Alaskan Malamute Working Association Christmas Trek on Salisbury Plain - 28.12.18
This event was the annual event of the working long distance trek organised by the Alaskan Malamute Working Association.
THE COURSE: The course provides the option of short and long distance treks which will be altered depending on weather and trail conditions.
There will also be a night Trek, tonight.
TRAIL DESCRIPTION: Gently undulating over Salisbury Plains, the trail is flinty in places and therefore dog boots are advisable.
There has been a lot of rain recently and a slight frost overnight making it ideal for the dogs, but no so good for the organisers and those out marshalling etc.
Parts of the course were still covered by a blanket of thick fog through out today. Several competitors were caught out by deep water in the tracks and getting caught, out of their depth. The dogs of course love the water, making it difficult to steer around the obstacle.
Howitzer in Swindon - Wednesdsay 24th October 2018
UPDATE: After speaking to Colin Hatch I am pleased to confirm that a total of £870.08 was raised during the trip with the proceeds going to SSAFA.
Timings and places visited:
The Howitzer & Burrell will remain at STEAM to be on show at the Swindon Beer Festival, 25th to 27th October. The replica Works Hooter mounted on the roof of STEAM will be powered by the boiler of the Burrell during these dates.
Salisbury Carnival - 19th October 2018
I travelled with The Little Gem from its base at Berwick St John near Shaftesbury. I escorted the engine to Salisbury for the evening carnival. The Little Gem makes this journey every year, along with several other engines, that parade through the Salisbury City streets. This engine has been used over recent years to raise money for the Salisbury Hospital Stars Appeal Charity.
The roads on route to Salisbury are to say the least not exactly wide! They are however very picturesque, it made a lovely change to be in such scenery in the bright sunshine. We did meet a great deal of traffic, which did in most cases move over for us, when asked. Others who did not take the advice, soon found themselves reversing back past the escort vehicle, to find a wider piece of road as originally advised, having suddenly seen several tons of steam engine in the road coming towards them. Despite these minor problems, we made good time, getting into Salisbury before dark and ready to start the carnival.
The crew are used to this engine and they run through the valley often. For me, although I do know the area, it was my first time on the road with this The Little Gem crew, but its like all the other engines I travel with, the drivers and crews etc are very well practiced in negotiating traffic hazards. We did get slightly delayed through the Churchfields Industrial Estate in Salisbury, as it was home time by then for the people leaving Salisbury, via the local narrow 'rat run' to avoid traffic delays, but again, as soon as people saw the engine, steam bearing down the road, the gap soon becomes wider, allowing safe passage.
Thank you to Richard Pocock and Louise Hall the engine owners, for the entertainment. I will be looking forward to repeating this journey in the wonderful Chalke Valley.
The Route taken: Berwick St John, Alvediston , Ebbesbourne Wake West End, Fifield Bavant, Broad Chalke, Bishopstone, Stratford Toney, Salisbury Race Course. Netherhampton, Quidhampton, Lower Bemerton, Churchfield Industrial Estate, Salisbury Railway Station, Fisherton Street to the Central Car Park.
This took around 4 hours and included service stops and water stops along the route.
Top speed is usually around 6 MPH not bad for an engine of 84, that was never built to be fast.
1933 Foster Traction Engine (VL4777) The Little Gem 5nhp Engine No 14638. Possibly one of the last single cylinder engines built in the UK.
Owner Richard Pocock of Shaftesbury Dorset.
Annual Road Run from around GDSF to the Royal Oak, Okeford Fitzpaine - 13.10.18
With the standard of the entry on these get togethers, who could want to miss the spectacle, with machinery over 100 years of age passing and briefly stopping outside some even older properties.
Although the engines all started at different times and came from different directions, several having set off from the Old Dorset Steam Fair site at Stourpaine Bushes taking a breakfast halt on the outskirts of Blandford, most travelled via Durweston to the meeting place at the Old Ox Inn in Shillingstone, here some had spent the night.
