London Comet exhibits not on show

Henry Bell & Comet
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London_Science_Museum_thumb_medium200_144THREE important Henry Bell exhibits at the London Science Museum in South Kensington are in storage and no longer on display.

Until the summer of 2012 a rigged model of the Comet, Alexander Nasmyth's representation of the Comet on the Forth, and Symington's Dalswinton engine were on show in the Marine Engines area of the Shipping Galleries on the second floor.

However the Shipping Galleries closed in the autumn, to be replaced by a new Communications Gallery scheduled to open in the autumn of 2014.

John Liffen, Curator of Communications, said: "The three Henry Bell items have been removed to store. Unfortunately the way museum galleries are planned these days means it is not possible to 'squeeze in' the Comet exhibits elsewhere in the museum.

"It is ironic that it had to happen during the bicentenary year, but it is just the way it turned out."

Mr Liffen added that there was a possibility the model and the painting might be available to go out on loan to other museums.

However the actual Comet engine will remain on display on the ground floor in the 'Making the Modern World' area.

The Comet's original cylinder is on show along with other Henry Bell items at the Riverside Musem of Transport and Travel in Glasgow.