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Brrr! - The Belling Family

 
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Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by jskinner97 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:35 pm

Think it's safe to say I won't get cold this year!
Image

Cathovisor kindly sent me another heater to add to my collection, The Belling Champion at the back was a tenner from Gumtree and is most used, Seconded by the Belling on the left which was saved from a skip (as you can see by the dent).

You can understand why I don't use them often though, My little smiths coin meter would be spinning away!
There's the 'Baby Belling' 2000W Oven/Grill to cook up toasted sandwiches, A 1985 Sharp Carousel Microwave...
Image
...and the old 1967 Swan Kettle on the go often (hence the rust on the hot plate!)

What have you got kicking around in your workshop?

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by Paul_RK » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:39 pm

A workshop's a pipedream for when I've disposed of enough radios and other impediments, but we've Champions in four rooms of the house and a 1960-ish Belling Classic cooker in the kitchen for when the Rayburn isn't hot enough to cook. These two are in my main haunt, a 250 watt No.79 that's close by my knees on merely chilly days like today, and a 750/1500/2250 watt No.83A for when it's cold, colder or practically Arctic.
P1010742sm.jpg

Paul

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by jskinner97 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:53 pm

Paul_RK wrote:A workshop's a pipedream for when I've disposed of enough radios and other impediments, but we've Champions in four rooms of the house and a 1960-ish Belling Classic cooker in the kitchen for when the Rayburn isn't hot enough to cook. These two are in my main haunt, a 250 watt No.79 that's close by my knees on merely chilly days like today, and a 750/1500/2250 watt No.83A for when it's cold, colder or practically Arctic.
P1010742sm.jpg

Paul

Very nice, I often thought about buying a Belling Handy Heater (which are also 250W) and look like a champion on it's side, there's one local to me but I can't see how 250W would do anything but heat itself...?

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by Cathovisor » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:08 pm

The 250W 'Handy Heater' I have may yet do service in my airing cupboard since the central heating did away with the hot water cylinder - they were only ever intended for small spaces, like outside loos. There's the small matter of the asbestos-insulated internal wiring to attend to though! :aae

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by jskinner97 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:10 pm

Cathovisor wrote:The 250W 'Handy Heater' I have may yet do service in my airing cupboard since the central heating did away with the hot water cylinder - they were only ever intended for small spaces, like outside loos. There's the small matter of the asbestos-insulated internal wiring to attend to though! :aae

Call me ignorant but im a strong believer in "a little bit won't kill you" if I was working with it 24.7 i'd be concerned, but that's just me. Of course many people have come down with mesothelioma without ever even touching the stuff! Like anything it's hit and miss...

Surprised they didn't put the boiler in the airing cupboard? They did ours 18 years ago... Mind you it's on an outside wall I guess most peoples arent.

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by Paul_RK » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:17 pm

Jamie wrote:... but I can't see how 250W would do anything but heat itself...?

I'm not sure of my ability to tell them apart, but isn't yours a 91A rather than a 92A? In which case the 79 delivers two-thirds of the heat of yours on low. It's smaller, and I confess I was surprised when I discovered its rating, I would have guessed 400-500W from experiencing its output. It wouldn't do much for the room, but placed beside a favourite chair it makes a welcome difference.

About the rarest of the Champions seems to be the 79A, and I can see why: for quite a premium over the price of the 79, it has a bulb, which admittedly is a welcome feature, and a switch to halve the heat, i.e. to 125W. That sounds pretty meagre even to me.

Paul

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by jskinner97 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:19 pm

Paul_RK wrote:
Jamie wrote:... but I can't see how 250W would do anything but heat itself...?

I'm not sure of my ability to tell them apart, but isn't yours a 91A rather than a 92A? In which case the 79 delivers two-thirds of the heat of yours on low. It's smaller, and I confess I was surprised when I discovered its rating, I would have guessed 400-500W from experiencing its output. It wouldn't do much for the room, but placed beside a favourite chair it makes a welcome difference.

About the rarest of the Champions seems to be the 79A, and I can see why: for quite a premium over the price of the 79, it has a bulb, which admittedly is a welcome feature, and a switch to halve the heat, i.e. to 125W. That sounds pretty meagre even to me.

Paul

Yes paul, I was referring to the much smaller Belling "Handy Heater" which outputs 250W not the champion which is 750W.

