2019 Events 

The Wessex Stationary Engine Club - End of Season Crank Up - 29.12.19
The Wessex Stationary Engine Club held its end of season crank up near Trowbridge.
Basically the club members had a get together, under cover at one of the members barns, they did of course bring along their very varied machines and ran them for the day.
This is a very informal event and refreshments were all laid on, plus a raffle in support of a local charity.
I was invited to pop along and was very well looked after during my visit.
I did meet some of the members last year during the summer and of course do often see them at events through the year.
The photographs show a machine built in the 1920s by Bamfords, long before it became the famous name, the company is today.
The machine was still looking very good and runs like clockwork, I spoke with the owner, who is in his 80s talking over the past and how he has restored and looks after the engine.
A very brief history on Bamfords now J.C. Bamford Excavators Ltd.   JCB was founded in 1945
In 1871 land at Leighton District near to North Staffordshire railway, was acquired and became Leighton iron works.  This eventually became the present Factory site.
By 1881 the Bamford Catalogue ran to 40 pages, listing agricultural machinery. 
In 1882 a milestone for the company was reached when a Royal no 5 horse drawn mowing machine was produced and made Bamfords famous.
This machine was exported to several Governments of Europe and the Colonies.
In 1967 J C Bamfords excavators LTD started an apprentice training school, with an apprentices hostel located near to the factory.
The company today has depots based in countries world wide.
After 100 years there are still 3 of the Bamford family engaged in the business.
AMWA Christmas Long Distance Trek - Larkhill - by Kind Permission of the Ministry of Defence - 28/29.12.19
This years event was held on the 28th and 29th of December with 22 crews entered.  Suzy was trailblazing and in fact the only competitor to complete the 3 long treks.
Saturday 28th December 2019 (Day & night Treks)
Long Distance (22-25 miles)
Night Trek (10-12 miles)
Sunday 29th December 2019 (Day Treks)
Long Distance (22-25 miles)
I have decided this is a dangerous sport for camera men!  Note the riderless dog team, the dogs and the deep water.  What do I do?  Yes head for the deep water and yes I was standing in the wrong place, between them and the water!!
Another photograph shows the team having passed me at speed and then stopping, realising something was not right.
The other photographs show the dogs looking very pleased with themselves, while we have a friendly chat, as we waited for other crews.  Richard kindly explained some of situations they get into.
This team of dogs do not both belong to him, the one on the right having a howl is his, the other chap on the left watching me, is on lone from the breeder.  
How amazing that they can work in such a way as a team, without any fear of them getting out of hand, and Richard, despite being a distance from them, can still control them and give them the confidence to compete over difficult ground.
Thank you to John and his team for yet again allowing me full access to the event.
Hungerford Extravaganza 2019 - 13.12.19
“Maggie” Hornsby General Purpose engine 8NHP No 6557 Reg Number FL 2598 went to Hungerford for the  Extravaganza.
The engine was out on the road this weekend at 132 years of age, it is one of the oldest Agricultural or General Purpose Engines to do so.  I met up with the engine and crew on the road to Hungerford for the Extravaganza in the towns high street.
Built in 1887, one of seven to survive, from the early period, the others survived in either Australia or Tasmania, where they worked.
New to Ratcliffe & Co Derby and later with Harry Gibbons & Sons, of Caister Peterborough, for contract threshing for 38 years.
In 1963 it was purchased by Mr D G Thackett of Ross-On-Wye for preservation, in September 1977 it was sold to Bob Markham.
The present owner purchased the engine in 1999 and it has since been restored to its present condition by Clive Hartwright, Hungerford, Berkshire.
Fairground attractions and entertainers of various kinds paraded through the Town Centre.
A traditional steam engine and fairground organs, food and charity stalls.  Many of the town’s shops stayed open for the evening, along with all of its pubs and restaurants. An evening’s great entertainment was on offer to all and sundry.
Every year on the second Friday of December, the 13th this year, the Hungerford Extravaganza heralds the arrival of Christmas in the town, as though by magic it is transformed into a wonderland of delights; the High Street and Bridge Street filled with Side-Shows, a Helter-Skelter, a Big Wheel, Steam Engine, Fair-Ground Organs and rides.
The day starts early with local dignitaries in Victorian garb braving the elements, and partaking of a large breakfast on the steps of the Town Hall supplied by the Three Swans Hotel. Pedestrian barriers go up; the lorries start to arrive with all the equipment, shops do their last minute titivation to their window displays.
At 5pm the official opening takes place with the cutting of the tape and the bands start up. The Scottish Pipe Band, the Hungerford Town Band and others, not forgetting the music of the Victorian Organs, bring the evening to life. The bustling street scene has Punch and Judy shows, Stilt Walkers, Clowns, Jugglers and especially for the children, Father Christmas. Add the smells of roasting chestnuts and it completes the feeling of having gone back in time.
At 7.00pm the Grand Parade starts in Bridge Street and progresses up the High Street.  The evening comes to an end as the fire-works and rockets hurtle into the air from behind The Three Swans Hotel, to provide a fitting finale at 9.00 pm.
This is followed by the prize giving for the best dressed shop windows, the best dressed shop assistants, and the best dressed stall holders.
This event is arranged by the Hungerford Chamber of Commerce and its Extravaganza Committee; it attracts more than 12,000 enthusiastic visitors and is all made possible by the generous sponsorship of the business community.
Figheldean Christmas Tree of Light Switch on - 01.12.19
Following the Christmas Fayre, the Christmas Tree of Light was switched on.  A light could be bought in memory of a loved one with all proceeds going to the Ablington woods fund.
Carol singing on Christmas Eve followed and The Grand Total raised is £732.65 towards saving Abington Woods. 
S.O.D.E.M. Road Run - Saturday 9th November 2019 on the road to the Brewery
The vehicles set off from the `Jolly Sailor`, Ashlett Creek at mid morning, in some very poor weather, with a trip through Holbury to the Vibrant Forest Brewery near Hythe.
The convoy travelled back towards the south, through Blackfield to the `Langley Tavern' Lepe Road, Blackfield, where water was available for the engines via tractor with water bowser.
Leaving the 'Langley Tavern' the route went south to the coastal road at Lepe and through to Exbury Club.  This road was in a very poor state and classed as passable with care, with some tarmac in places covered with gallons of water and tree limbs and debris from the Solent. However, full marks to the organisers who escorted the vehicles through this section which had been closed during the week due to very severe weather.
I stood here in pouring rain with hardly any visibility to get some pictures, the Isle of White is visible from here by the old Life Boat Station, but today it was a free shower of sea water and nil visibility.  I cannot recall seeing engines etc on this road and certainly not in these conditions.
Heading inland via some narrow flooded lanes, we arrived at the Exbury Club where food and warmth was available.  A welcome break, warm up and slight dry out in the Club.
The next section was on the Forest road back to the British Legion at Blackfield, at sunset.  Yes, after all the rain and wind there was a wonderful sunset.  This was followed by a short run back into Ashlett Creek to the 'Jolly Sailor'.
Full marks to the organisers for running the event, especially in this area which I do not often travel to and their hospitality, assistance and the very compact route, made for a very good and enjoyable event, despite getting rather cold and wet.  In addition, thank you to all the participants for the encouraging waves etc.  It was wonderful to see the varied machines in the beautiful surroundings.
How times have changed, with young Mr Les Searle Jnr at the helm of Puffing Billy with Father, Mr Les Searle at the stern, as conductor!  A lovely touch to see End 2 End displaying the Help for Heroes flag, well done Robin, always the Showman.
Well done Mr Marder for the steam bath at the cattle grid, very photogenic, a nice photograph to end the day.
⦁ Foden Wagon, 13316 'Sir Lionel', UU 1283 Built 1929
⦁ Foden Steam Bus 11340 "Puffing Billy"
⦁ 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 was 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.
⦁ Ruston Proctor Tractor, 52453 'The Lincoln Imp', OR 8501
⦁ Robey Tractor, 41493 "Our Nipper", MF 3946
⦁ Garrett 4 CD Showmen’s Tractor 33818 "Lady Olivia". BJ 5323
⦁ Foden Tractor 12370 Island Chief TT 8659
⦁ Foden Tractor 13762 VN 2911
⦁ Foden Scale miniature HJ16 KOU
⦁ Foden Scale miniature Q857 RNH
⦁ Model T Ford BF6525 Matt Farwell
⦁ Burrell Gold Medal Tractor No. 3245 End to End AH 054
Warminster Carnival - 26.10.19
These photographs were taken at Warminster carnival, after a very wet couple of days.  It did stay dry for the carnival evening.
Arthur Smith pictured with his Willys Jeep, is a local man from Heytesbury and he has supported the Royal British Legion on many Carnivals and events, over the years.  This is a genuine WW2 Willys Jeep under many knitted poppies!  These poppies have for a couple of years been on display at the Church in the High Street, Warminster and have now found their way  as poppy Camouflage on the Jeep for the Carnival.

Escorting 'The Little Gem' to Salisbury for Salisbury Carnival - 25.10.19

I travelled with 'The Little Gem' from its base in Berwick St John 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 used to travel to Salisbury, are to say the least not exactly wide!!!  They are however very picturesque, it usually makes a lovely change to be in such scenery in the bright sunshine.  However, this time the weather was atrocious and the light was very dark at times, making the journey very hazardous.

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, from the gloom!  The crew had actually taken the precaution of fitting LED warning lights on the front of the engine.  They also rigged a fishing umbrella to try and stay dry but it was not that successful in the terrible conditions.  Despite these minor problems, we did make good time arriving in Salisbury as it became dark and the engine was ready to start the carnival.

The crew, Marcus and Michael are used to this engine as they run through the valley often.  Although I do know the area, it was my first time on the road with 'The Little Gem' and the crew in these weather conditions.

Meeting up with Richard Pocock the engine owner,  Richard helped escort the engine through the narrow roads around the City.

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 86, 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.

The Magnum Carnival Club have been running for over 29 years and can been seen on the Wessex circuit of carnivals and also some of the Somerset Carnivals.  They have won endless awards for their Tableau float, which is something special to be seen.

Having travelled with the steam engines to carnivals and also attending many carnivals, I can reveal other interesting facts about the Magnum entry.

The tractor driver etc is none other than Gordon who is the very same tractor driver who moves all the engines at the GDSF.  His wife Paula is also one of the members on the float and is a Yeoman Warder in State dress uniform.  They are often seen either organising or taking part at steam fairs etc during the summer.

Also involved are Laura Kimber and Chris Lawson who travel to the steam events with their Marshall BF 7865 BUILT 1911 Reg no 55924 8NHP and use the engine to haul the charity rides trailers.  Laura is this year a Yeomen Warder, wearing a red and dark blue undress uniform, worn for everyday duties in the Tower.  Chris is on the road crew.

The carnival entry this year has made several efforts to reduce their impact on the environment with the Magnum Carnival Club ‘Tower of London’ cart.

Their cart was decorated with hundreds of red poppies made from recycled plastic bottles, and the bed of the cart was built using recycled plastic boards produced by local company, Stormboard, who use waste plastic material to make the reusable boards.  The use of these sheets allows Magnum to use the same flooring materials year after year, which they were unable to do using traditional plywood floors.

They have further reduced their footprint by using all LED lighting, which has reduced their generator down from 100kva to just 6.5kva.  In additon, they now only require a single tractor to move the unit from town to town.