From the Old Ox Inn there was no set route but I travelled with the engines to Sturminster Newton, via Fiddleford. Here, the engines lined up in the High Street near the Museum in the centre of the town. The local residents had some minor disruptions but most seemed very pleased to see what had arrived.
After about an hour the convoy left Sturminster Newton and headed for Okeford Fitzpaine where a steam party with entertainment was provided at The Royal Oak, in the middle of the village. By the time we arrived, 13 engines had gathered in a car park, you could not believe possible to house that many exhibits.
Some of the engines on the road run were as follows:
Foden steam wagon
Allchin General Purpose Engine, 669 "Bess" - Built in 1890, AP 9081
1928 Aveling & Porter 4 nhp Showman’s Tractor - Rambler - Works No.12115 - Reg. No. VW 5172.
Burrell Showmans Road Locomotive, 3949 "Princess Mary" - Built in 1922, NO 8287
Marshall Road Locomotive, 68632 "Ben Lomond" - Built in 1915, KE 2361
Burrell Showmans Road Locomotive, 3896 "Earl Beatty" - Built in 1921, CO 4052
Gillingham Carnival - 6.10.18
The cavalcade of steam heads the carnival illuminated procession, as it has in previous years. The mastermind behind this steam event, is Mr Nick Baker who was driving The Duke of Kent steam road loco, with other invited guests.
Mr Baker had 17 engines taking part, and these were at the head of the procession which started at approx. 19:15, from the Brickfields Industrial Estate, along the High Street, then up Queens Street to a dispersal area near Fairy Crescent.
The engines were in some cases towing the showmans locos, this was to enable the showman’s locos to use their generators, to light up their engines. They are not able to do this whilst travelling along under their own steam, as the regulator on the dynamo would not be under constant power.
The road run during the day on Saturday was to The Dolphin and Motcombe on Sunday.
Engines taking part during Saturday and Sunday were:
Burrell Road Locomotive No. 3593 Duke of Kent, Built 1914 6nhp Double Crank Compound Reg No. KE3865
Burrell Showmans Locomotive No. 3896 Earl Beatty, 8 NHP Showman’s Scenic vehicle, Reg No. CO4052.
Foster Traction Engine No 14638, The Little Gem, Built 1933, 5nhp Engine Reg No: VL4777
Marshall Road Locomotive, 68632 "Ben Lomond" - Built in 1915, KE 2361
Marshall Traction Engine No. 55924 BF 7865 - built in 1911
Burrell Showmans Road Locomotive 3949, Princess Mary
1890 Allchin No 669 AP9081 'Bess' AP9081
Fowler General Purpose Engine 11814, "Berkshire Tariff Queen"
Sentinel Wagon 8393, HMS Sultan
Garrett Tractor 34461, Victoria
Wallis & Steevens Road Roller, 7844 "Old Ken", HO 6442
Garrett Showmans Tractor 33505, Rambler, BJ 4308
1910 Burrell 7 nhp Road Loco and Crane Engine - Old Tim Works No. 3197 - Reg. No. AB 8904.
Fowler & Co. (Leeds) Ltd. 1929 Fowler 8nhp 21 ton B6 Crane Engine - Wolverhampton Wanderer, Works no. 17212 - Reg. no. RF 6092. 1929 8nhp
Burrell Road Loco - Albert Too
4 inch McLaren Road Locomotive called 'Murphy'.
Foden Steam Wagon
Berwick St John Country Fayre - 15.09.2018 & 16.09.2018
Update - Following the Presentation Evening it was revelaed that a staggering £50,968.48 was raised - Congratulations to everyone involved.
Berwick St John holds is biennial Country Fayre in September two weeks following the Dorset Steam Fair.
The Fayre is run by a few Directors and a dedicated team of Committee members, with the entire local community getting involved. The Fayre is run for the benefit of a charity chosen by all those involved.
