musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: traction engine

Tewkesbury Mini-steam Weekend 2017

It was that time of the year when Tewkesbury holds a number of events in and around the town. The first event that I attended this year was the mini-steam weekend that was held on the 24th and 25th of June. I attended the event last year too as well as in 2015. I had an information leaflet somewhere but seem to have mislaid it again so will really cheat a bit if I need info. The event is held by the Model Steam Road Vehicle Society. in the grounds of the Tewkesbury Rugby Club.

The engines on display are not the large full sized beasties, but smaller versions that mimic their bigger breathren; and like the full sized vehicles are feats of engineering way beyond my skill level. Realistically most of the machines this year were the same as I saw last year, in fact that was the problem with the event this year, I had seen it before but I do look for the odds and ends that make it different. 

This was the first engine that I saw while I was walking to the event, I have seen this guy quite often with his engine “Jack”, and he seems to thoroughly enjoy himself. The Abbey can be seen in the background of the image. 

The event has the usual mix of traders, enthusiasts, vintage cars and interested parties, and quite a few of the engines were raising steam when I got there.

Oh, and having their brightwork polished. Make no mistake, these machines require lots of time, patience and probably a healthy bank balance too. 

This wonderful showmens engine is typical of that particular type of vehicle with loads of shiney brass fiddly bits.

I am always fascinated by the electrical plant on these machines. It has a certain “Frankensteinish” look about it.

Here are a few of the steamers just waking from their slumbers while their owners had that first cuppa.

There was one exhibit that I ended up rooted to the spot at. It featured a single sided ploughing engine (my terminology may be out of wack though), and I spent quite a lot of time listening to the owner enthusing about his pet project. And, she was a beauty. 

I am no boffin on these things, but this system uses a single ploughing engine, an anchor, with an associated trolley and a double ended tool carrier. Wait, let me see whether I can find a link to explain it all. http://www.steamploughclub.org.uk/index.htm has a nice description on how steam ploughing actually works. In the image above the engine is closest to the camera. The dolly in the middle looks like this. Since the war ended GI Joe has gone into the ploughing industry.

The other end (called a travelling anchor) looks like this….

And it has the large disk-like wheels to prevent it being pulled sideways by the engine with ballast on the opposite side to the engine to prevent it from tipping from the load. A large twin forked anchor is set into the ground ahead of it and it is winched forward to the anchor as the rows are ploughed.  

These models are really magnificent and the owner is rightly proud of them too. I can see why. 

A full sized ploughing engine? they look like this… 

Continuing on my meander I also spotted this quirky steam powered ape. 

Who says steam in not versatile?

While I was walking around a number of engines were making their way to the arena where they circled around in a slightly haphazard way.

You can even use steam to walk the family dog and tow the family around.

There was a small display of vintage cars, and there were some I had not seen before.

And then there was this Kombi in the distance, she should have been in that line-up too.

By now I was considering my homeward trek and stopped at some of the traders tents to look around. The one tent had all of these wonderful old vintage and not so vintage tools in it, and what a strange eclectic collection it was. 

And while I was loitering there I heard a strange noise behind me… 

And then it was time to go. However I shall enthral you with my random pics.

   
   

And that was my day. Hope you enjoyed it too.

One final pic… because this is one of the things that Tewkesbury is known for:

© DRW 2017. Created 24/06/2017

Updated: 24/06/2017 — 15:39

James Hall Museum Of Transport

One of the better museums in Johannesburg is the James Hall  Museum of Transport in La Rochelle in Southern Johannesburg. It is the sort of place that is always worth visiting even if you have been there many times before. The museum was founded in 1964 by the late James “Jimmie” Hall and in conjunction with the Johannesburg City Council. The oldest motorcar on display is a 1900 Clement Panhard, but there are other items that are much older.

I have spent many hours there, meandering through the exhibits and I really enjoy seeing so many vehicles from my past. However, it is very difficult to present a balanced view of the museum because it has so many exhibits, and they are really a feast for the eyes. The museum consists of a number of exhibition spaces. Entry is at the doorway on the image above. This part of the museum does not really interest me because it is really about the days when the petrol engine was but a dream.

From this hall you move into the open courtyard area where many of the vehicles are stored or displayed. This is also where the majority of the traction engines are housed behind a fence. Many exhibits move around within the museum so some of my images show the exhibit where it was at the time and it may no longer be in that position at the time of writing or reading.