The Barker Family
In 2016 Nick told me that he had travelled to GDSF on the road for 25 years,  that is an amazing record and I have been fortunate to be with them and at other events for many years.
2016 was also the year Nick toured London with the then 99 year old Verity, to include trips over Tower Bridge.  This was another series of fantastic journeys I was able to cover with the team Barker boys and crew.
Garrett 4nhp Showman’s Tractor No 33347 (Verity) Built 1918 Reg Number CE 8250 
Supplied new to the Ministry of munitions as a Garrett tractor.  
It is understood that the engine then passed through owners in Suffolk and Buckinghamshire before being acquired by Bryant and May in 1928.  It worked for them as a timber tractor until 1948.
The engine had a spell in Ireland before being acquired by Ray Loader of Somerset in 1981 and was then converted to Showman’s specification.
Purchased by the present owners in 2000 from Tony Harman of Surrey and refurbished.
2016 saw the engine tour London with the Carters Steam Fair.  Just two weeks later Verity was back on Carters Steam Fair duties at Prospect Park Reading.
The engine has frequently visited the Dorset Steam Fair, where it was displayed in front of the ‘Grand Palace of Entertainment’ – The Traditional Freak Show.
The annual trip to The Great Dorset Steam Fair is usually the highlight of the year when Verity and the crew team up again with Carters Steam Fair.  Verity provides the spectacle and provides the electric power for the Traditional Freak Show.
In the Autumn of 2016 Verity attended the Crofton Annual Steam Gala, Archaeologist Phil Harding who is a Patron of Crofton Beam Engines, very kindly took some time out, to enable me to photograph him with Verity.  Verity was here at her local event as always, as she is only based a few miles away.
Verity then took part in the SODEM Road Run, before she returned to Hungerford, for the Victorian Evening in December.
2016 was a very busy year for Verity with events attended and all of them, except for the GDSF return, under her own steam.  The 12 weeks away on tour with the Carters Steam Fair London Tour, was the best!  It was fantastic to travel through London, thank you team Barker.  I never dreamt that I would travel over Tower Bridge on a steam engine!

The engine was last out in public in steam with its stable mate Defiance at Oare, Wiltshire, in June 2017.


The engine has been undergoing some boiler and firebox work and is back on the road in early October 2019.  An amazing task to have all the work completed in such a short time.
Works carried out:
Boiler, Firebox, Cylinder and Pistons.
At the age of 101 Verity hit the road again, looking splendid with a new coat of paint, new lining, coach work and polished brass.   I went out with Nick and his crew man Ted Lacey for a run, to give the engine and the crew a minor shake down, as every nut and bolt has been removed during the restoration.
Nick had promised Ted's Daughter Chloe (who often crews on Verity), that Verity would attend her wedding day in October 2019.  True to his word, Verity was in attendance.  
The photographs show a shakedown run completed prior to the wedding outing.  In addition, the wedding photographs courtesy of Mark Sisley, show Chloe Lacey and Scott Lovegrove by Verity.  The wedding was on 19 October 2019 and it was at Missenden Abbey, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire.  Chloe was transported to the wedding behind Verity,  driven by Nick Barker and steered by Chloe's Father Ted Lacey, on it’s first big outing after all the boiler work.
Congratulations Mr & Mrs Lovegrove!
West Wiltshire Society of Model Engineers Model Steam Gala 2019 - 14.09.19
The West Wiltshire Society of Model Engineers are a very friendly bunch who enjoy making models of buildings, boats and steam & diesel powered miniature railways in many scales.
They have a permanent site with several rail tracks, including a 600 foot long raised circular track at the White Horse Country Park, Westbury.
The site is part of what was the Westbury Blue Circle Sports Field which included: The Social Club House, a cricket square & football pitch. The land is formed on Kimmeridge  clay “reserve raw material” and was owned by Blue Circle Cement for the production of Portland cement; it lies within site of the Westbury White Horse that enhances the views. 
In 2016 virtually all of the cement works' former employees saw the demolition of the chimney as a sad occasion, marking the end of their much loved workplace once and for all.
Ask anyone who had some form of connection with the works and they will more than likely tell you that it was a great place to work with a friendly atmosphere, exciting roles and regular social events.
While its removal may well symbolically represent the complete mothballing of the works, ex-workers' memories of their days there will live on eternally.
Trevor Heeks worked at the cement works for 14 years between 1978 and 1992 in three different areas, mainly in the laboratory.  He said: “I absolutely loved working my time at the cement works. It might sound a bit daft but it felt like the people you were on shift with were your family.  There was always someone to support you if you needed it, which was nice to know with the 12 hour overnight shifts.  “We used to pack cement bags to go out to the Falklands during the war and we would put cigarette packets and newspapers in them for the lads over there to enjoy. I became town crier of Trowbridge when I was working at the cement works and I used to strengthen my voice by shouting down the tunnels – I'll never forget those days.”
The 122 metre chimney was in fact the second chimney to be felled at the site following the demolition of a 250ft structure which took place on Friday, October 1, 1965.  
Colin Cooper worked in the wages department at the cement works for 35 years between 1962 and 1997 and witnessed the first chimney come down.  He said: “They had to demolish the original chimney to build the bigger one we all know today after another kiln was built.  It was quite exciting watching it, people stood on viewing planks rather close to the chimney and some people got covered in concrete slurry after it splashed all over them.  I still remember them walking past me looking like they were wearing white overalls."
Classic car exhibitors enjoy the views and sunshine at the event.
The Lomax is a British kit car based on mechanical components of the Citroën 2CV.  It has been in production since 1982 when it was introduced by the Lomax Motor Co of Willoughton, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.
In the late 1980s the production was transferred to the Mumford Motor Co. of Gigg Mill, Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, where it was produced until the early 1990s.  From then it was built at Cradley Motor Works in Cradley Heath, West Midlands.
By 2009 the car was being made by Cradley Motor Works of St Leonard's-on-Sea, East Sussex. It was designed by Nigel Whall From the early 1990s the Lomax has also been sold in the Netherlands and Germany.  The design is slightly reminiscent of the legendary Morgan Three Wheeler of the 1930s.
The car consists of a fibreglass body mounted on an un-modified Citroën 2CV or Dyane floorpan. Later a steel tube chassis was introduced.
A Lomax is usually an open roadster, which is driven completely without a roof.
The original 1982 prototype had a bespoke four-wheel chassis which was specially constructed, and of shorter wheelbase than the donor car, a Citroën Ami8. Early "3-wheel" variants were actually four wheeled, with two rear wheels closely paired as in some Heinkel bubble cars of the 1960s, but this arrangement was soon dropped to allow the 3-wheel road-tax rates which in the UK are lower than for 4-wheel vehicles. Later versions were genuine trikes,three wheels with two wheels in front and one at the back. This was later followed by a four-wheel variant using an unmodified 2CV chassis. The model designations are 223 (2 cylinders - 2 seats - 3 wheels) or 224 (2 cylinders - 2 seats - 4 wheels). A few examples used the engine from the contemporary Citroën GS or GSA. These were designated 424 (4 cylinders, 2 seats, 4 wheels).
The Lomax has usually 29-35  bhp, weighs approximately 430 kilograms (950 lb), has 2 seats and a top speed of 140 kilometres per hour (87 mph).
1925 Aveling and porter C Type No 11296.  Ordered on 2nd July1925 and despatched to agents Becker & Co in Amsterdam.
The roller was specified to be built with a boiler mounted crank driven water pump, injector, water lifter, with 26 foot of hose.  A 10Kgs/Cm2 pressure gauge and a short length C type canopy.
Once imported the engine was sold to Koninklijke Maatschappij, a large road making contractor based in Wegenbouw, Utrecth.   The engine worked for this company until 1962 when it was sold  into preservation.
It was eventually sold and brought to the UK.  In 2016 the engine was bought by Dan Jones of Chippenham, Wiltshire.  Since owning the roller Dan has carried out a full boiler restoration including a new front tube plate, new boiler barrel and new firebox, as well as restoring much of the motion and running gear.
Dan and his crew members carried out a few demonstration runs, on the sites roadway, during the event.


The "Jenny Wren" is a 4" scale model of a 3 ton Ruston Proctor SD traction engine.  This scale engine was in steam  all day and was travelling around the arena over the event.
Magnum Carnival Club

Gillingam Carnival - Cavalcade of Steam - 05.09.19

Very large crowds gathered in the streets, to see the procession in warm dry conditions, with the occasional minor shower.

The Cavalcade of Steam, headed the Carnival Illuminated procession, as it has in previous years.

The mastermind behind this steam event, Mr Nick Baker, was driving his Rushton Hornsby General Purpose Engine, with other invited guests.

This Carnival event clashes with Nick's birthday, who this year celebrated 75 years, also Mr Brian Burden who exhibits and drives Princess Mary celebrated his 75th a day earlier than Nick!

Mr Nick Baker had 16 engines taking part, and these were at the head of the procession, which started about 7pm from the Brickfields Industrial Estate, along the High Street, then up Queens Street to a dispersal area near Fairy Crescent.


Rushton Hornsby General Purpose Engine CJ 7207 Built 1924 No 12230.
The only surviving engine of this type in the Country.


The Rambler
Garrett Showman's Tractor - Rambler Works No.12115 - Reg. No. VW 5172.
The first owners of this engine were were Essex County .

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.


Foden Wagon, 13316 'Sir Lionel', UU 1283 Built 1929

1910 Burrell 7 nhp Road Loco and Crane Engine - Old Tim - Works No. 3197 - Reg. No. AB 8904.
This engine was new to Screen Bros of Oldbury, Birmingham.


The photographs show Old Tim towing 


Burrell Showmans Road Locomotive, 3949 'Princess Mary', NO 8287.
Exhibited by Karl and Brian Burden.


Marshall BF 7865 - Built 1911 - Reg no 55924 8NHP
Driven and owned by Chris Lawson and Laura Kimber


Robey Traction Engine No.29333 Wally Built 1910 AD 9899

Garrett Tractor Victoria - 4 nhp 4CD Tractor - No 34461 - Built 1924 - Reg No: PM 4795 - 1927. 
Although built in 1924, this engine was supplied to W. and F. Bains of Blackham, Sussex in 1927
1944 Bought by Chris Lambert at Horsmondon, Sussex who converted it to a roller.
1955 Bought by Don Eastwood and in 1957 he converted the roller back to a tractor.


1905 Marshall Traction Engine (AF3520) The Countess 6nhp Engine No 43345 .

Wallis & Steevens Road Roller, 7844 "Old Ken", HO 6442

1924 Fowler DN1 Road Roller (U9493) Progress 5nhp Engine No 16134

Scale engines:

Albert Too Burrell Road Loco

Murphy McLaren

Foden Steam Wagon

Gillingham Carnival Featured in the Sunday Independent - 20.10.19

Commercial Transport in Preservation Ltd - Autumn Road Run - 01.09.19

This run was open to commercial vehicles of all sizes and types, including public service vehicles aged 20 years and over.  The run started at Salisbury Livestock Market, Netherhampton, Salisbury.  The route was approximately 65 miles taking in  Wiltshire, Hampshire & Dorset.

The route was similar to other years with a run through Harnham and out along the A338 Bournemouth Road turning left at Downton.  From here the road across the Forest passing through Brook and onto Cadnam via the A336.  Passing through Woodlands and Ashurst, the route turned right onto the A35 to Lyndhurst taking the A337 for New Milton and Milford on Sea, where the lunch halt was held on the sea front.

The second part of the route headed towards Bournemouth along the A337 and A35 to Christchurch where a right turn through Burton Winkton and Sopley followed.  Then along the A3347 through Ringwood and onto the A338 towards Salisbury and back to the Livestock Market in Salisbury for an afternoon static display.

MRL 765 Austin K8 Built 1950
Body Tiverton Coach works C14F  Owner Pete Davey


The K8 PSV was introduced in 1947, and is based on the K8 25 cwt 3-way van.  Production ceased in 1954.   This vehicle was new in 1950 and was originally operated by Chapman Brothers in Cornwall.


It is one of just five listed in the PSV Circle as being in preservation, of which only four are roadworthy.

It worked in Cornwall until 1987 taking children to school, on Wednesdays it took villagers  of Rosenannon shopping.

The Interior is original and the engine is an A 70, 4 cylinder 2.2 Litre petrol engine.

1967 Foden S36 6 cylinder diesel ballast tractor
Reg. No. KFL 4E Serial No. 4HX63062138 


This rather striking S36 was originally supplied new to Loades for Loads Ltd of Kings Lynn, from there it was sold to Ward & Smith of Leicester before residing with Yorkshire based company Harry Lyon Haulage. They used the vehicle for a number of years prior to loaning it to the Bowman Museum in County Durham. KFL 4E was then sold into preservation in 2010 and the then owner undertook a nut and bolt restoration.

Now in Hills Heavy Haulage colours of Botley.

Atkinson - ATV 121K – Ex fairground Towing tractor- trailer

E937 MEU 1988 Leyland Freighter 

1957 Austin FX3 London Taxi XKR 368A 

HCH 771K Commer Lorry Compton of Berwick St John

Home & Workshop Machinery - VNP 545G

1968 Volvo 86 Bubble Cab

The Westend Garage, Bruton had five vehicles on the road run.  The 'military division’ has grown and is popular and much requested around the West.