The first Fayre was in 1992 which was in aid of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, since then other charities which have been supported include Bliss, Naomi House, Great Ormond Street Hospital, Multiple Sclerosis, Asthma UK, Diabetes UK, CLIC, Salisbury Hospital Stars Appeal, and the Dorset Kidney Fund. Since 1992 an incredible amount of money for a small community has been raised and over £200,000 has been given to these charities.
(Above taken from Berwick St John Country Fayre website)
Travelling through the Fovant Valley, I caught up with the White Family on the road from Netley Marsh to The Berwick St John Country Fayre, with their Foden steam wagons.
Foden Steam Wagon, Pride of Burley, Reg No M7124, Works No 5078, Built 1914 Owned by Mike White, Hampshire. Supplied new in 1914 to the Royal Naval Air Service, Chassis built 5 feet longer than standard to accommodate carrying Air craft components. Present owner purchased the Foden in 2017.
Foden Steam Wagon Enterprise, Works No 12116, Built 1925, Reg No TU1215, Owned by Martin White Hampshire. Supplied new to W J King Of Somerset, where it was used for road making and quarry works, until it laid up in 1930s. Sold with 8 other steam wagons at the infamous Kings Auction in 1988. Acquired by the present owner Martin White of Hampshire in 2003.
I cannot recall seeing so many Field Marshall tractors at an event! At the Berwick Country Fayre there were not only tractors, but also several Marshall traction engines, these were all on display as a separate Marshall exhibit.
There must have been over a hundred other vintage tractors on display, as well as another group with various implements giving demonstrations in the working area.
Netheravon Soapbox Challenge 2018 - 08.09.18
Supporting All Saints Church, Netheravon, racing began at 11 am with two soap boxes at a time, racing down the steep grass bank of the lovely setting of Netheravon House, adjacent to All Saints Church in Netheravon.
Each race only lasted up to approximately 20 seconds so it came down to 1/10 & 1/100 of a second to win! Some of the Soap Boxes entered were “Flow” or the Rocket from Wavin Chippenham – “Paddy Power” by Paddy Jones & his troop – “Really Good Value” the RGV bath and “Barrel of Fun” by Tig from Netheravon The weather was perfect and the Races were really fun, although there were a few scary moments there were no serious crashes or injuries The winner or Champion of the Hill was Theo in the “Wheelbarrow” Soapbox.
Netheravon House, built in the 18th century for the Beech family and extended in 1791. Evidence of a Roman villa has been found on part of its site. An 18th-century dovecote stands in the grounds to the north of the house, In 1898 Michael Hicks Beach sold the house and estate to the War Office.
Military activity was first established at Netheravon in 1904 with the creation of a cavalry school under the sponsorship of Major General Robert Baden-Powell as the Inspector General of Cavalry. Baden-Powell envisioned developments in the use of Cavalry following his experiences in Southern Africa and India, and lessons from the Second Boer War. The school emphasised the use of cavalry for scouting and reconnaissance, recognising that the traditional effects of mass of cavalry had been diminished by the availability of modern weapons. The Officers' was established at Netheravon House.
CTP Autumn Road Run - 02.09.18
Always taking place on the first Sunday in September. This road run started and ended at Salisbury Livestock Market, Netherhampton, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP2 8RH.
The entrants assembled from 9.30am and moved off at 10.30am, with a route of approximately 65 miles.
A relaxed event for all types of commercial vehicles over 20 years old through the New Forest, down the Coast and back to Salisbury.
Gloucestershire Vintage and Country Extravaganza Show - 3rd to 5th August 2018
I have been on the road all day with engines that are now at the show. Over 70 steam engines on site plus many more exhibits.
The Stroud Vintage Transport & Engine Club (SVTEC) stage the Annual Gloucestershire Vintage and Country Extravaganza Show at South Cerney Airfield in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. The show is widely regarded as one of the biggest and best Steam, Vintage and Countryside events in the UK and attracts thousands of exhibitors and visitors from across the country whilst actively raising thousands of pounds for both national and regional charities.