This is supposedly the largest collection of traction engine and steam powered vehicles in the country. However, I do not know how many of them can actually run. Many of the exhibits are related to transport in Johannesburg, so you will find the Christmas Bus, travelling Library and a number of ex-council vehicles in this space 

This is also where you can find the toilets and a small refreshment concession. The entrance to the next hall can be found in this courtyard and it leads into the hall where the majority of the exhibits are fire engines. 

This space leads into the blue tinted hall that houses the classic cars and motor cycles from many eras. It is a fascinating space and I remember many of those vehicles from my own childhood.

The door to the outside shed is to the right in this hall, and to the bus hall in the corner on the left of this image. The outside shed is where the agricultural machinery and steam engines are stored. I photographed the steam engines many years ago and their history may be found at old Steam Locomotives in South Africa (4 pages)

You get to the last exhibition space through the motor vehicle space and this hall is used to exhibit buses from various places in three lines. It also has the last tram that ran in Johannesburg. Unfortunately, the nature of the hall precludes effective photography because it is a very narrow space.

The exit to the museum is through this hall (image below)

 

That is the museum in a nutshell.  Do not take my word for it though, it is an awesome museum and well worth a visit. The museum does not charge for entry but a donation is always helpful, and always check the opening times so that you are not disappointed.

Many years ago the Transvaal Branch of the World Ship Society was given an area to exhibit nauticalia in when they held an open day. There are almost no aircraft or ship related exhibits. All the images in this post were taken at the museum over 4 different visits. 

© DRW 2017. 03/04/2017

Updated: 11/04/2017 — 06:56

Welland Steam and Country Rally (Odds and Sods)

Having come this far you are probably asking yourself “Isn’t it enough already?”

I have bad news. There is even more. In this section I am going to add some of those odd objects and uncategorised vehicles that I saw that caught my eye. Some are not even vehicles!

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Enuff said! Bring on the images!

Yes it is steam powered

Yes it is steam powered

The part that goes "Parp"

The part that goes “Parp”

 
   
   
   
   

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© DRW 2016-2017. Created 31/07/2016

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 20:06

Welland Steam and Country Rally (Traction Engines)

 [ First Page ] [ Military Vehicles ] [ Cars and Trucks ] [ Traction Engines ] [ Odds and Sods ]

For me the drawcard of a steam rally are items that use steam as a means of propulsion or to do stuff with. Diesel just does not have that same pulling ability that steam does, and a perfect example was the steam shovel. Close by was a similar diesel powered shovel and more people were watching the steam powered version even though they were both doing the same thing. 

I am fortunate that I do have the catalogue so may be able to Identify some of the machines in my pics, however the pics taken in the arena are quite dark because of the heavy cloud cover that was developing. 

The highlight of the traction engines was definitely the Showman’s Engines. I was amazed at how big they were, most that I had seen previously had all been miniatures. This was the first time I had seen full sized versions.

Most of these machines were already blinding to the eyes, but the shining continued all the time.

The dynamo/generator/alternator is mounted on a shroud protruding over the smokebox door, and even that was spotless.

The agricultural sector was also well represented with ploughing engines in action, these too are huge machines, and even they are spotlessly clean as can be seen by this Fowler ploughing engine. 

There were a number of traction engine cranes at the fair, and I find them fascinating because of their sheer size and the ability to lift things. I have however not seem one of them in action (much to my dismay).

The steam powered trucks and lorries have also always been a favourite of mine, there is something about that transition between traction engine and truck that I find fascinating. There were quite a few on display too, so choosing pics is difficult.

What I did find quite impressive was this Burrell Road Locomotive trundling along with it’s load consisting of a boiler. You did not want to stand in it’s way.

Overall though there were a lot of engines, and trying to show each one is impossible, because there were potentially 72 full sized machines, 34 miniatures as well as 22 showmen’s engines, and I doubt whether I saw half of them.

And when all was said and done,

and they had lined up,

one by one.

With a mighty roar,

and spray of steam,

their whistles farewell did scream.

Final line up (1500x636)

Final line up (1500×636)

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McLaren 6" showmans engine "Goliath"

McLaren 6″ showmans engine “Goliath”

Fowler "Lord Doverdale" (1917)

Fowler “Lord Doverdale” (1917)

Ruston Proctor 6" scale

Ruston Proctor 6″ scale

Marshall No 28922.  “Alderman”

   
Wm Foster & Co. "Pride of Freystrop"

Wm Foster & Co.