They have managed (with some degree of success) to get a 1940 Morris Quad (complete with limber and 25 powder gun) refurbished and up and back on the road.  Running speed was alright 70 years ago but not quite up to today’s standards.  When out with its big brother the AEC matador and 5.5” howitzer they make up an impressive sight.

The five vehicles were as follows:

641 XUX  1943 AEC Matador
1954 Austin Champ JGU 134K
1940 Morris Commercial Quad   WRK 995K
NYB 554P Mini Pick up
HOR 203E Limmer and Trinidad/  Foden 

Retro Transport Show & Fete - 31.08.19

Save the Ablington Woods Project.




This was held on Figheldean playing field and was organised by several villagers who have formed their own committee to save Ablington Woods.  A great old fashioned family fun day which included a BBQ, vintage vehicles, games, bar, craft stalls, tombola and even a cafe.

An excellent event for a very small village, with some very interesting vehicles on display.

The tractors have been seen over the years supporting local charities in the area at shows and road runs etc.

Swift Two Seater Motor Car

Reg Number: H 51. Year : 1904. Make: Swift Body: Two-seater. Cylinders: 1. Horse Power: 7. 

The Swift Motor Company made Swift Cars in Coventry, England from 1900 until 1931. It grew progressively from James Starley's Coventry Sewing Machine Company, via bicycle and motorised cycle manufacture.

The cars ranged from a single-cylinder car in 1900 using an MMC engine, through to a Swift-engined twin-cylinder 7-horsepower light car in 1904.  A 3-litre model in 1913. 


In 1904, the Swift Cycle Company Ltd. made a single-cylinder 700 cc car (possibly a voiturette) which had a cloverleaf emblem on its radiator, an emblem that was adopted by all the cars. In the years 1909–11 another single-cylinder 7 hp car was manufactured, this time with 1100 cc (105mm bore and 127mm stroke). This car was also sold by Austin as the first Austin 7.

The first Swift car of the conventional type was the twin-cylinder 7-horsepower, later 10-horsepower, of 1904. This was shortly afterwards joined by the four-cylinder 12/14, which continued in a bewildering number of guises until the First World War. These cars were entirely built at the Swift works, with the exception of the engines which were built in Coventry by Messrs White and Poppe.

A larger car, the 15, with a 3-litre engine was added to the range in 1913, and this continued to just post-war.  During the First World War, car production ceased.

After the war ended, the Cycle Car company was merged with the main company as Swift of Coventry. A Harper Bean & Sons, who also made Bean Cars, bought 50% of Swift's ordinary shares in 1919, but got into severe financial difficulties later that year, seriously affecting the company's finances.

The Swift range was simplified with the excellent 1100 cc 10 continuing and joined by a 2-litre 12 with a 4-speed gearbox. A new 10 was launched in 1923 as the Q type with coil ignition, electric starting, optional front wheel brakes and a top speed of 55 mph (89 km/h). Standard front wheel brakes were added in 1926 and the engine was bored out to 1190 cc to become the P type. The engine grew again to 1307 cc in 1929 when the car became the P2.

From 1924 Swift supplied Q type engines for the Ariel Ten light car. This model continued until 1925, when Ariel ceased making cars to concentrate on motorcycles.

In 1925 the Swift 12 was replaced by the 12/35 with front wheel brakes, plate clutch plus an increase of 24 inches (610 mm) in the wheelbase.

The last Swift car was the 1930 Cadet, which was an attempt to compete with the £100 cars. This had an 850 cc Coventry Climax engine and a price of £149 for the tourer and £165 for the saloon.

But Swift was too small to compete with the likes of Ford and Morris and closed in 1931 after its suppliers foreclosed on its debts.

Coventry Climax was left with a number of engines for the Cadet model, which it used as the basis of its Second World War fire pump engine designated FSM, the SM standing for Swift Motors.

Mr Robert Solomon brought his 1904 Swift motor car to the show.  It has competed in several London to Brighton runs over the years.


1962 Fordson Dexta with a Roadless Four-Wheel Drive Conversion 

This 1962 Fordson Dexta with a Roadless Four-Wheel Drive Conversion unit fitted, is one of only 36 built.  It has only had two owners and is owned by a local Farmer.
Roadless Traction Ltd was first registered on the 14.03.19.
The company was developed by Lieutenant Col. Philip Johnson born in 1877 he lived until he was 88 years old and was the MD of Roadless for 40 years.
He went out to the Boar War (South Africa) working with the steam transport, he was then later offered a job at John Fowlers to sell steam equipment in India.
He came back to England in 1915 and was then involved in tank development. 
He was allowed to keep his patent design that he had designed during the war. In the 1920's he came out of the army to concentrate on the Roadless business, first of all making tracks for trucks and then moved on to tracks on agricultural crawlers.
He then went on in the 1930, 40's & mid 50's to design the 1/2 track for most popular makes of tractors. 
4WD systems started in the mid 1950's. 7915 4WD tractors & kits were built up until 1983 when the company ceased trading. The company was then taken over by Jewells of  Bridgewater who built a small number of tractors to the Roadless design and re-named them Jewelltrac.
This company got in to financial difficulty in the late 1980's and the parts side of the business was taken over by Roger Haynes who had previously been associated with Roadless testing out there new designs.
He then sold the business to Dave Pantry in the mid 1990's. Dave continued selling the parts to tractor collectors throughout the UK.
We then took over the business in June 2007.
We bought & sold new and s/h Roadless tractors in there working day and were actually the last dealer appointed by Roadless to sell new tractors in 1982. We only sold 2 new tractors before the company was wound up in 1983.
We are still in the process of unpacking & cataloguing a very large quantity of parts & drawings.
We have over 40,000 original drawings which have been moved in to a purpose built office so they can be stored and stop them from deteriorating further.
Amongst the drawings are some very rare and delicate finds.
We have the original serial number books enabling us to find when each tractor was originally sold & who to. If you provide us with your serial number we can tell you about your tractor, which will be sent to you on an official ROADLESS letterhead for a small charge.
Crank Up and Vintage Day - The Somerset Arms, Maiden Bradley - 28.07.19
Organised by the Wessex Stationary Engine Club Ltd.  Well out of my depth here, as normally at events I only get to have a walk along with a quick view at the engines etc.  Today it was a step into the unknown, as I visited the world of stationary engines.
Just down the road for me,  in the rear beer garden of The Somerset Arms, Maiden Bradley, I drove into the car park and was greeted by an organiser, who kindly found me a parking place, just five metres from the entry to engine area, I was made most welcome and introduced to the organisers.
All around me were the stationary engines of all shapes and sizes, a miniature steam traction engine, all with their owners sat or working on them to keep them running.
Several of the exhibitors already knew me and I was soon at home.  Having the time to spend talking to the Exhibitors I found it very interesting.  
The one thing I found from talking to the club members was that they are suffering from a lack of some young members in their club.
One of the exhibitors had two engines on display.   We must remember these engines are in many cases, smaller versions of the originals and are strictly not toys. 
A  Maxitrak "ALLCHIN 3/4Inch " Scale Gas fired model traction engine, it has considerable detail in scale, live steam capable of pulling a scale load!  Fully working crane, using the steam mechanics of the model you can raise and lower the crane.
The other engine, although not in full working condition, was on display.  I am not sure of its age but would guess around 1900.  It has all the authentic markings and its unpolished condition makes it look even more original. 
Ernst Plank was a big builder of live steam locomotives, plus a substantial line of stationary models and magic lanterns. Founded in 1866, Plank was one of the earliest builders of model steam engines, and is often credited with being the first to build model steam engines.
Purchased by the Schaller Brothers in 1935, although this may have been prompted by the anti-semitism that was rising in Germany at the time, Schaller became Noris Projecktor after WW2, and remained in business until 1965.  The letters on a Noris produced film splicing tool, looks to be 1950's/1960's vintage, labeled Ernst Plank, so it would appear that Schaller kept the name alive for some time.
Of all of the Nuremburg makers, Plank probably made the most diverse and elegant models, always finely finished, and often mechanically extravagant, such as the turbine and beam engines.
Plank had the unique habit of giving formal names to some of his engines.
Foster 4 inch scale Traction Engine 'Lotsa', reg no J467 LTP.
A one third size miniature traction engine weighs 435KG working at a pressure of 100 psi.  It is a scale model of a 6nhp Foster agricultural engine, used  in the 20th century for general farm haulage and the belt powered farm machinery such as threshers, balers and bench saws etc.
This engine headed the New Years Day Parade through London in 2016.
The engine is a regular at Salisbury Carnival and has attended many events locally, it has just recently undergone some refurbishment and had a coat of paint.
I had a wonderful time and I can see why these members like to sit and have conversations with the public and other club members, while tending their engines, which are very varied.

Somerset Steam & Country Show - 19th, 20th and 21st July 2019


On Friday I met up again with 'Margaret' the ploughing engine, which does happen several times a year.  I have known 'Margaret' for several years and was very pleased a few years ago to steer this massive engine around the plough field.   Richard, who often drives 'Margaret' had invited me on board to take some photographs and we ended up driving across the plough field to set up the plough.

This weekend Richard greeted me with a challenge, he intended to take the massive engine through Langport High Street to stop momentarily underneath 'Margaret's flag', a beautiful flag with a lovely photograph of 'Margaret' sponsored by the Somerset Traction Engine Club.

Every summer the Langport Flags come out to adorn the High Street for the summer months.  For 16 weeks each summer, these colourful flags decorate the main streets of Langport.  They are part of a Langport and Huish Episcopi Youth Group project, which has grown considerably over the last few years.  Other groups and schools are now involved including Huish Primary and Huish Academy, Hambridge School, RAISE and The Ridgway Hall Disability Group. 

Our aim was to get a photograph of 'Margaret' under 'her' flag  but this proved to be too difficult.  As it was a Friday and the start of the school holidays, the town was already very congested, almost gridlock.  The main thing was 'Margaret' made the journey, stopped in the town centre and drove through, passing under 'her' flag.

You will see due to modern technology, I was able to get the flag and the engine in almost the same shot!

Margaret - Fowler "Margaret" Built 1870, No 1368 Reg No AL 8468 12nhp the 'Salvage Squad' engine.  One of the Beeby Brothers fleet of steam ploughing engines from Rempstone.  It was re-boilered in 1920.  Now owned by Andrew Melrose who has carried out extensive restoration works, including the taking part in the television programme The Salvage Squad in 2002.

Road Run Friday - to Martock and Yandles Woodworking Centre

Despite some heavy showers, as always, the road run was very well supported by all types of vehicles.  The road run left the showground going to Martock and Yandles Woodworking Centre with a trip back towards Somerton to Harry's Cider Farm.  Four engines took part in the road run along with many other tractors and various vehicles. 

Yandles Woodworking Centre is one of the largest shops of its type in the country, nestled in the village of Martock, near Yeovil and well worth a visit.

Harry's Cider is an award winning artisan cider made from 100% juice, crafted by cidermakers.

Princess Mary - Burrell Showmans Road Locomotive, 3949 'Princess Mary', NO 8287 - ‘Princess Mary’ was built in 1922 and exhibited by Charles Burrell of Thetford, Norfolk, at the Smithfield show Islington.

Twilight - Tasker “Twilight” 5 nhp tractor no 1513 1912 reg no IB 1597

Countess - Garret “Countess” 4CD Showmens Tractor1917 no 32969 reg no BJ 3280

Marshall 8 Nhp traction engine 1911 no 55924


The Wimborne St Giles Horse Drawn Fire Engine carried out a spectacular display on both days.  This is a 1908 Shand Mason Horse-drawn Steam Pump, one of the earliest fire pumps.  

In 1829 a steam-pump engine was invented by John Braithwaite, a London engineer.  It had a 10-hp engine that could raise steam in 13 minutes, pump 170 gallons a minute and send a jet 90 feet high.

In 1858 a Mr Shand, partner to Mr Mason built a similar engine but with a shorter wheel-base and a footplate at the rear for the boiler operator requiring 3 horses to pull it.