Somerset Steam & Country Show - 20th, 21st & 22nd July 2018
Friday 20th July 2018 - This years road run on the Friday was very well supported, as usual. With a long route and short route it enabled as many entries as posssible to manage the trip. A water tanker was also on route for the steam engines.
Every year the club manages to find a venue, for a halt, which is of interest, to not only the locals but also those who travel to the event. This year we visited the Smokery, near Curry Rivel, where a field had been provided for the massive entourage to park in. With food available and a tour of the smokery, many people took the opporunity to stop and partake.
It was a wonderful days entertainment, with the entries in small groups on the road sections, to prevent too much traffic disruption.
Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd July 2018 - The Wimbourne St Giles Horse Drawn Fire Engine gave a wonderful display on both days.
Market Lavington Vintage Meet - 14th & 15th July 2018
Heddington & Stockley Steam Rally & Country Fair - 7th & 8th July 2018
Based in the picturesque village of Heddington, the Heddington & Stockley Steam Rally welcomed thousands from across the country and beyond thanks to the beautiful sunshine and the unmistakable sounds and smells of old steam engines.
14th Wiltshire Armed Forces & Veterans Celebrations (WAFVC) 2018
The aim of the weekend was to celebrate serving personnel, their families, veterans and cadets of our armed forces. Showing support for the Armed Forces provides a much valued morale boost for the troops and their families.
Wessex Midsummer Steam & Vintage Show - 16th & 17th June 2018
The Club's annual rally which took place in Semington.
Wiltshire Steam & Vintage Rally - 9th & 10th June 2018
Rainscombe Park, Oare, was home to this rally over the weekend by kind permission of Mr Robert & Lady Julia Hiscox & Family.
The show saw record numbers, with the Bloodhound land speed record show car with childrens activities taking pride of place.
The Stunt Monkey trial bike display team entertained the crowds with two performances each day and were a welcome addition to the rally. As always, the steam engines, tractors and stationary engines pulled in the crowds, with parades taking place around the show arena and working areas. The show had something for everyone including a marriage proposal on top of Martinsell Hill!
Whilst at the Wiltshire Steam & Vintage Rally in Rainscombe Park, Oare, having travelled to the event with John of Gaunt and other engines in convoy, we were
discussing previous engine history and it came to light that two of the engines had spent time in a building, under the ownership of Ron Deamer of Chatteris, Cambridgeshire until 1971.
The engines were Burrel Road Loco engine number 4066, 5 NHP, VF 589 now known as John of Gaunt and Clayton & Shuttleworth General Purpose Tracton engine number 47216, 7NHP, CT 4817 known as Lady
Both engines were then sold, John of Gaunt being purchased by John & Brenda Newton and Lady Jean being purchased by Phillip Johnson, the current owner’s late Father.
The history unfolded during the conversation between Barnaby Newton and Robert Johnson. I informed the event organisers and a plan was formulated. To mark the occasion of the reunion of the engines, they were permitted into the arena to lead the finale of steam engines on the Sunday. Barnaby Newton kindly took over the commentary, while the engines and crews lined up in the main arena, this also gave people the opportunity to take photographs. This was followed by a steam parade of all the other steam exhibits in the arena, with a whistle blowing contest to end the show.
It would appear, as far as I can find out from history, that the last time the two engines were seen together, would have been at the Hungerford Rally in 1978, 40 years that weekend.
Selwood Steam & Vintage Rally - 26th to 28th May 2018
The annual Selwood Steam & Vintage Rally took place in Southwick, near Trowbridge. Despite some overnight and early morning rain, it was very dry and warm with firm ground.
There was a good selection of steam traction engines and rollers, both full size and miniature, with 12 full size steam engines in attendance. Some of the exhibits at the show had been to Castle Combe and The Three Okefords' rallies.
Steam engine owners also took on the task of providing Charity trailer rides around the site in aid of the Click Sargent Charity, a cancer charity for children and young people.
The lawnmower racing, was as always pretty thrilling, with some very fast and furious action.