“Pride of Freystrop”

Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies. "Velfrey Queen"

Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies.

“Velfrey Queen”

The Burrell "Herbert's Galloping Horses on tour"

The Burrell “Herbert’s Galloping Horses on tour”

Garrett No 34085

“Baroness”

   
McLaren 1332 "Gigantic"

McLaren 1332 “Gigantic”

Garrett 4" model "Muriel"

Garrett 4″ model “Muriel”

   
Burrell Road Locomotive "Duke of Kent"

Burrell Road Locomotive

“Duke of Kent”

Aveling & Porter 10072 "Achilles"

Aveling & Porter 10072

“Achilles”

Burrell 3" "Gladwys"

Burrell 3″ “Gladwys”

Garrett 6" "Claire"

Garrett 6″ “Claire”

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 31/07/2016. Bad poetry by DR Walker.

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 20:07

Welland Steam and Country Rally (I)

This morning we headed off to the Welland Steam and Country Rally which is held at Woodside Farm, Welland, Worcestershire. The weather had been changeable lately, and there were periods of cloud and blue skies, but overall it was a great day.

Because of the amount of images I took (over 800) I have split this blog post into as 5 parts because there was a lot to see: ranging from scooters, vintage cars, traction engines, military vehicles, strange steam shovels, stationary engines, vintage trucks, and everything in between. I had no real priority though because it all went pear shaped when we arrived and I realised there was a lot on display.

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Regular followers of my blogs will know I have an eclectic taste in many things, so I did take a lot of pics. Some good, some bad.

The area where the rally was held was a large one, but then there were a lot of exhibits on display and a lot of people too. In fact there were quite a large number of dogs accompanying visitors, and that can be quite confusing.

For me there were a number of highlights, although not much would beat the steam shovel. 

This machine belched steam and smoke from a number of places as it grabbed bits of gravel from the pit and deposited it on the other side. There was just something about it that held you spellbound. I have never seen a steam powered version of one of these in action before and it was fantastic. I have video of it on my youtube channel.

Another machine that I was hoping to see in action was a 1901 Dubs steam engine with a crane mounted on it. I had first seen one of these at Chasewater Railway  but was curious to see one in action.

Unfortunately she never really worked, she just seemed to run backwards and forwards on a length of track and that was it. She is not an easy loco to photograph either, and this image was probably my best. 

There was another crane that I wanted to see in action, because there were remnants of one at Sanrasm North Site, but this crane did not have much of a  “wow!” factor. 

In this area they had a number of working machines powered by steam, and the crane was used to pick up logs to feed into a steam driven circular saw, I did look for the “damsel in distress” about to be rendered into messy bits by the saw but ‘ealth ‘n safety were having none of that.

and Scrumpy was just dog tired.

This area also had a makeshift navvy camp and it was interesting because as usual no work was being done. In fact the one item I really wanted to see doing something wasn’t doing anything! 

And here he is… 

Just waiting for me to turn my back so that he can rattle down the track while I am not looking. I was really hoping that this was some previously undiscovered narrow gauge loco, but it turns out that it is not, The builders plate identifies her as Wilbrighton Wagon Works Number 2, (2007) so she is really a newbuild and carries the name “Howard”.  I cannot find out too much about her as yet, but she tentatively seems to belong to the Statfold Barn Railway, Tamworth, in Staffordshire. I will have to do more reading about this one I am afraid.

Part of the attraction of the rally was the fun fair and the attendant Showmans Engines.  Most of the traction engines i have seem have been smaller versions, these were the fulll size machines and they were stunning. They had so many people swarming over them cleaning that it was difficult to get a clean shot of the machines.

There is a an overhang at the front of the machine and that is where the dynamo (generator?) is bolted onto that is run via a belt to the flywheel of the engine. 

110 Volts, 220 Amps. That is quite an impressive piece of kit! 

But then when you are running one of these you need all the power you can generate. 

Close to the fun fair was the Military Vehicle display which sucked me in as per usual. Although much to my dismay most of the equipment was of American origin. 

With the exception of this stunning Kübelwagen 

I have posted the military vehicles in a separate post but for now will leave you with a pic of a vehicle that does bring back memories of my own time in the SADF.

The Bullnose Bedford we knew as the “Vasbyt Bedford” and they were painted that ugly “Nutria” colour that the SADF used. I actually drove one of them in Jan Kemp Dorp and nearly demolished the only hairdresser and robots in the dorpie.