Improvements were made and in 1886 they brought out a lighter model requiring only two horses and capable of raising steam to working pressure in 9 minutes and producing a jet to a height of 150 feet.

These 'patent variable-expansion engines', with single or double cylinders were in production up to 1910.

The boiler was kept near working temperature with a gas ring, the fire being laid with coal at the bottom and wood and paper on top.

At the sound of the alarm the gas ring was inverted and the fire ignited and drawn up by a forced draught with foot bellows or chimney fans as on the St Giles engine.

The 1666 Great Fire of London stimulated development of fire engines.  Insurance companies founded in the 18th century attended fires only, with their own engines but only in buildings insured by the them and showing the company sign.

This machine from 1908 was a private engine, on the Earl of Shaftesbury's, Wimborne St Giles Estate.  The machine was purchased by the Earl following a disastrous fire in 1907 in the village Church, when plumbers mending the lead roof left it smouldering.  It was purchased after the village's manual pump proved to be of no use.  It went on to serve the village until 1948.

This is a 1908 Shand Mason Horse-drawn Steam Pump ordered for the protection of St Giles House and Wimbourne St Giles village in Dorset.  

Shand Mason were able to deliver the engine in just 8 weeks with everything except the horses for around £400.

This machine remained in service until 1946, when it was sold for scrap, William Turner of Parkstone an old vehicle collector bought the engine.

In 1957 Tom Sampson was asked to horse the engine at the Cranbourne festival.  This was the start of the relationship of the Percheron horses and the St Giles Engine.

In 1987 it was purchased from William Turners daughter.  The St Giles engine is a double vertical steam pump,  pumping 260-300 gallons a minute.

It has featured in several TV programmes and was at the Hampshire Fire Headquarters when opened by HM the Queen.

The two Percheron horses drawing the engine were Verveine and Vitamin both 10 years old and both imported from France.  They can be seen at shows including the Great Dorset steam Fair.  They undertake ploughing , driving trials amongst other things.

The current owner John McDermott has ploughed with Percheron horses since his late teens.  His horses are frequently seen demonstrating the St Giles steam fire engine at shows and events. He competes very successfully in heavy horse driving trials and he has won many trophies.

1932 Commer 20/25 Breakdown Truck NAS 856

A 1932 Commer 20/25 Breakdown Truck Reg number  NAS 856 - Trade plates GDS 474  ref to G&D Skinner and the date of their wedding.

Evening Road Run Saturday - to 'Eli's' - Rose and Crown

This is an unofficial road run to the Rose and Crown and very well supported.

Burrell Showmans Road Locomotive, 3949 'Princess Mary', NO 8287 took part in the road run in addition to:

King Harry - Mclaren Road Loco  8 Nhp no 1181 18 ton compound built 1912  reg BF 4595

Wallis Stevens  10 ton road roller no 7844 reg HO 6442

Burrell 2767 Single crank compound 6 NHP 9  3/4 tons  Reg YA1683

Cornish Maid - Burrell  reg AF 3518  Built 1919 no 3816

Avelling & Porter Road Roller 7857 SH 4274 Built 1912  Class, BHO. Cylinders, Single. NHP, 5.

Berkshire Lady -  Fowler BB1 12 Nhp Plough engine no 15164 built 1918 reg WR 7185

Tiger - Sentinel Super steam wagon  no 5260 Built 1924  reg  RS5540

The Wolverhampton Wanderer

Mark Fry took the engine out on the road for a run on Saturday evening through Langport.

Fowler & Co. (Leeds) Ltd. 1929 Fowler 8nhp 21 ton B6 Crane Engine

Works no. 17212 - Reg. no. RF 6092. 1929 Fowler 8nhp

This engine Is still owned by the Wife of the late Len Crane.  She has very kindly allowed it to tour and be shown at events by Mark Fry who has entertained many people with this engine all over the country. 

This engine was a star of Peaky Blinders a British crime drama television series primarily set in Birmingham, in the aftermath of World War I. 

Heddington & Stockley Steam Rally & County Fair - 6th & 7th July 2019

As always, the sun shone for the Heddington & Stockley Rally & Country Fair.  A vast number of visitors came to see the exhibits which exceeded previous years.

With displays of steam engines large and small, vintage cars, commercials, motor cycles, tractors, displays of falconry, wood carving. horse ploughing, thatching ,country crafts fun dog show, fun fair, children’s area and even an areoplane the two day event had something for everyone.

L4 Piper Cub

This aircraft is now quite local, it was recently at the museum at Boscombe Down and was flown into the steam fair site at 07.00 on the Friday before the event.

For the Army Ground Forces, aerial observation remained a concern.  An ideal example of an aircraft that could provide the necessary observation was the Piper J-3 Cub, destined to become the L-4 Grasshopper.  Air Corps officers, who tended to be more focused on the newest and most innovative aircraft, deemed the Cub technologically obsolete. It offered ground forces simplicity and reliability paired with ease of operation, repair, and maintenance.  Along with the civilian availability of the Cub and similar aircraft, two other critical elements emerged to make what became the Air-Observation-Post program possible.  First, the Army Signal Corps began to field new lightweight FM radios providing static-free, reliable air to ground communications; Second, the field artillery made the battalion the primary unit for delivering indirect fire.  This was coordinated via a battalion fire-control centre, whereby firing data could be computed to permit multiple guns to accurately fire simultaneously on the same target. These three factors enabled Army ground forces to anoint adversaries with a storm of fire and steel.

Team Deutz

Whilst walking around the site at the weekend, I met with Peter and his the crew from Team Deutz from Calne, Wiltshire and their pulling tractor Mean 'n' Green.  They had recently won cups in Scotland and Ireland.  I had an opportunity to photograph them with the lovely Megan on a previous meeting at the Wiltshire Steam & Vintage Rally  at Rainscombe Park, Oare.

This weekend they were in action at their local event and Peter and his crew kindly came and let me know how things were going between his runs.  Following a few problems, Peter and his crew achieved second place on Saturday.

I watched some of the action and Peter preparing and completing a full pull on the Sunday, which put him into the finals.


Hornsby General Purpose Engine, 6557 'Maggie', FL 2598. Built 1887

One of seven to survive from the early period, the others all survived in either Australia or Tasmania, where they worked.

Supplied new to Ratcliffe &Co Derby and later with Harry Gibbons & Sons of Caster, Peterborough for contract threshing for 38 years.

In 1963 owned by DGT Hackett of Ross On Why for preservation it then went to  Bob Markham in September 1977

Bought in 1999 and restored.


Sam & Tilly



The two most beautiful Competition Plough Horses I have seen.

Sam is a Bay Clydesdale x Shire gelding and Tilly is a Shire filly.  Tilly joined the team to work with Sam to allow the beautiful Poppet to go into retirement, as it used to be Sam & Poppet!  Poppet is now enjoying retirement.
They are seen at many steam rallies, country shows and ploughing matches all over the country.

Sam  & Tilly put on a brief display in the heat.  No long lens here, these horses see me so often.

I understand from their Facebook page they also cover proms and weddings, what a way to travel!


Oh yes, I have also seen a certain gentleman as a Fireman on the The Wimbourne St Giles Horse Drawn Fire Engine!  A multi talented team, not fogetting the First Class Groom who I understand is responsible for their beautiful harnesses and regalia amongst other things!

Wiltshire Steam & Vintage Rally - Rainscombe Park, Oare - 08.06.19 - 09.06.19

Other exhibits I came across was Le Petite Sue - A miniature Bow Top Romany Caravan - read all about her on here.  A line up of Nuffield tractors and as always Jamie in his orange suit to match his tractor in the ring!

Threshing & Wood Saw Demo at Wiltshire Steam & Vintage Rally - Rainscombe Park, Oare - 08.06.19 - 09.06.19

1916 Wallis and Steven Expansion Agricultural engine Progress.  Owned by Roy Herring, manufactured in 1916 for the ministry of munitions.  It was then offered to the NTEC by member Walter Edney to help raise funds by way of a raffle.  This was won by a 14/15 year old who chose to have £100 in cash instead, as his family had nowhere to keep it.  It was purchased by its present owner in 2000 and has been extensively restored.

 Alfred Peace Racksaw Bench 190.  Purchased by Roy Herring from a farm yard near Princess Risborough Bucks in 1970.  It was originally a static bench with a manual hand feed but the owners made it portable,by the construction of a wheeled chassis to which the bench was subsequently fixed.  In 1993 an automated feed system from a similar bench was fitted, this basically consists of a series of belts, pulleys and cogs.  The combination of these items offers several cutting speeds as well as a forward reverse rapid traverse of the table.

Wiltshire Steam & Vintage Rally - Rainscombe Park, Oare - 08.06.19 - 09.06.19

Whilst walking around site on Saturday I met with some chaps from Team Deutz from Calne, Wiltshire and their Pulling tractor Mean 'n' Green.  They had recently won cups in Scotland and Ireland and I had an opportunity to photograph them with the lovely Megan!

Please see information below taken from: http://pullingworld.blogspot.com/2018/03/new-component-limited-pro-stock-in-uk.html


The next stop for them is the Heddington and Stockley Steam Rally & Country Fair.  Give them a cheer!

New Component Limited Pro Stock in UK

The Team Deutz UK from Calne, Wiltshire, in South West England have built a new Deutz DX 110 Component Limited Pro Stock Tractor in 2017.

The Tractor is a 3.5t / 7700lbs. Limited Pro Stock, same rules as a normal Pro Stock, but with an engine displacement limit of 404cui. The British Team compete with the South West Tractor Pullers Association and the North East Tractor Pulling Club for points in the UK Pro Pulling Championship.

Team Deutz UK was started in 2002 by Pete George from Wiltshire, South West England with the Deutz 8006 machine called, Mean ´n´ Green".  The Tractor was all ready built and over the years they improved on what they had.  In the Winter of 2013/14, the guys rebuilt the whole front end with the help of Ed Bateman of Major Madness.  With the fresh new look, the Tractor was renamed into, Mean ´n´ Green DX Generation".  After 2 strong seasons at the final round of the 2015 season, they broke the gearbox, with this and the fact the Tractor never ran in a straight line, the Team decided to rebuild the Tractor into a Component Tractor. Over 2016/17, the Tractor was rebuilt into a Component Tractor with help of Steve Cox and at the later part of the 2017 season they were able to make some test passes with great results. The whole Team is run on a very tight budget and have to be clever to keep at the top of the class without spending a fortune or pushing it to far to break parts.

The new Component Limited Pro Stock received a new homemade 4mm steel wedge frame with a american spec built steel rollcage by Ed Bateman, homemade steel wheelie bars and a DAF Truck rearend. The Deutz DX 110 hood isn´t original anymore. They built the hood from aluminium and is larger than the original DX 110 hood. The sheet metal fenders of the Pro Stock are original Deutz.

The Team Deutz UK bought the Truck rearend for their new machine from Piet Hagens in the Netherlands.  Piet is the owner and driver of the turbocharged Transmash V12 powered Light Modified Tractor called, One Dirty Doz 'n'.  The rearend has a original DAF center section with a DAF 2255 needle bearing differential, a DAF ring and pinion gear and machined aluminium Mercedes planetaries carrier housing with Mercedes planetaries.  The new ride also got a Fuller 5 speed gearbox with a costum built gearbox housing by Steve Cox, a self built clutch bell housing and a 2 disc clutch built by Chris George. The rear wheels on the Mean ´n´ Green DX Generation are a set of cut Goodyear 20.8 x 38´´ inch tires on light steel rims. The Goodyear tires were cut by Pete George.

The new Limited Pro Stock is powered by a Deutz BF6L 913 power plant with 6.1l / 378cui. on diesel fuel. The engine received a lots of changes.  The engine has a original Deutz cast iron block with bigger sleeves, original Deutz rods with KS Kolbenschmidt pistons (machined with their own design), a Deutz crank with KS Kolbenschmidt bearings, a flowed Deutz head with a Performance Design camshaft, a Holset HC3 Performance turbocharger built by Universal Turbos, a stock intake manifold and a costum built exhaust manifold by Ed Bateman, a homemade aluminium Intercooler and a Bosch P-pump with 13mm elements by John Sowerby. For the upcoming season, the guys from UK will make some few more changes on the engine. They want going over to electric fans and changing to a better exhaust system.