Other displays and exhibits included tractors, commercial vehicles, military vehicles, motorcycles, vintage cars and so much more. This year's rally also featured a fun fair, dog agility displays, Wild West display and Rock & Roll Dancing to mention but a few.
Three Okefords' Preservation Society Ltd Annual Rally - 19th & 20th May 2018
The Three Okefords' rally, a very relaxed and enjoyable rally, was held at Shillingstone near Blandford, with full size and miniature steam engines, tractors, tractor pulling, vintage cars and commercial vehicles. Live music included Shaftesbury Town Silver Band, Tom & the Clemantynes, Raising Steam and Pinkman.
Castle Combe Steam Rally - 19th & 20th May 2018
The Castle Combe Steam & Vintage Rally in its 33rd year, featured all the old favourites including displays of vintage steam engines, tractors, cars, military vehicles and motorcycles. Fairground rides and attractions kept the children entertained and Saturday evening music for the second year running was provided by Tundra.
Ken Fox Hell Riders Wall Of Death World Tour was back for 2018, a must see show. From Portsmouth, saw the Tigers Children Motorcycle Display Team which entertained the crowds in the main arena. The Hullavington Model Aircraft Club (HMAC) were back again flying around the site.
I was out on the road with the steam engines travelling to Castle Combe. A Ruston Proctor Steam Tractor, Independence, Ted Haggard and a Fowler T3 Steam Roller all made their way to Castle Combe by road. Unfortunately the Ruston had a few problems and had to divert to a yard on route, for some boiler tube rectifications.
Also on the road was a 1929 Fowler 7nhp 10 ton traction engine "Saraben" works No. 18539 Reg. No. NM 74 which had to have a few running repairs, but these were carried out on the roadside by the crew. The engine, with husband and wife crew, continued to the event.
Basingstoke Festival of Transport - 13.05.18
The 27th Basingsstoke Festival of Transport 2018, took place in the War Memorial Park, organised by the Thorneycroft Society with the help of Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, Basingstoke Classic Car Club and the Basingstoke Deane Rotary Club.
Over 900 vehicles attended, with a huge range of vehicles on static display, including classic, vintage, commercial vehicles, fire engines and military trucks. There were also a variety of specialist car clubs, trade stalls and catering outlets.
Carters Steam Fair Steam Spectacular - Pinkneys Green - 12th & 13th May 2018
A road run of vintage vehicles left the Fair in Pinkneys Green at 10:00 on Saturday, as they took a tour around Maidenhead, headed down to the riverside via Gringer Hill then back up Castle Hill, returning to Pinkneys Green to enable the trucks to get ready to power the fairground rides over the weekend. This is the one time in the year that Carters run all rides on steam generated energy, using showman's engines. Saturday night ended with a free firework display.
The Big Ford Tractor Working Day - 07.05.18
Co-ordinated with help from the Big Ford Tractor Register and hosted by kind permission of A J Butler, the event took place at St Edith's Marsh, Bromham near Devizes.
The gathering was supported by T H White and New Holland, in addition to the Devizes and Malmesbury Young Farmers Club.
The Big Ford Tractor Register and Devizes Young Farmers organised another Working Day after the success of the 2017 Big Ford 100 Event. Money was collected in aid of Dorothy House Hospice and Wiltshire Air Ambulance.
Big Fords, County, Roadless and New Hollands etc either working or on static display were all there. Refreshments were provided and entertainment for the children. Trailer rides around the site were also available.
Tractors & Stationary Engine Rally Weekend - 6th & 7th May 2018
This great friendly show took place in John Marshall's Yard, Kingsley Hampshire with all proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Support.
A small friendy rally with lots to see, from cars, tractors, stationary engines, motorbikes, commercial and military vehicles, stands, miniature steam and much more.
One item on show which caught my eye was a Ruston & Hornsby 2YBA 15HP 1500RPM nicknamed 'Yellow Beast' driving a stamford alternator 9.5 KVA made in 1963. The 'Yellow Beast' was found in a scrapyard on the Isle of Wight, in 2000, with three hours on the clock, having previously been used as a standby generator in a pumphouse.
