Here we have an involved story, some elements of which are still uncertain. It begins with one Mr W.A. (Alex) Cuthbert whom, it is understood, had a garage in Guildford and an interest in Warner Engineering the makers of a special-purpose lathe designed by him. Cuthbert is known in motoring circles for racing his Riley Cuthbert Special and his story (and that of an Aston Martin he owned from new in 1932) is being researched by Steve Waddinton and Martin Saul. If anyone is able to add to the story, both would be interested to hear from you.
Not really a lathe, but actually a con-rod boring machine made for use in the engine reconditioning trade, this machine was, apparently first constructed by a London Company, Warner Engineering. At some point during WW2, having being bombed out of their premises, they relocated to Guildford in Surrey, to a factory opposite Reffells Engineering, who specialised in the rebuilding of IC engines. From there they moved to Godalming, in Surrey, becoming Cuthbert Machine Tools of Guildford and finally, in 1956, to Chichester in Sussex. For some time it was believed that the first machine discovered (and shown below) had originated from Reffells - in 1946 Harry Taylor, the foreman of that concern, had offered the machine to the father of the present custodian in exchange for a worn out Myford/Drummond lathe that Harry wanted for model making. Upon handing over the machine, Harry said, "I think we have enough castings around to put another lathe together"; however, he did not mean Reffells, but Warner Engineering, where he had previously been employed and from where he must have obtained the machine. Just post-war, in a time of great shortages, anything that resembled a small lathe was greatly sought after - and so it comes as no surprise that it was adapted for other than its original purpose. However, another branding that has come to light is "TW Monoturn" - a name that certainly suggests use as a lathe rather than a specialised machine for use in engine reconditioning.
In summary, the Cuthbert 'Lathe' lathe is strictly a Warner Engineering Ltd. (Guildford) con rod boring machine - the tailstock, which was bolted to the bed in its original incarnation, had no means of feeding the barrel and no guiding tongue and the 3-jaw chuck was mounted on an adapter held in the taper of the headstock spindle.
Of simple but rugged construction, the headstock carried a spindle with a 1.125" bore, a No. 4 Morse socket and a 1.5" x 8 t.p.i. nose. The spindle ran in sump-lubricated, taper-roller bearings with its drive pulley mounted in an overhung position outboard of the left-hand bearing. Fastened to a plate, the motor was hinged from the back of the cast-iron chip tray and drove, via a 3-step pulley, to a matching pulley on a countershaft behind and below the headstock. Final drive to the spindle could be by belt or chain - the former providing high speeds and the latter low. For chain-drive, a small gearbox was positioned inboard of the countershaft's 3-step pulley, with engagement of the gears by a turning a forwards-pointing knob positioned to the left and under the headstock. Before the chain-drive could be used, the belt drive had to be disconnected by unscrewing a large knob on the left of the countershaft pulley - an action akin to releasing the bullwheel from the spindle on a conventional lathe. The spindle- bearing lubrication system was interesting: the oil in the sump level was set just above the inner lip of the bearing with shaped aluminium plates, pressed outboard against the bearings, in an attempt to retain the lubricant inside the headstock. Inevitable, oil leaked from the outboard end of the spindle but, as there no oil-level sight-glass, when the leak stopped the operator knew it was time to top up.
Of typically English construction, the (very heavy) bed had a flat top and 60 degree sides; running along it was a carriage of the simplest possible design with the saddle and (minimal) apron cast as one and a single, non-swivelling cross slide (with front and rear toolposts) set to its extreme left-hand side with no supporting arms to take tool thrust between it and the headstock.