Mike King arrives at the Wiltshire Steam & Vintage Rally - Rainscombe Park, Oare - 07.06.19

Mike King travelled on his Ford tractor via Salisbury Plain to Oare, from his home in Milston over the downland, There was a major military exercise on all around him, but he was on the byways, so perfectly within his rights to use that route.

We sat in his caravan this morning laughing about his journey, as he was setting up his tractor stand at the show.

It was very different weather today compared to yesterday, even Mike's dog was not keen to be outside, as we sat drinking a cup of tea!

Despite some heavy rain showers the show is building up and engines are arriving.


Mike and his band of Brothers set up a different display each year of various makes of tractors, this year it was John Deere.

Most of the family are Ford owners and  it is amazing how many contacts they have, enabling them to put on a large display of makes of tractors of all models and ages.

Lady Jean arrives at the Wiltshire Steam & Vintage Rally - Rainscombe Park, Oare - 07.06.19

I took these photographs this morning at Rainscombe Park.  Despite some heavy rain showers  the show is building up and engines are arriving.

Lady Jean

Owners: Robert & Phillip Johnson

New in July 1915 to Harry Adcock & Sons, Timber Merchant of Corby Glen, Lincolnshire. Used for timber haulage and general road haulage in the Lincolnshire area.

1st Registered CT4817 in September 1921.

1930’s – 1950’s used for timber haulage & general purpose work by several owners in the Lincolnshire/Leicestershire area.

Owned in preservation by Ronald Deamer of Chatteris, Cambridgeshire from 1964 to 1971.

Purchased by present owners in June 1971.

Regular attendee at many annual shows from 1971-1978 including Hungerford, Woodcote, Appleford, Fairford & Knowl Hill etc.

Extensive rebuild carried out from 1979 to 1984, including new fire box, boiler repairs, new tube plate, tender repairs, new belly tanks, new canopy, front spring, bearings and gears etc. Work carried out by the owners in Derek Marder’s yard Andover.

Rear wheels repainted and Quad tracks fitted May 2011.

Believed to be the only surviving example of a 7NHP compound Clayton & Shuttleworth.

Rob tells me he will be taking the engine to The Great Dorset Steam Fair this year.  It would appear it has never been to the Dorset event and will be one of many machines taking part in the engines from the City of Lincoln, special feature.

Last October is was the support engine for the Tour of Swindon with The Great Dorset Steam Fairs WW1 Howitzer (phographs included below).

Selwood Steam & Vintage Vehicle Rally - 25 - 27 May 2019
Definitely not for the Faint Hearted!
The Vander Super Hero's Wheel of Death was established in 1987.  Since then they have toured the UK, firstly performing with the Double Wheel then the Triple Wheel and now the Famous Quad Wheel.
History was made when all four guys were running on the outside of the rings at the same time in Dubai November 2013. A brilliant crowd puller and guaranteed to make the show a success.  50ft at its highest point Team Vander run, jump, skip, juggle and go blind-folded during their 15 minute stunt display.  An adrenalin fuelled act that leaves your heart in your mouth throughout.
Charity Trailer rides were provided by 1910 Garrett General Purpose Engine (FX7239) The Earl of Eldon 7nhp.
The Vendeuvre Tractor BB 500 (France, 1957) was entered and driven by Derek Hiscock (Adge) 
Castle Combe Steam Rally - 17th May 2019
This was the 34th Castle Combe Steam Rally, again supporting Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home.
This year the main arena had the Tigers Children Motor Cycle Display Team, Terrier Racing with a Difference, Richard Alvis and his Sheepdogs with Ducks as a novelty and a special display of Fordson Tractors by Derek Grimshaw & Co.
I travelled with the Marshall General Purpose Engine DD 2077 BUILT 1919 Reg no 71837 with Carl Brown and Ben to the Castle Combe Steam Rally.  Most of the route we travelled was via the narrow back lanes, across countryside.
On route, we encountered a minor hazard where a Romany Traveller had camped overnight and had his horse tethered next to the road on a blind  bend with the engine approaching and unaware of the situation.  I managed to stop and speak to the horse owner, to ensure we did not scare the animal.  Horses tend to be ok when they can see and hear what is coming.  The Gentleman did say he had had his horse for some time and he travelled along in traffic quite happily, however as I explained to him, steam engines do whistle on approaching villages etc and it could have been a problem but both he and his horse were quite happy and I took the opportunity to take some photographs and bade him farewell.
We arrived at Combe around 14.00 and I then went back out on the road, to find the other engines travelling from Gloucestershire.
This engine has made recent annual trips to The Great Dorset Steam Fair, where Carl and his crew have put in many hours assisting with the charity trailer rides.
Marshall General Purpose Engine DD 2077 BUILT 1919 Reg no 71837
New to Coles of Cirencester. Bought by John Plaister in 1959. Now owned by Carl Brown Swindon Wilts.
Having left Castle Combe and back on the road, I caught up with the following engines:
Burrell, Showmans Road Locomotive. Number, 3804.
Built, 1919. Registration, BP 5539. Compound. NHP, 7
Rushton Proctor Steam Tractor Wks No 34072
A full size replica of one of 3 single cylinder tractors made in 1906.  This engine was built from original works drawings over a 14 year period.  All three original engines were scrapped, although a later built compound version survives.
Empress of Cornwall Burrell 
Road Loco No. 4010 (DD 6888) - New in 1925 to Henry Workman for timber haulage.

Basingstoke Festival of Transport - 12.05.19


Basingstoke Festival of Transport is delivered in partnership with Basingstoke and Deane Rotary Club and Basingstoke Thornycroft Society with support from Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council.

The War Memorial Park was once again filled with over 900 vehicles.  As in previous years, there were a huge range of vehicles on static display, including: classic, vintage, commercial vehicles, fire engines and military trucks.

AA Motor Cycle Fairings 

In the early 1950’s, a small coach building firm in Durrington, Wiltshire, run by Fred Mitchenall and his sons Fred, Doug and Dave, built a sports car body for an R.A.F. Officer, who suggested the use of polyester/glass.

Doug Mitchenall had the idea of making a motor-cycle fairing of polyester/glass to give weather protection.  

Various shapes were tried, and at last the Avon fairing was put on the market. Sales were slow at first, but streamlined fairings were coming into use on racing motor-cycles and it became fashionable to fit a fairing to ordinary machines.

Mitchenall Brothers had success on their hands and by 1956 orders for 1,500 fairings a week were coming in. The company, at its peak, employed about 150 men working on fairings, petrol tanks, pannier boxes and mudguards.

During this time the company had a major contact with the Automobile Association, making  fairings and motor cycle parts including the famous sidecars from fibreglass.

Over the years the site of the factory in Bulford Road, Durrington has seen many changes.  Several industries were seen to develop here, with Heavers Coachworks, making Buses Coaches and commercial vehicles from Chassis cabs.  Then later it become a fiberglass plastics factory, where the Motorcycle fairings etc were produced.  

Part of the site then became Carton Industries.  From 1971 protective packaging materials were made by Carton Industries Ltd. at a factory in Bulford Road where 11 people were employed in 1992.

These have now all gone to provide two housing estates. 

I also remember the famous phone boxes which I believe were originally wooden and were seen on the side of major roads.  These were replaced by bright yellow plastic phone boxes, but I am not sure how many were produced. 

Ever since the motor vehicle was invented, it’s been breaking down – and for many years it was the humble box sidecar outfit, ridden by smartly dressed patrolmen of the RAC and the AA (founded in 1901 and 1905 respectively) 

Automobile Association (AA) motorcycle combinations like this were once a common sight on our roads.

The first AA combinations, or Mechanical First Aid Outfits, appeared in 1919 carrying tools, spare parts and fuel which enabled patrols to carry out full repairs for the first time.

They were later renamed Road Service Outfits (RSOs). The first outfits were Chater Lees and Triumphs, but BSAs soon became standard. M21s, like this, were specially built for side-car use and served with the AA in the 1950s and 1960s.  The last motorcycle outfits were replaced by small vans in 1968.

The Automobile Association was formed in 1905, when the sole function of patrols was to warn motorists of Police speed traps. Over the years the AA expanded its services to include insurance, travel and legal services as well as the well known breakdown service.

This photograph shows a motorcycle exhibited at the Basingstoke Festival of Transport, which is thought to be one of the later motorcycles produced for the AA.

TSY112 1960 BSA M21 AA Combination Motorcycle
AA Motorcycle Sidecar Combination
Manufacturer: BSA
Model: M21 with AA sidecar
Condition: Nearly Concours (2)
Engine: 591 cc
Year: 1960

First registered on 18th March 1960, some research on this machine which is believed to be an original AA machine on an "A" registration. The sidecar chassis is certainly an original AA model and has a newly built body to exactly the correct AA specification and finish.

The bike itself has been refurbished and is mechanically sound, starting easily and running well. The paintwork was all done at the same time and it's finished to a high standard.

Wallis & Steevens Road Roller 7779 - Sir Lancelot - HO 6260

The Bill Targett Memorial Steam Rally - 11th & 12th May 2019

An event for the family & enthusiasts in aid of the Wessex Cancer Trust and Isle of Wight Air Ambulance.

There were steam engines, classic cars, motorbikes, stationary engines, tractors and much more to see.  With an arena, trade and craft stalls and food vendors there was something for all the family.

Due to a previous commitment, I was unable to attend at the weekend but I did manage to catch up with some of the engines travelling to the rally field on the road. 

The Urchfont Scarecrow Fesival - 4th - 6th May 2019

This was the 22nd year of The Urchfont Scarecrow Festival  and featured more than 50 themed scarecrows made and displayed in the village.

With funds from the sale of trail maps and a prize draw, the event raises cash for local causes and a large donation is also given to the Wiltshire Air Ambulance each year.

Around the village pond were stalls, a tea tent serving home-made cakes and a beer tent with locally brewed real ales. In addition to a barbecue with locally made burgers and sausages.

The Urchfont Scarecrow Festival was the first of its kind in Wiltshire.  While other Wiltshire villages, including local rivals Lacock, have now established their own festivals on a similar model, the Urchfont festival predates them, having been established in 1997, and is amongst the best attended.

The idea was first brought to the village by a resident who saw a similar festival in Derbyshire. Apart from being cancelled in 2001 because of the threat from Foot and Mouth disease, the 21 festivals to date have taken place on the weekend of the first bank holiday in May every year, and have grown to become a major local event attracting large numbers of local and national visitors while raising money for local charities and good causes.

Approximately 50 themed scarecrows made by villagers are distributed around the village, and visitors can buy a trail map which provides clues as to the identity of each scarecrow. There is also a children’s trail and the village is a buzz with festivities.

On Route to Abbey Hill Steam Rally with "Flame Lily" - 03.05.19

These photographs were taken on the road, on route to Abbey Hill, with a very rare sight, Aveling & Porter LC8 8nhp Colonial Road Locomotive 5192 "Flame Lily", Reg number RL 73, following a complete restoration.  "Flame Lily" made an an appearance at last years Great Dorset Steam Fair.

The engine was being road driven to Abbey Hill from Lyme Regis through some quite narrow roads via Chard and Crewkerne.

I was despatched from Abbey Hill out to escort the monster engine to the show ground on the Friday.  Having met up with "Flame Lily" 11 miles from Lyme Regis, we negotiated the traffic, narrow roads and bridges back to Yeovil.

This was the first time the owner Mr Nicholas Bailey had attempted a road journey of any distance with the engine.

The engine worked in a gold mine in Rhodesia in 1903.  "Flame Lily" returned to the UK during the 1990s in a derelict condition.  When working for the gold mIne the engine hauled two large ore wagons and had a very hard life.


These Colonial engines were built to a very robust specification with larger fire boxes etc to allow for burning poor fuel,  the engine was fitted with steam brakes and wheel guards etc.

The engine has been completely restored over the last six years.  The work being carried out at Dingles Steam Village workshops.

On the hill into Shillingstone

Princess Mary continuing her route to Abbey Hill -  

This was yet another wonderful day with Karl & Brian Burden with Princess Mary continuing her route to Abbey Hill.

Setting off from Stourpaine heading east along Bushes Road and onto the Shaftesbury Road, we then headed south for a short distance, onto the A350 and down the steep hill, then turned left onto the A357 at the traffic lights and over a very narrow bridge.  The  traffic here was held up for a few moments to get the engine through the lights and over the bridge, this was so we could safely negotiate the traffic hazard.