The arena was not too far away, and during the day they held a display of vintage cars and bikes, as well as military vehicles, small scale traction engines and of course full size traction engines. Some of these will all be dealt with separately.

Walking a bit further there there was a nice display of various vintage stationary engines/pumps/generators/ and similar machines.  They are odd machines to see because many are incredibly reliable and quite old. I always find it amusing how every now and they they emit a solitary “splut!”. I usually do not photograph these odd machines but they can be fascinating in their own right.

This 1929 Gardner 2 stroke reversible diesel engine was running and was one of a pair of engines that were used on board the motor yacht Cordelia II.  

While all this was going on, a number of giant calliope type machines were churning out a selection of oompah elevator music that impinged on the ear drums the moment you came with range.

The irritation factor of these things is huge, although I have to admit I am impressed that it can produce something almost recognisable as music, or should that be muzak?

Having done a circumnavigation of the site it was time to start watching out for when the arena events were happening. So far the vintage cars had been on display as had a selection of motor cycles. 

Next on the list was the smaller version engines. These I was was used to seeing because most of the rallies I had been to had featured the smaller versions. This rally had the fully size machines and some were really huge. But first…. 

and then…….

Followed by…..

I had secured myself a nice ringside rail to lean against (later upgraded to a chair) and could settle down to watch the parade.

My self imposed limit of pics on a page allows me to share some random images before we reach the end. 

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Random Stuff

 

 

To be continued

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 30/07/2016

Updated: 14/12/2016 — 20:08

Tewkesbury Mini-steam Weekend 2016

This morning I headed off to the Tewkesbury Mini-steam weekend held at the Tewkesbury Rugby Club grounds. This is the 2nd time I have attended this event, and I cannot believe that I have been in this town now for over a year. The event is held by the Model Steam Road Vehicle Society and showcases some of the smaller versions of the steam traction engines that are so popular around the country.

Last year was great, and while I did not do a blogpost I did showcase some of the images in my gallery. Unfortunately today the weather was not great and the sky changed colour quite a few times during my visit, and at one point it was even drizzling. But, steam is steam! let the steaming begin.

2017 can be found on it’s own page.

I arrived early (as usual) and did the rounds, looking for interesting steamers worthy of a second look. There was a really nice collection of vintage vehicles on show, and in my book the Ford Zephyr was tops until the Morris dropside van came along.

I was however not here for the cars. I was here for the steamers!

ministeam 024

So many distractions!

As I was saying, the accent in this event is not on full size traction engines, but on smaller half/quartersixth sized ones. Do not be mistaken by the size though, those small machines are working replicas of the real things, and they are not made of plastic. 

This early in the morning steam was being raised and brasses polished and bunkers were being filled. 

And of course the gubbins had to be adjusted too, now if only we knew where the gubbins actually was.

And as the morning wore on more steamers were waking up and steaming across the grass, smoking from the long extensions in their chimneys, while some just stood around smoking!

The steam wagons are interesting vehicles, and they do present a different set of challenges to the operator. 

 

Unlike last year when there was some sort of grand parade, I did not see one advertised this year, or not for the period that I had scheduled for my visit. Like it or not, I was not keen to hang around here the whole day, especially with drizzles coming and going. You can bet though, the moment I was out of earshot the grand parade commenced. 

I was also very impressed by the way the whole family gets roped into the occasion, and even the dog has a go.

Now remember, one bark means left, two barks means right! 

These machines were never built for speed though, they belong to a very different age, and of course age group. But it is good to see many youngsters and women participating in driving and keeping the machine in peak condition. 

These machines do not come cheap, and many have been in the family for a long time, They are more of an investment as opposed to a toy.

I have to admit Maud (image beneath) was a stunning machine with a fair turn of speed too. She is based on a JH McLaren machine. 

While the beauty beneath is based on a Wm Allchin Ltd Machine

To me though the best machine had to be the 15 Ton crane, 

There is definitely something dignified about these machines, whether is it the almost silent running of the machine in neutral, or the slow almost waddling gait as they pass by.

These are the machines that make small children point and get excited over, and which older men like me look at wistfully. Like their cousins that run on rails, they are machines from a different era, but they still have the ability to turn heads. Such are the machines of legend.

Random images from the cutting room floor.

© DRW 2016-2017. Created 25/06/2015

Updated: 24/06/2017 — 15:32
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