time as I too thought I may have lost my deposit. (thanks to all those on here that let Geoff know I was commenting on the forum, I hope someone pays that forward).

As Dave Halford says it is a tiny business, and one that is practising a dying art, and for all I know, probably the only one of its type in the country, when I visited there was a job in progress for half a dozen of the same type of boiler for a model engineering society all wanted in a very short period of time., its just difficult to envisage, when you are sat at home, the sheer amount of workload that the business carries out.

Regards

A very satisfied Western Steam customer.

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