On through Durweston and onto a hilly section, where the engine halted briefly to allow the traffic that was held up pass.  On past the hilly and narrow road section and into Shillingstone, we passed by Bagber, Lydlynch, left onto the A3030 through Stock Gaylard and into Bishops Caundle for lunch and a service break in the village.

Staying on the A3030 we passed by Alweston and North Wootton and joined the A352 into Sherbourne and then a long and wide stretch along the A30 towards Yeovil and the Abbey Hill showground.

Including the break we travelled 20 miles in four hours, as we were in no hurry, with an average speed of around 11 mph, this included the the many times we pulled over to allow the traffic to pass.  Parts of this route are quite hilly with many blind bends, so traffic build up can easily occur.

Bruce Waight

2nd Grand Tour of Salisbury Plain - Tractor & 4x4s's - 28.04.19

The organisers of this event, Richard Pocock and Louise Hall and their team, are terrific fundraisers for the local Salisbury Hospital Stars Appeal MRI Scanner Campaign.  Not only do they raise funds from the Berwick St John events, they also run the charity trailer rides around the heavy haulage arena, (known as the play pen) at The Great Dorset Steam Fair raising thousands of pounds for charities.

This years 2nd Grand Tour of Salisbury Plain consisted mainly of vintage tractors and light 4 x 4 vintage vehicles, on a very rural route of around 40 miles across the Plain.

The meeting point and start and finish was at Rollestone Grain Silo’s.

The Route

Wiltshire Grain, to the lunch stop at Bruce Waight’s farm and then returning to Wiltshire Grain at the end of the Grand Tour.

The tour started at 10.00am and after a short trip along the  B3086  eastwards, it turned north past Rollestone Camp and on past what was formerly known as the Bustard Inn.

The Bustard is a 17th century former coaching Inn.  It is situated on a medieval droving route, between Salisbury and Devizes.  The building has a long history of providing shelter to those that needed it.  

Here the tour entered the military area along the Centre Range Road, crossing over the Southern Transit Route.  All the tracks used were designated byways, although many in this area are subject to closures when firing etc, is taking place.

There are some wonderful views out on this part of Salisbury Plain with plenty of wildlife.  This area was also the setting of a scene in John Boorman's film Catch Us If You Can (1965), with the film's hero pop star Dave Clark.  The Beatles Film, Help, also had parts filmed here.  The Razor's Edge was another filmed here and was adapted for cinema by John Byrum & Bill Murray from the novel by W. Somerset Maugham.  The film was a critical and commercial failure on its release in 1984.  Many other film scenes have been captured on the Plain and indeed film scenes are taking place at various sites at present.

During the Great Wars

Troops from Australia , America and Canada carved graffiti into trees, during training for the conflicts.  This graffiti can be seen on trees in several of the woods the route passed.

Salisbury Plain was home to Britain's main training compound during the 1914-18 and 1939-45 wars and still is the site of a major U.K. defence department artillery range.

The Canadian carvings from the Second World War include references to Trail in the Kootenays, Sherbrooke, Que and possibly to Lachine, Que.  Time has distorted some words and it is unkown if the soldiers were referencing their hometowns or Canadian military sites from the era.

The tree marked with Trail, also appears to have part of a name — perhaps "N. Har" — and the Sherbrooke tree includes the initials R.C.A.C.A.S., possibly the name of a "Royal Canadian" military regiment.

The ridge of Upper Chalk curves out over Great Fore Down, Little Hill and Urchfont Down.

It was formerly sheep pasture and is treeless.  The War Department bought 1,000 acres of down land south of the Ridgeway in 1897, 1900 and 1911. By 1969 the land formed part of the Salisbury Plain area firing range. 

The tracks are generally stone graded and in quite good condition with a few potholes.

The tour continued north and then turned westwards to skirt one of the Impact Danger areas.

Eventually we turned north again and passed the COTEC site, running parallel and less than a mile from the A360. at Joan o Gores Cross.

Cranfield Ordnance Test and Evaluation Centre (COTEC) performs independent test and evaluation on munitions, weapon systems, pyrotechnic and explosive stores, and conducts disposals and demilitarisation, although its extensive range facilities are suitable for testing other materials and equipment.

The next section took the convoy along the Wessex Ridgeway, along the Northern Transit Route & White Horse Trail.  This route giving views overlooking the picturesque villages of West Lavington, Market Lavington, Easterton and Urchfont, turning right near Goose Hole Plantation, where the Wessex Ridgeway joins the perimeter road to Urchfont via a byway.  The Ridgeway runs on an east to west course on the northern scarp of Salisbury Plain.  A Bronze Age socketed axe, iron brooch, Iron Age haematite-coated bowl and at least two bowl-barrows lie on either side of the Ridgeway at Urchfont Hill.  There are two smaller bowl barrows on Great Fore Down and a field system on Penning Down.  Settlement originated in Saxon times in the wooded clearings on the Upper Greensand.

The next junction crossed was at Redhorn Hill crossing over the Centre Range Road about six miles north of where the convoy first joined the area.

In nearby Urchfont there is a War Memorial which records the names of 17 men who died in World War I.  Canadian troops were billeted in the village in January 1918 for three months.  Their artillery was placed in a field still known today as Gun Park.  Another field to the east of Foxley Corner was known as 'Little Canada' as it was used as the Canadian camp.  Local people in Urchfont and Wedhampton helped nurse troops training on Salisbury Plain who had become ill with trench-foot and pneumonia.  Showers were erected in the Nag's Head car park to enable soldiers to wash mud off themselves.  Troop horses were tethered on the eastern side of the Old Coach Road to the Bustard Inn.

From the junction with the Centre Range Road the convoy was now given different views of the villages of Chirton, Marden, Patney, Wilsford and Rushall which could be seen in the valleys below.

The next landmark passed was at Casterley on Rushall Down overlooking Chisenbury

Casterley Camp

This is an Iron Age hill fort in Wiltshire.  The site  comprises a large Iron Age/Romano-British enclosure, possibly non-defensive in function and incomplete.  The site was partially excavated in the 19th century.

There are many indications of prehistoric settlement.  There was substantial activity on the downs in Neolithic and Bronze Age times and finds include an axe and arrowheads at Casterley Camp.

Casterley Camp itself is probably the earliest settlement and must have been communal with several families living here in the Iron Age.  The village, founded in the early Iron Age, was enclosed by a bank and ditch that was pierced by three entrances.  It is a large site and there were separate enclosures within this bank.

The site was occupied throughout the period and much pottery and many implements were found in excavation here. These included a spearhead and hammer head, brooches, a button and saddle querns for grinding corn.  The pottery included locally made utensils and items imported from present day French and Belgium.

The central complex, probably the settlement itself, covers nine acres and this is surrounded by ditched enclosures, opening out of one another, in the 62 acres enclosed by the outer bank. 

The tour descended down the Transit Route and turning left at Compton, where Bruce Waight who not only headed the convoy, but also kindly allowed and organised parking for the 350 plus vehicles and the lunch halt.  Having completed around 20 miles during the morning loop.

Following the logistical operation of parking so many vehicles, the second part of the tour headed south along towards Lavington Folly, turning left and crossed the Avon Valley to the east over the A345 and via Bravo crossing then passing by Fifield, Combe villages, after climbing the steep hill out of the tank crossing and over the minor road onto the eastern area of the Plain.

After passing Mile Ball woods, opposite the Netheravon airfield, the route had to be changed, a small loop that was planned was cut short, to keep everything running  to time.  From the road crossing at Zulu and  looking back to the west the convoy could be seen approaching, for more than two miles, along the track.

The route headed south along a stretch of new stone track which was not the smoothest of surfaces, for the next two miles, before joining the Southern Transit Route, at the bottom of Silk Hill.

This was followed by another straight but pot holed section of stone track, passing the old Syrencot Airfield  and on towards Charlie crossing over the River Avon, within a few hundred yards of Syrencot House where the D Day landings and other World War 2  activities were planned.

Syrencot House

The house stands close to the small Saxon village of Figheldean, surrounded by Salisbury Plain’s 300 square miles of chalk grassland, where people had farmed for more than 6,000 years until 1898, when the War Department bought most of Figheldean parish and troop-carriers and tanks replaced tractors and threshing machines as the land was given over to military training.

From the 13th century, Syrencot Manor was held by successive generations of the Hussey family, before passing by marriage to the Paulets and eventually being bought by Thomas Dyke in 1639. Thereafter, it descended to William Dyke, whose nephew and namesake was possibly the William Dyke who owned it in 1781 and was described by a contemporary as ‘the greatest farmer in Wiltshire’. In the mid 1800s, the Manor, with about 300 acres, was owned by various members of the Dyke Poore family, before being sold in 1897 to the tenant, George Knowles, who, in turn, sold it to the War Department the following year.

A House Growing in Stature

The hamlet of Syrencot appears to have existed in the 14th century, but, by 1773, only Syrencot House had survived. Originally a small, 17th-century house centred on the entrance hall and a room to the north of it, Syrencot was enlarged to the south for William Dyke in 1738, when a three-storey, red-and-blue-brick block with a five-bay east front was added.  In the early 19th century, the east front was altered by the addition of a wide Tuscan portico. In the mid 19th century, the 17th-century range was extended northwards, when a three-storey service block was built. Finally, the 18th-century block was extended by the creation of a single storey billiard room to the west.

A park was created to the east of the house between 1773 and 1817. The only woodland in the entire parish was created by William Dyke after 1773, when some 80 acres were planted around Syrencot House and on Dunch Hill at the east end of Syrencot and Abingdon Downs. Most of that woodland still stands today.

During the Second World War, Syrencot House operated as a base for paratroopers and was also the military residence of Lt-Gen ‘Boy’ Browning, Gen Sir Richard Gale and Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke, where the planning and execution of Operation Overlord (the Allied invasion of June 1944) and the taking of Pegasus Bridge were thrashed out amid conditions of the utmost secrecy.

After D-Day, Syrencot was to remain ‘a house of secrets'.  The house was reputedly at the centre for some kind of espionage activity, although no official confirmation to that effect was ever given. After the war, Syrencot, with its five acres of gardens and grounds, was leased by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to a building company, which converted the main house into offices.


Abandoned and neglected for the best part of a decade when the firm departed, the house and grounds were almost derelict by the time the MoD offered it for sale in the late 1990s.  Having failed to secure the house when it first came up for tender, the present owners, Maj-Gen Patrick Sanders and his wife, Fiona, were invited to step in and buy the property when the original purchaser pulled out, which they duly did, in May 2000.

Crossing back over the River Avon and the A345, the tour headed up onto Larkhill Down and past the race course and the rear of Larkhill camp.

The route then turned left at Crescent Copse and back towards Rollestone for the finish, having completed close to 40 miles of the byways situated on a small section of the Plain.

The team from Berwick St John Country Fayre and its many voluntary helpers, spent many hours setting this up and had put on a wonderful event, all for the Salisbury Hospital Stars Appeal MRI Scanner Campaign, that alone is something to be proud of.

WAPG - Annual Road Run and Crank Up - 14.04.19.

The Wiltshire Agricultural Preservation Group annual road run and crank up was open to vintage and classic tractors.

The road run is on a circular route, the majority utilising B unclassified roads and byways, stopping for lunch, near Buttermere.  The route this year started in Burbage  at around 10:00 and returned to the same venue.


Thanks to Derek Heath and Mike King for organising this year's route, also thanks to all the Club members etc who allowed me to join them for the day.

The route :

The outward leg of the event ran parallel with the Kennet Avon Canal and the Great Western Railway line from London Paddington, Taunton line; a select number of trains continue to and from Exeter St Davids and Plymouth.  

Just up the road from the start the convoy passed by.

Wolf Hall

This was the legendary Tudor manor that came to epitomise the ruthless world of Henry VIII's adviser Thomas Cromwell and inspired Hilary Mantel's novel Wolf Hall.

But while the timber-framed medieval house, Henry's third wife Jane Seymour once called home has been lost to history, a family home still exists on the estate depicted in the BBC's historical drama - complete with underground passages, creaking floorboards and even a ghost.