Image

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by Paul_RK » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:31 pm

Cathovisor wrote:There's the small matter of the asbestos-insulated internal wiring to attend to though! :aae

I'd acquired, examined and usually rewired several Champions of various generations over the years without ever meeting asbestos-covered wire, then the most recent two to arrive, my 83A which I don't think is particularly early and a second example of the 79, both employed it. I replaced it with heat-resistant wiring in the 83A, where it was used between the switches and elements in the base of the heater, which hardly gets warm at all. The 79 isn't in service yet, but has an asbestos-covered length of wire running up its centre to the top of the element. My original 79 just has a bare copper wire there, so I expect I'll copy that arrangement.
Last edited by Paul_RK on Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by Paul_RK » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:38 pm

Jamie wrote:Yes paul, I was referring to the much smaller Belling "Handy Heater" which outputs 250W not the champion which is 750W.


Yes, I've met one or two of those, so I was commenting on my own surprise that a 250 watt heater does have a worthwhile output in various situations. Put a Handy Heater under your workbench and at least your feet should be warm, and, as my mum would now and again observe, if your feet are warm then the rest of you is :)

Paul

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by Cathovisor » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:45 pm

Jamie wrote:Surprised they didn't put the boiler in the airing cupboard? They did ours 18 years ago... Mind you it's on an outside wall I guess most peoples arent.

The airing cupboard in my house is next to the old boiler's chimney stack, absolutely central. My central heating installation was the subject of a lot of, errr... difficulties, shall we say? :stm:

It's my experience too that the Champions - apart from the big 83A - don't have asbestos-covered wire in them. However, I have met the stuff in the Handy Heater, older Radiant Zephyrs and my 1953 Cheery.

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by Terrykc » Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:48 pm

When I first started work we had tubular heaters just above floor level at the front of all the benches, so ideal for resting your feet on in the winter with the heat streaming up between you and the front edge of the bench.

One particularly cold afternoon I had drenched the push button bank of a Bush radio with Radiospares (as it was in those days) switch cleaner and was gazing at the circuit diagram which had been glued to a sheet of corrugated cardboard and, therefore, had to be propped up at the back of the bench.

Inevitably the stream of heat speeded up the evaporation rate of the carbon tet switch cleaner and the inevitable happened.

Surprisingly, nobody seemed to notice that I'd been spark out for over an hour until I became vaguely aware of a voice saying "Come on! Are you going home or are you staying all night?"

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by Hartley118 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:14 pm

Can you remember whether you had a cigarette on the go? If you were smoking in the carbon tet atmosphere, you may have suffered phosgene poisoning. Phosgene is produced when carbon tet vapour is exposed to cigarette temperatures! :ccf

Martin

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by Terrykc » Wed Jan 06, 2016 7:39 pm

Well, I did smoke in those days but I think I would have noticed any of these symptoms long before now!

Immediate signs and symptoms of phosgene exposure
  • During or immediately after exposure to dangerous concentrations of phosgene, the following signs and symptoms may develop:
    • Coughing
    • Burning sensation in the throat and eyes
    • Watery eyes
    • Blurred vision
    • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Skin contact can result in lesions similar to those from frostbite or burns
    • Following exposure to high concentrations of phosgene, a person may develop fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema) within 2 to 6 hours.
  • Exposure to phosgene may cause delayed effects that may not be apparent for up to 48 hours after exposure, even if the person feels better or appears well following removal from exposure. Therefore, people who have been exposed to phosgene should be monitored for 48 hours afterward. Delayed effects that can appear for up to 48 hours include the following:
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Coughing up white to pink-tinged fluid (a sign of pulmonary edema)
    • Low blood pressure
    • Heart failure
  • Showing these signs or symptoms does not necessarily mean that a person has been exposed to phosgene.
What the long-term health effects are
  • Most people who recover after an exposure to phosgene make a complete recovery. However, chronic bronchitis and emphysema have been reported as a result of phosgene exposure.
At the time, because of this practice of sticking circuit diagrams onto large sheets of cardboard, I probably had my elbows on the bench, head in hands, leaning forwards over the radio to see the circuit propped up against the wall behind.

A cigarette might have been a bit impractical!

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by Hartley118 » Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:23 pm

Looks like you'd have noticed those symptoms Terry :qq1

I remember our chemistry master warning us about carbon tet and phosgene!

Martin

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by hamid_1 » Thu Jan 07, 2016 12:20 am

Some nice vintage Belling heaters there ...

I also have a vintage 250 watt Belling Handy Heater which comes out occasionally. I bought it from a secondhand shop in White City, London (just around the corner from the BBC Television Centre) in 1993 - it was very old, even then. It's not enough to heat a room but keeps your toes warm on a chilly day, and as a result your whole body soon feels warm. My mum had one which she used to place in the airing cupboard to help the clothes dry. It became redundant after the arrival of central heating and must have been thrown out.

