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Thread: In Memoriam, Ralph Watson.

  1. #1

    In Memoriam, Ralph Watson.

    In Memoriam, Ralph Watson.

    23/8/16, marks the tenth anniversary of the death of a longstanding motor sports competitor of the old school and specially talented engineer, Ralph Ogden Watson.

    I for one very much miss the much valued intellectual discussions covering many subjects sadly now no longer possible. However I intend to visit Ralph’s parent’s grave at Purewa, where his ashes are interned and where in spirit, I will fondly hope for a further intuitive chat.

    Although not readily understood, deep down Ralph was a very nice guy in every respect and a true friend. I am confident that he rests in peace. It is an honour to remember him.

    http://ralphwatson.scienceontheweb.net/

    http://www.speedsportblog.com/2014/0...echanical.html

    Trevor.
    Last edited by Trevor Sheffield; 08-23-2017 at 05:27 AM.

  2. #2
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Sheffield View Post
    In Memoriam, Ralph Watson.

    Friday 26/8/16, marks the tenth anniversary of the death of a longstanding motor sports competitor of the old school and specially talented engineer, Ralph Ogden Watson.

    I for one very much miss the much valued intellectual discussions covering many subjects sadly now no longer possible. However I intend to visit Ralph’s parent’s grave at Purewa, where his ashes are interned and where in spirit, I will fondly hope for a further intuitive chat.

    Although not readily understood, deep down Ralph was a very nice guy in every respect and a true friend. I am confident that he rests in peace. It is an honour to remember him.

    http://ralphwatson.scienceontheweb.net/

    http://www.speedsportblog.com/2014/0...echanical.html

    Trevor.
    Trevor, thank you a great tribute to a man who was a genius in engineering, and well known to my Uncle Eddie Dowding, I met him once at my house in 1981 or so, when he visited my flatmate Lyle Chambers who had a BSA Special sports car.

  3. #3
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Ralph Watson - Special Engineer - Tevor Sheffield's link..

    Bruce Dyer sent me a few photos of LX 5504 Ralph Watson's BSA Special, that is covered in Trevor's articles.
    Was looking for a " NZ Specials thread " but couldn't find one on TRS.. could be a new one is required..??

    The photos date from 1998 from the same set as some Bucklers and other cars taken at Manfield and Taupo.

    Name:  Bruce Dyer collection #10 BSA Special - Ralph Watson LX5504 #3 int CCI08012017_0009 (760x512).jpg
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    Name:  Bruce Dyer collection #11 BSA Special - Ralph Watson LX5504 #4 CCI08012017_0010 (760x503).jpg
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    Name:  Bruce Dyer collection #12 BSA Special - Ralph Watson LX5504 #5 rr CCI08012017_0011 (760x517).jpg
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    Name:  Bruce Dyer collection #13 BSA Special - Ralph Watson LX5504 #6 fr CCI08012017_0012 (760x505).jpg
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    Name:  Bruce Dyer collection #8 BSA Special - Ralph Watson LX5504 #1 CCI08012017_0007 (760x508).jpg
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    Name:  Bruce Dyer collection #9 BSA Special - Ralph Watson LX5504 #2CCI08012017_0008 (760x509).jpg
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  4. #4
    World Champion ERC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Dowding View Post
    Name:  Bruce Dyer collection #11 BSA Special - Ralph Watson LX5504 #4 CCI08012017_0010 (760x503).jpg
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    Jim Short's Ferrari replica in the background?

  5. #5
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERC View Post
    Jim Short's Ferrari replica in the background?
    Ray, thanks - Jim had some great cars over the years, in these Bruce Dyer " Spgeti " photos there are some great cars in the background .. must let Jim and Stuart see the picture

  6. #6
    Semi-Pro Racer Spgeti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ERC View Post
    Jim Short's Ferrari replica in the background?
    Yes it is Ray.

  7. #7

    Ralph's Rotary-valve Engine.

    [QUOTE=Roger Dowding;56887]Bruce Dyer sent me a few photos of LX 5504 Ralph Watson's BSA Special, that is covered in Trevor's articles.
    Was looking for a " NZ Specials thread " but couldn't find one on TRS.. could be a new one is required..??

    The photos date from 1998 from the same set as some Bucklers and other cars taken at Manfield and Taupo.

    Special thanks Roger,

    Great photos from Bruce Dyer and great that they are preserved here. The Watson BSA Special in its final form is very special indeed and has significance on the world stage.

    It demonstrates a world first and a unique 1990 achievement, i.e. the successful design and production of a viable rotary-valve engine. In fact it constitutes a piece of ongoing mechanical history and as such the BSA Special has intrinsic value beyond that of the usual collectable car. Hopefully therefore it will always remain treasured and cared for, but should remain in action continuing its extensive history in competition in accordance with the creator’s wishes, rather than stagnate as a static show piece.

    Owner Martin Ferner wrote to Ralph, 12/11/ 2002. —-

    “ In fact it is a continuing surprise. I am dumfounded at the amazing torque available at low revs. If one parallels it to a poppet valve motor, with what must be regarded as fairly wild valve opening periods, I would expect little torque at low revs and a strong band of torque at higher revs when the gas flow is established. This engine seems to pull lustily from low revs and to do so evenly over a wide range.”