Wolf Hall Manor, is named after the original house but the royal knights and regal splendour have gone - replaced by trampolines and wonky basketball hoops in the manor's overgrown garden.

Kennet Avon Canal

This is where the convoy crossed over the canal and passed by the entrance of the Crofton Pumping Station.  The water supply to the western end of the Kennet & Avon Canal was the main engineering challenge facing engineer John Rennie.

The Crofton Beam Engines at Crofton Locks Summit are a masterpiece, using two steam pumps to lift water 40 feet to the canal.  These engines built in 1812 and 1845, are among the world's oldest working steam beam engines.

Crofton Pumping Station is owned by the The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, who run it day to day, including the gift shop, tea rooms and picnic area.

Along the road just around a double bend is Crofton Crossing, a private crossing which takes walkers to Wilton Windmill, with minature stop lights in operation.

Great Bedwyn

The Kennet and Avon Canal was opened from Hungerford to Great Bedwyn in 1799, and from Great Bedwyn to Devizes in 1809. There are four locks in the parish: Burnt Mill Lock and Bedwyn Church Lock near the village, and two on the Crofton flight to the southwest.

In 1862 the Great Western Railway built the Berks and Hants Extension Railway from Hungerford to Pewsey and Devizes, closely following the north bank of the canal, with a station named Bedwyn at Great Bedwyn.  There are regular services to Reading and London Paddington and the station is a railhead for Marlborough, which is served by buses that connect with the trains.

The route passed through Great Bedwyn and Little Bedwyn  then climbed up Oak Hill, past North Standon House and into Hungerford, where the main A338 was crossed by the Town Railway bridge.

Here the route turned left off the A338 and out onto the common, via the Down Gate cattle grid.


Constables of Town and Manor

In many ways, the organisation of the Town and Manor of Hungerford has remained little changed over the past 400 years, since it came under the management of feoffees or trustees in 1617.

The chief office holder of the Town and Manor of Hungerford is the Constable, a post whose origins are even earlier, and holders of this important post are known from as early as 1458.

Other office holders include the Port-Reeve, Bailiff, four Tutti-men, a number of Water-Bailiffs, several Overseers of the Common (Port Down), three Keepers of the Keys of the Common Coffer, Two Ale-Tasters (or 'Testers'), and the Bellman and Assistant Bailiff.  Some offices have fallen from usage, including the Searchers and Sealers of Leather, and the Tasters of Flesh and Fish!

Through the medieval period, the duties of Constable included many parochial duties, including tax collector and keeping the peace. It was unpaid, and probably not a popular assignment.

The Common Port Down

The 1908 Charity Scheme:

By the time of the 1908 Charity Commissioners Scheme, Port Down comprised a total of 192.143 acres.

The Common Port Down now comprises an unspoilt area of about 220 acres (about 89 hectares).  This area includes a number of earlier common fields, including the Port Down, Everlong, Inglewood Down and part of Sanham Down.

The Common Port Down is registered under the Commons Registration Act 1965 and the Countryside, Rights of Way and Wildlife Acts 2000/04 and the management is operated within the constraints of these laws.

There are a number of irregularities visible, including strip lynchets (on Everlong, close to the Down Gate), and the remains of gravel and chalk pits.

A long linear ditch and bank, now partly obscured by rough shrubs and trees, runs east from the port down gate towards Kintbury. This appears to be the boundary between the Common Port Down and the Everlong, and is thought to have been the remains of the "Old and Great Market Road from Hungerford to Newbury",

Activities on the Common:

The Common has been used over the years for a wide variety of recreational purposes, including Bare Knuckle fights in 1821 and 1827, major army manoeuvres in 1872, many rural sports (including the Annual Sports of The Royal and Ancient Order of Foresters) and jubilee events, an army camp in 1st World War, a golf course and steam fairs!

Aeroplanes on the Common:

During the period around the First World War, many early aeroplanes landed on the Common.

In the 1920s, Alan Cobham, the aviation pioneer, applied to build an airport on the common. The project did not get approval!

A gate-keeper's hut stood on the north side of the road at the Down gate until c1930.

The convoy turned right on the Common to leave via the Cattle grid South of the Common towards lower Green and turning right towards Ham.


Ham Cross at the centre of the village is separated by the wooded areas of Church Road from the Manor House and the parish church. These important buildings have no influence on the character of the clustered houses and cottages.

As a small village it is so strongly rural each building seems to be set within its own wooded plot behind either a hedge, a wide grass verge or on a steep green bank.

The few exceptions are the relatively close knit group just south of Ham Cross that includes the public house.

A historic rural cast iron road sign and other artefacts are still visible in the village.

The Crown and Anchor, the name possibly originating from the early 19th century when the press gangs were recruiting among the rural impoverished. with the traditional pole sign are an asset to the street.

To the south is the Grade II listed 16th or early 17th century Rose Cottage of one storey and attic in timber frame, jettied and gabled to the road. It also has some surviving wattle and daub infill panels but many are of red brick nogging.

The thatch is swept over one dormer to each side of the roof that is half hipped over the front gable with a central brick stack. Various casements with glazing bars are fitted, some neatly into the structural frame, but others disrupt it.

Rose Cottage is exceptionally picturesque and a great asset to the street. Within the open frontage area there is a cast iron hand pumping machine with a large winding flywheel, reduction gearing, etc. It is an increasingly rare survival of a once common artefact of the 19th century.

Tudor Cottage was an asset to the street but unfortunately this building has recently been destroyed by fire.

Climbing Ham Hill out of Ham the lunch halt was held by the Byway at Inkpen Hill, overlooking the Berkshire countryside.  Following the lunch halt the route descended down past the grass airfield and left through Fosbury turning back right and on towards Oxenwood.

Having passed through Wiltshire, Berkshire and Hampshire.

Airfield near Buttermere.

Rivar Hill is an all grass airfield near the village of Shalbourne in Wiltshire. Sitting on top of the downs in an area of outstanding natural beauty, the site enjoys excellent soaring from thermals and our North-facing ridge. At almost one mile in length, Rivar Hill is a large, safe site and ideally placed for good local soaring and cross-country flights.


Fosbury's boundary on the east, two thirds of which is with Hampshire, follows the bottom of deep dry valleys. Parts of the boundary on the north and west also follow dry valleys, and a prehistoric earthwork marks part of the boundary on the south.

All Fosbury's land lies on chalk, and there is now no stream. Gravel has been deposited in a north-west and south-east valley across the north part of the land and in the valleys, of which that is one, followed by the boundary on the north and east. 

The land is broken downland with high points at 262 m. and 258 m. in the south and a low point at 135 m. at its easternmost corner. It was apparently long used for sheep-and-corn husbandry. 

A minor road leading north-westwards via Oxenwood towards Hungerford (Berks.) and south-eastwards via Vernham Dean towards Andover (both Hants) follows the valley across the north part of Fosbury's land and the main one along the boundary on the east; where it passes through Fosbury hamlet, it is joined by a minor road leading from Shalbourne along the valley followed by the boundary on the north.


Those two roads and Tunball Lane, leading south-west from Fosbury hamlet, were on their present courses in the later 18th century and are the only roads across Fosbury to have been tarmacadamed. 

The Route passed just South of Oxenwood through Marten, crossing the A338 and passing below the Windmill at Wilton and Wilton Brail to turn left at the canal and rail bridges on the East side of Great Bedwyn.

From here it was a run back to the start venue at Burbage.


Wilton Windmill was built in 1821 after the new Kennet and Avon canal had been built. This canal was built over and through the site of some local watermills and the pumps providing the water for the canal also lowered the river levels so that the remaining watermills were no longer viable.

The mill was in operation for 100 years, however with the introduction of new steam roller mills and fast production of cheap bread it became unwanted, was abandoned and then fell into disrepair.  The mill was finally restored to its former glory in 1976, by a team of dedicated volunteers.

Today it is managed and operated by the Wilton Windmill Society which uses the mill and provides guided tours, whilst the mill is still owned by Wiltshire Council.

The mill was built as a traditional tower mill with a fantail which turns the cap, to ensure that the sails always point into the wind.

The mill has four sails in total; two patent (these are the slatted sails which can be quickly activated) and two common canvas sails, which have to be set before the mill starts to turn.

Today, the mill is fully operational, and produces stone-ground, wholemeal flour.

Arthur Smith - Willys Jeep MB

CTP Spring Road Run - 07.04.19.


The photographs attached were taken on Sunday in Warminster,

Erlestoke Village and Morgans Hill near Calne.

The event started at Warminster central car park and ended at Crockerton shopping centre near Warminster.

The route of about 65 miles headed north through Westbury and along the B3098 Bratton Road past the White Horse.  

(It is believed the Westbury White Horse was cut into the hill in the 1600s.  This was likely to commemorate the Battle of Ethandon in AD878.)

The route continued on along the narrow country road past the deer park at Coulston.  It then dropped down into Erlestoke, passing by the one time home of Lenny Henry and Dawn French, at the Old Village School.  After crossing the A360 , the route continued along the B3098 through Market Lavington, Easterton and Urchfont.  At the  A342 junction a right turn was made along the road to Chirton, passing through the village to Patney railway bridge.  This was once a busy junction where the main line and the now defunct Devizes line met.  The route then crossed the the Kennet Avon Canal at All Cannings and turned right onto Alton Barnes, producing a view of the second White Horse on this trip.

 (It is believed a local farmer Mr Robert Pile, of Manor Farm Alton Barnes, may have been the man who was responsible for the first White Horse at Pewsey.  In 1812 he paid twenty pounds to a Journeyman Painter, John Thorne, known as “Jack the painter”.  Jack the Painter arranged a sub contractor to construct the White Horse, but before the works were completed he took of with the money.  This left Mr Pile to pay out again for the work.

Several renovation works have been carried out, using volunteers and in 2010 renovation work was overseen by Tim Carson, the Farmer, Landowner and Alton Barnes Parish Council.  This work involved 150 tons chalk being delivered to the site by helicopter.)

Following the road through East Kennet the route turned left onto the A4 passing the Long Barrow.  Then passing by Silbury Hill, thought to be constructed 2350 BC, although various excavations have taken place over the years, it is never really provided a reason, for its construction.

At the roundabout the route went on towards Calne passing the Lansdown monument, erected around 1845 in memory of Sir William Petty.  Near to the monument the route passed the third White Horse of the day at Cherhill , one of the oldest White Horses in Wiltshire.

(This White Horse was cut into the hill by Dr Christopher Alsop of Calne referred to as the “Mad Doctor”)

 Before reaching Calne the Route turned left and ascended Morgans Hill. 

(Morgan’s Hill between Devizes and Calne offers incredible views of Cherhill Down and the plains of north Wiltshire.  The reserve is a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its orchids, butterflies and for the general quality of chalk grassland and wildflowers. 

A Roman road runs along its northern edge and the fifth century Wansdyke defines its southern border - built to defend the northern territory of Wessex.  This large bank with a deep ditch is home to early purple orchids and round-headed rampion.

It is believed the hill was named after a local man, John Morgan, who in 1720 was hung at this prominent site for murdering his Uncle.)

The route then went over the Downs to join the A361 overlooking Bishops Cannings and then headed down the hill into Devizes. There were some traffic problems encountered in Devizes due to the Half Marathon and a vintage Motor Cycle gathering.

The route continued on the A361 via Seend and Semington to the A350 at Yarnbrook and via Westbury and the Warminster Bypass, to the finish at Crockerton.

A relaxed event for all types of commercial vehicles over 20 years old.

Salisbury Racecourse

Burrell Showmans Road Locomotive, 3949 'Princess Mary', NO 8287 starting her Journey to Abbey Hill - 06.04.19

I had such a great day out with Karl and Brian Burden with Princess Mary.  We travelled with the engine from Tim and Jane Mayhew’s to The Farwells Yard.

Burrell Showmans Road Locomotive, 3949 'Princess Mary', NO 8287, ‘Princess Mary’ was built in 1922 and exhibited  by Charles Burrell of Thetford, Norfolk, at the Smithfield show Islington.

The engine was delivered February 1923 to Showman William Nicols, Forest Gate, London, to drive old fashioned fairground rides with a dynamo fitted on the front of the boiler from the flywheel.  The 20-ton engine would then pull the rides from town to town.