The weekend saw the 'Yellow Beast' supplying power to the tea urn for Macmillan Cancer Support, an excellent use of power and a lovely cup of tea, in addition to the wonderful cake!
Berwick St John Country Fayre Limited - An exciting & unique one off Grand Tour of Salisbury Plain Tractor/Landrover Road Run (32 miles) - 29.04.18.
The meeting point, start and finish was at Rollestone Grain Silo’s SP3 4DS with an approx start time of 10.00am. This years event, consisting mainly of vintage tractors and light 4 x 4 vintage vehicles, on a very rural route, was around 32 miles in total.
The route headed north to the Bustard, where it joined the southern transit route heading eastwards to join the old Marlborough road. A short trip round the back of Sidbury Hill followed, returning to the transit route near Everleigh. Crossing the road here, the route headed west through Baden’s Clump and Baden Down Farm, to the lunch venue at Enford Village Hall. The run returned to the start venue after lunch, via a separate road to Baden Down Farm, East Chisenbury via the tank crossing, a longish run along the edge of the impact area, via Lavington Folly and then a right turn at Wexland Farm, through to Robin Hood's Ball and back to the Bustard Crossroads.
To see the convoy approaching in places spread over more than 4 miles was quite a sight to see.
During this Grand Tour 11,600+ visiting troops from different countries were on a large military exercise on Salisbury Plain. I wonder that they thought seeing this amount of traffic approaching?!!
The organisers Richard Pocock and Louise Hall and their team, are terrific fundraisers. Not only do they raise funds from the Berwick St John events, they also run the charity rides around the heavy haulage arena, (known as the play pen) at The Great Dorset Steam Fair, raising thousands of pounds for charities. Berwick St John Country Fayre Limited is run by a few Directors and a dedicated team of Committee members, with the entire local community getting involved.
Westbury Transport & Vintage Gathering - 28th & 29th April 2018
Westbury’s Transport and Vintage Gathering took take place the weekend of, Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th April, with a display of vintage vehicles, engines and machinery. Organised by Will and Keith Miller this was the 24th annual Transport and Vintage Gathering.
The gathering was situated on the the Bratton to Westbury Road, just ½ a mile to the west of Bratton village in the direction of Westbury, under the Westbury White Horse. The view from the site across the valley would be quite spectacular on a bright day, unfortunately it was a cold wet day but the displays were still on show, with the stationery engines working.
CTP Spring Road Run - 22.04.18
The event started at Warminster Central Car Park, Wiltshire and ended at Crockerton Shopping Centre near Warminster.
The route of about 65 miles headed north through Westbury and along the Bratton road, past the White Horse, It took in the Vale of the White Horse, returning via Devizes to the finish back near Warminster.
A relaxed event for all types of commercial vehicles over 20 years old.
CTP Gillingham Gathering with Optional Road Run - 25.03.18
This is a static event for commercial vehicles over 20 years old in and around Nick Baker's Yard, Station Road Gillingham with an optional Road Run from Warminster Central Car Park.
These vehicles in a lot of cases, are in better condition than they were when new, having been restored by the owners over many hours and even years. With around forty vehicles lined up in Warminster Central Car Park ready for the trip to Gillingham, it was for the time of year, a very good turn out.
The convoy travelled through The Square in Mere past the Clock Tower. Arthur Smith with his Willies Jeep led the military convoy through the Town, I had asked Arthur if he could get his chaps together for me and they all kindly arrived as arranged and briefly stopped on the corner, to enable me to get the photographs.
On arrival in Gillingham, we met up with many more vehicles, who went straight to the venue at Nick Bakers yard and the surrounding car parks.
If you have any queries or wish to purchase a photograph, please contact me:
If you wish to send a donation to the Alzheimer's Society, please print out and send with a form from their dedicated page. This will inform the Society that your donation came via this website!