    Ralph ranked the rotary-valve as his major achievement, for very good reason. His unique rotary-valve design was not the result of an accidental whim, or a lucky conception. The innovative and absolutely novel main seal which he designed, comprised the key to the success of the project.

    It is surprising that there was not the necessity for several prototypes and endless costly modification and testing. I was witness to same when in Australia together with Ralph visiting an engine development company. Significantly Ralph was unable to glean any useful information. This specialist organisation had been previously working on a rotary valve design for a considerable time backed by overseas finance and assistance from Briggs and Stratton, but they had given up in desperation up after a great deal of time and money had been spent.

    Ralph’s inventive design incorporates several completely novel features and as such would have supported patent protection, but this prospect was rejected on grounds that those close to him could appreciate.

    Those interested will find full details here. —-

    http://ralphwatson.scienceontheweb.net/rotary.html
    Last edited by Trevor Sheffield; 01-13-2017 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Date amended.

  8. #8

    R I P, Ralph Watson, Kiwi Special Engineer.

    R I P, Ralph Watson, Kiwi Special Engineer.

    23/07/1918 — 23/08/2006

    http://ralphwatson.scienceontheweb.net
    Last edited by Trevor Sheffield; 08-23-2017 at 09:11 AM.

  9. #9
    R I P, Ralph Watson, our Very Special Kiwi Engineer.

    23/07/1918 — 23/08/2006

    http://ralphwatson.scienceontheweb.net
    Last edited by Trevor Sheffield; 08-22-2020 at 05:01 AM.

  10. #10
    A "Small" tribute to Ralph Watson

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  11. #11

    Absolutely Remarkable Tribute.

    Quote Originally Posted by chaindrive View Post
    A "Small" tribute to Ralph Watson

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    You have done Ralph proud.

    Please post detailed information concerning the construction of the model as well as your plans covering its upkeep. It comprises everlasting memorabilia beyond its intrinsic value and should remain preserved in-perpetuity.

  12. #12
    Thanks Trevor. It's not very accurate or detailed. Did this a few years ago now by using pics to make drawings. It's sort of former and planking method using styrene plastic sheet. !/24 scale. Think the son has put his order in !!

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by chaindrive View Post
    Thanks Trevor. It's not very accurate or detailed. Did this a few years ago now by using pics to make drawings. It's sort of former and planking method using styrene plastic sheet. !/24 scale. Think the son has put his order in !!
    Good news. If it stays within the family it is likely to remain preserved. It has been sculptured very well and there is certainly sufficient excellent detail. I have a single copy of my book waiting for a good home and if you do not already have one, I would like you to have it so that it can be partnered with and remain with the the model. Send me a PM.

  14. #14
    World Champion Roger Dowding's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trevor Sheffield View Post
    Good news. If it stays within the family it is likely to remain preserved. It has been sculptured very well and there is certainly sufficient excellent detail. I have a single copy of my book waiting for a good home and if you do not already have one, I would like you to have it so that it can be partnered with and remain with the the model. Send me a PM.
    What a great thought Trevor, as we know " Chaindrive " has made many great models of " significant " New Zealand Cars,both Specials and well known Imported racers - from the 1950's to more recent.

    " Chaindrive " - next project could be the Ralph Watson BSA Special - I have a number of photos of the car taken by " Spgeti " plus a few of my own, and many borrowed from Trevor's book.
    [I have the revised Edition in Book form and the Original as a link on my Laptop ]. Plus some photos from others.

    Last photo I took of the car was 2017 at Chelsea Walsh, the last time the event was run. Ray Ferner through the sweeper

    This from 1985 at Maioro Road, Otaua, near Waiuku, the Austin Healey Club Hill Climb.
    I see a mention in Trevors Book that ;
    " The following events were entered after the car had returned early in 1985 to where it began its second life as a special, .. "

    It mentions
    " Classic Car Race Meeting,Whenuapai Airfield "
    " Two hillclimb events "

    The photo would have been at one of the two hillclimbs

    ...

    Name:  BSA Special #135 AHCCNZ Otaua Hill Climb 1985 BSA special Ralph Watsons car - driver not sure CC.jpg
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    Last edited by Roger Dowding; 08-28-2020 at 11:19 PM.

  15. #15

    THE ROTARY VALVE ENGINE.

    The late Ralph Watson stands as the only engineer, let alone individual, to have designed a truly successful rotary valve internal combustion engine. To have also produced, evaluated and tested his technically novel design, renders him absolutely unique within history.

    The BSA special is representative of this achievement and as such remains a priceless exhibit.

    I have endeavoured to arrange without success, an update and correction in respect of the entry covering the rotary valve, which appears in “Wikipedia” the free online encyclopaedia. I see it as more than unfortunate that the names the of the unsuccessful remain specifically recorded, whereas our Kiwi, Ralph Watson, as the true inventor, becomes entirely overlooked.

    It would appear that some form of membership in respect of Wikipedia is required. PLEASE, does any member here have the facility and or online skills called for, in order to conclude what must constitute a very worthwhile project ?
    Last edited by Trevor Sheffield; 08-29-2020 at 03:49 AM. Reason: Addition.

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