The engine was built in 1922 and originally built to be a ‘Scenic’ engine but the second dynamo was never fitted.

She worked for two well-known London showmen, and the engine was actually the last of its type to work in the funfair until 1958. She has an unusual roof where it’s sloped, to go under bridges when moved by rail.  It has always been a well worked engine.

In 1943 the engine went to Charles Presland.

During the Second World War she was used to bring down damaged buildings and ruins after the Blitz, using coal rationed from the War Department

After entering preservation, ‘Princess Mary’ was once owned by the major London attraction, Madame Tussauds.  Then by Commander Baldock who owned Hollycombe House and Steam Collection near Liphook, Hampshire, with its own vintage steam fairground and working museum.

In the 1990s, the engine went to a collector from Wareham and was often found at outdoor events and agricultural shows driving up to three fairground rides at once.

We covered 26 miles in 4 hours.  Its not until you travel with these machines you appreciate the severe lack of vision on board!

Wilton Model Engineering & Hobbies Exhibition - 23rd & 24th March 

This Model Engineering Exhibition took place at The Michael Herbert Hall.  A wide variey of very high standard models, live steam, fairgrounds, ships, traction engines, railway locomotives and engineering displays.  There were also some trade stands and refreshments available. 

The outside car park saw plenty of full-size steam engines etc including:

Bernard Coles 1932 Scammell chain drive showmans tractor, Reg No. GX 9363.

Wallis & Steevens Tractor 2694, "Goliath!".  Reg No: AA 2111.  A 3-ton tractor unit 3nhp, Works No. 2694, built in 1903.  “Doc” Romanes was the owner of this engine.  Doc was a giant in the steam engine preservation movement.  

As a tribute to him, please note his photograph on the engines tender.  His involvement and participation in the traction engine races at Appleford and Nettlebed in the early 1950’s are legendary, as these races are recognised as being the beginnings of the traction engine and rally movement as we know them today.

The National Traction Engine Club (now Trust) arose from these races and Doc was instrumental in making it all happen.  Doc was President of the original Dorset Steam and Historic Vehicle Club.  He made an enormous contribution to the development and success of the event in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Doc’s much loved Wallis & Stevens 3 ton steam tractor “Goliath” is the only steam exhibit to have appeared at every Stourpaine/Great Dorset Steam Fair event.

1909 Burrell 6nhp general purpose engine number 3126, owned by Tim Mayhew from Wilton.

Garrett Tractor 34461, "Victoria" is a steam tractor by Garretts in Suffolk. Reg No:PM 4795.

Burrell Showmans Road Locomotive 3949, "Princess Mary".  Reg No: NO 8287

‘Princess Mary’ was built in 1923 by Charles Burrell of Thetford, Norfolk, to drive old fashioned fairground rides with a dynamo fitted on the front of the boiler from the flywheel.  The 20-ton engine would then pull the rides from town to town.

During the Second World War she was used to bring down damaged buildings and ruins after the Blitz.

The engine was built in 1923 and originally built to be a ‘Scenic’ engine but the second dynamo never got fitted.

She worked for two well-known London showmen, and the engine was actually the last of its type to work in the funfair until 1958.  She has an unusual roof where it’s sloped, to go under bridges when moved by rail.  She has always been a well worked engine.”

After entering preservation, ‘Princess Mary’ was once owned by the major London attraction, Madame Tussauds. Then by Commander Baldock who owned Hollycombe House and Steam Collection near Liphook, Hampshire, with its own vintage steam fairground and working museum.

In the 1990s, the engine went to a collector from Wareham and was often found at outdoor events and agricultural shows driving up to three fairground rides at once.

‘Princess Mary’ has been been at shows in Dorset, Somerset, Cornwall and Gloucestershire in 2018.  It was also at Gillingham carnival last year.

Gillingham Gathering  - 24.02.19

This is an early season static gathering of all sorts of vintage vehicles over 20 years old with an optional road run from Warminster.  An informal road run which this year started at Warminster services due to Council car park charges being introduced on a Sunday.  Cars started arriving from 9.00 ready to leave for Gillingham if they wished.

The vehicles had already started to arrive in Warminster when I arrived.  A lot of vehicles, in a lot of cases, are in better condition now than when they were new.  The vehicles having been restored by the owners over many hours and even years.

The overnight frost and fog had cleared before we set off and the bright warm sunshine, made for welcome conditions to be standing on the side of the road in the middle of the countryside waiting to take photographs.

These photographs were taken on Sunday morning at Warminster Services junction A36 and A350 and on the road at Brixton Deverill.


Tornado Flypast Boscombe Down - 20.02.19

The RAF's Tornado jets flew over Bristol today as part of their farewell tour.

The famous fleet, which will retire from service at the end of March, made a series of farewell flights across Britain during the week.

They started their tour of Britain at Cottesmore, and finished at RAF Lossiemouth.

They will fly over Bristol today, heading towards Filton and then Abbey Wood, before making their way to MOD Shrivenham between 2.15pm and 2.30pm.

Since entering service back in 1979, the jets have been used in operations across the world, including more recently in Syria and Iraq.

AMWA Great Ridge Trek - 10th & 11th February 2019

These photographs were taken on Sunday during the two day long distance great ridge treck by kind permission of Lord Margadale and the Fonthill Estate.

Fonthill Estate is near Fonthill Bishop and consists of farmland and woods.  The event was a working, long distance trek organised by the Alaskan Malamute Working Association (AMWA)  John Binding, Organiser & Steve Whitfield, Co Organiser.

The course offered a choice of either 9.3 miles or 14 miles over varying terrain, mostly woodland trails/firebreaks and some wide forest tracks.  The trail was relatively level with one or two small hills, the last hill being difficult after the rain on Saturday.

The photographs show  Kate Murray No 10 who was competing up in Scotland the previous weekend, Jamie Sexton No 7 with three dogs who was competing on the 9.3 mile run.
Sunday saw another very wet and cold day with some sleet in the wind and still some remains of snow on the ground from the previous weekend.

Australia Day 26.01.19 

Courtesy of RH & IR Cradock Ltd

It is a controversial date in Australia, but for many Down Under, 26th January is Australia Day - and the perfect excuse for a few beers and a barbecue.

Marking the day in 1788 when British settlers arrived on Australian shores for the first time and Captain Arthur Phillip raised the Union Jack at Sydney Cove, the day has been part of the national calendar since 1935, and a public holiday since 1994. For millions it is an opportunity to celebrate national pride, either by going to an organised event in their community or by meeting up with family and friends on the holiday.

I was very pleased to be invited to celebrate this day with some of my friends from the vintage ploughing world, ‘The Cradock Family’.

Ian and his son Benjy have recently completed overland tours of the massive country and also been to Iceland.

It was wonderful to hear of some of their exploits and to see the vehicles they had modified and taken on the trips, Ian’s other son Ashley is still out in Australia on his adventures.

It was quite a little gathering with a video made of the Australian tour and also refreshments provided for the guests, friends, customers and exhibitors.  All of this being organised, by the family and friends, in an ideal rustic environment.

The Cradock’s run a farm and as I mentioned, compete in vintage tractor ploughing, but the day was all about the overland trips and how they modernised not only their own vehicles, but also many for customers.

There were exhibitors on show with vehicles from all over the country, this gave everyone a chance to see how they are constructed and made able to endure the hard life out in the countries they go to on expeditions.

The silver Toyota Land cruiser on show, has just been completed for a Bridgewater company Kudu Overland Ltd (see below) by the Cradock family, who are featured beside the vehicle. 

This vehicle was due to go to the company right after the event and will be off to Morocco 5th to 12th April 2019.  A further trip to Morocco is planned for 11th to 27th October 2019.

Extract from Kudu Overland Ltd

On this trip we will meet and spend our first night at the bottom of Spain in readiness to cross the Strait of Gibraltar, as the sparrows rise the following morning. Once clearing the Moroccan border we will head straight down to Marrakech where the real adventure begins.

After a night in Marrakech where you will be free to adventure into the city to experience the smells, sights, sounds and food of the city.

Leaving Marrakech behind us we adventure into the wilds of Morocco, enjoying the varied terrain crossing the high Atlas on our way reaching in excess of 2000m high, some peaks might still be snow covered.

As we head south towards Tata, passing Berber encampments living the nomadic life, and the more permanent villages with date palm wadis and wells drawing in the roaming wildlife for a welcome drink.

You will witness the desert change colour as the sun rises and sets in the evening, and welcome the shade of a palm tree whilst having lunch.

From Tata we head towards the Atlantic coast where we will follow the coast passing through the sand dunes on our way to Agadir.

Leaving Agadir we will head inland for a short while before heading north towards Essaouira on the coast where the off road part of the trip will come to an end and after an evening reminiscing we will start the journey back up to the ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar on then onwards to Santander.

The orange Ford Ranger Wildtrak 2017 Doublecab Pickup by Ironman 4x4 is the company demo pickup built by West Coast Off Road Center, Southport with over £12000 worth of parts fitted.  This was exhibited to show the types of equipment that is used on many of the vehicles from the Iron Man Company.


Along with family ploughing tractors it was quite an event to mark this day.

It must be very fitting to have these people and vehicles on show, considering how the explorations and indeed naming of the continent first took place by British settlers.

New Year's Day Road Run, The Sedgemoor Auction Centre, Bridgwater - 01.01.19

The site was hosting the New Year's Day Road Run, a gathering of vehicles of all ages.  There were well over 400 entries of cars, tractors and commercial vehicles on display.  

Organised by the Somerset Traction Engine Club, who also marshal the event with their club members, the gates opened at 9.00 am and by 11.00 there was little room left for the 400 plus entries of vehicles on the site.  Undercover, market stalls, refreshments and a car boot were available.  Something for everyone.

The vehicles left the site to follow one of two alternative routes at 11.30 am.  All sorts of classic road vehicles participated in a run around the area and out over the Somerset Levels.

If you have any queries or wish to purchase a photograph, please contact me:


+44 7831237759



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  • Eleanor firmstone (Thursday, January 23 20 09:20 am GMT)

    Hi, do you have any information on the steam roller ru7342. We now own the roller and wondered what year this was taken.
    Thanks Eleanor

  • Sarah Mitchell (Wednesday, September 11 19 10:31 pm BST)

    Hi there is a wonderful picture you took of a dear friend of mine on his journey to the gdsf this year. It is in the western daily press dated 22/08/19 Carl Brown roading the Marshall to gdsf. I cannot locate this picture on any website to purchase and was hoping i could purchase through yourself many thanks Sarah

  • John Baines (Friday, April 05 19 03:45 pm BST)

    Have you any photogaphs of James & Crockerills yard in Durrington? Their MD Peter Barber owned the Burrell Scenic Road loco 'Prince of Wales@ and other engines including Burrell roller 'Daffodil'

  • Zoe Read (Saturday, March 02 19 07:08 pm GMT)

    I see you already have dates for this one but I wondered if you would consider adding Purbeck Rally to your event list?
    9th -11th August
    worgret road, wareham, dorset, BH20 6AB
    Raising funds for Forest Holme Hospice Charity & other local causes.

  • Andrew Gray (Wednesday, February 20 19 07:55 pm GMT)

    Is that Mr Dimmer and the train made at Durrington Sec Modern, I started there 1963 and left 1968. Mr Dimmer (Regg) was such a great teacher. Wonderful set of images to treasure. p.s we met today at the Boscombe Down Tornado fly past.

  • Jamie (Saturday, September 01 18 01:39 am BST)


    I am Jamie. One of the coalomen from last weeks steam fair. I know you mentioned taking lots of photos of us and it would be lovely to see them. Please get back to me when you can with prices ect i will most certainly purchase a few! In the meantime i will admire wgat you have on your page here already, hope you enjoyed the show! Speak soon


  • Don Russell (Friday, August 17 18 08:51 am BST)

    Hullo, found your site when looking for GDSF info. I was wondering if you had any information regarding engines travelling to the GDSF. I read engines will be raising money for cancer on there journey but I cannot find any info regarding route and timings.Thanks

  • Brian Moore (Saturday, August 04 18 12:40 pm BST)

    Thanks David: Brian

  • Peter Freeman (Thursday, May 10 18 09:56 pm BST)

    Fantastic site, easy to read and great pics! Keep up the good work.

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