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Logo of Napier Power Heritage Trust

The Napier Power Heritage Trust (NPHT) is a Registered Educational Charity (No. 1053078) that was formed in 1993 "to enhance the heritage of D. Napier & Son". This company was founded in 1808 by the Scottish Engineer, David Napier from Dumbarton, the cousin of the marine engineers Robert Napier and the other David Napier, and became renowned for its precision engineering work.

Napier car

In the late 19th century, the company was headed by David's grandson, Montague Stanley Napier, who was instrumental in the company developing engines for automobiles and eventually designing and building the cars themselves. Early in the 20th century, the company developed the engines so that they were suitable for power boats and aircraft. Vehicles with Napier engines held world speed records on land, on the water and in the air. Later the company developed the diesel engine that powered the Deltic diesel-electric railway engines used on British railways from the 1950s to the 1980s. This engine was also developed for use in marine applications. The company also developed gas turbine and rocket aero engines during the same period.

The NPHT was initially formed by former employees of D. Napier & Son, and currently the Trust has some 200 former Napier engineers and employees amongst its varied membership. These Napierians have now drawn together a large historical and technical archive of Napier materials. Today this can be viewed while in preservation by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in Westminster, London. The NPHT has published a number of company-based publications, the latest of which focuses on Napier's two centuries of British precision and power engineering since the founding of D. Napier & Son way back in 1808. In addition an oral archive is being prepared and other research and restoration projects are ongoing.

In 2007 the NPHT participated in celebrating the Centenary of the Brooklands racetrack. Napier-powered vehicles are synonymous with this famous racetrack, often dominating throughout its history. 2008 saw the Bi-centenary of the Company itself. One event that commemorated this anniversary was a celebration at the Buckinghamshire Railway Centre, Quainton, organised by the Trust. This included a rally of Napier motor cars, a demonstration run by the Napier Railton car, a run by a Deltic locomotive and static displays of many products that had been produced by the company.

For further information about the Trust and its activities, and also how to join, visit the NPHT Web Site.


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Last modified:
22 August 2012