My parents have a vintage Belling Zephyr heater which they bought more than 50 years ago. It's still in regular use. Some pictures here: http://www.modip.ac.uk/artefact/aibdc-02551

My grandfather had the Belling Champion 2.2KW cylinder heater as well. He used to place it at the bottom of the stairs, allowing the heat to rise upwards. It was powerful enough to keep all of the upstairs part of his house off the chill, but greedy on electricity. I saw one of the smaller Belling Champion heaters just like Jamie's one in a car boot sale earlier this year, complete with 5 amp round pin plug. I guess it must have been the 750w model. I didn't actually realise they made them in a range of power ratings. Wish I'd bought that one now.

As for the Belling fireclay heaters, they used to turn up regularly at the dump, in various states of decrepitude. One of the guys who worked at the dump rescued a vintage Belling fireclay heater that was in reasonably good condition, took it home with him and used it. Those heaters were cheap to buy and must have sold in large numbers. But bear in mind the safety risks. If clothes, curtains, paper or some plastic objects come into contact with the glowing element, they can catch fire. You can easily burn yourself too - Be careful. The cylindrical Champion convector models are a lot safer in that respect.

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by Cathovisor » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:10 am

hamid_1 wrote:Some nice vintage Belling heaters there ...

I also have a vintage 250 watt Belling Handy Heater which comes out occasionally. I bought it from a secondhand shop in White City, London (just around the corner from the BBC Television Centre) in 1993 - it was very old, even then.

There were loads of those shops down the Shepherd's Bush Road as well back then; sadly, all gone. Well, the cheap ones anyway. I still remember one of the shops having a Decca Decola outside! I also remember one at the bottom of Scrubs Lane.
hamid_1 wrote:My parents have a vintage Belling Zephyr heater which they bought more than 50 years ago. It's still in regular use. Some pictures here: http://www.modip.ac.uk/artefact/aibdc-02551
That's the same as mine, although mine is slightly later with rocker switches. I did have one of those as illustrated too, but the asbestos internal wiring put me off it...

hamid_1 wrote:My grandfather had the Belling Champion 2.2KW cylinder heater as well. He used to place it at the bottom of the stairs, allowing the heat to rise upwards. It was powerful enough to keep all of the upstairs part of his house off the chill, but greedy on electricity.
In their Wartime catalogue for 1941-42, Belling make great virtue of the fact that doing just what your grandfather did was akin to central heating - "One in the hall keeps the whole house warm"
Belling Champions.jpg
The 1941-42 range of 'Champion' heaters.

The story is that Charles Belling bought some pile in Essex before the war, but found it difficult to keep warm economically. It seems that this spurred him on to design what we now know as the 'Champion'. Certainly they are very effective convectors due to the powerful chimney effect - if you place your hand a safe distance above say, the 1500W Champion, the airflow is very noticeable.
hamid_1 wrote:As for the Belling fireclay heaters, they used to turn up regularly at the dump, in various states of decrepitude. One of the guys who worked at the dump rescued a vintage Belling fireclay heater that was in reasonably good condition, took it home with him and used it. Those heaters were cheap to buy and must have sold in large numbers. But bear in mind the safety risks. If clothes, curtains, paper or some plastic objects come into contact with the glowing element, they can catch fire. You can easily burn yourself too - Be careful. The cylindrical Champion convector models are a lot safer in that respect.

The guards on earlier electric fires are little more than token gestures, as can be seen on the 'Empire' that Jamie now has. That dates the fire to pre-1951, when what was originally BS 1670 was introduced along with BS 1945 (1953). This covered guarding arrangements for fires; at one time Belling also had one with a tilt switch inside that cut the power if it was knocked forward, but the safety aspect of the Champion was frequently cited as making it suitable for nurseries.

The little pressed-steel 'Dinkie' could be bought pre-war for as little as 12 shillings - more if you chose a reflector model or a 2kW model.
Pre-war Belling Dinkie.jpg
From a c. 1938 catalogue.

 
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Re: Brrr! - The Belling Family

Post by Dr Wobble » Thu Jan 07, 2016 7:38 am

I worked in an upholstery factory in the early eighties which had a big open vat of carbon tetrochloride, of coarse we all smoked away quite happlily. I used to love the smell and it used to make you a bit high. the bloke who worked on de greasing vat all the time was a character, mad as a hatter, probably due to the carbon tet and not mercury in this case. Happy days, no H+S legistation, woman were birds, we all smoked fags and a pint was 50p.
(Slight tongue in cheek emoticon )

Andy.


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