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.
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.
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….
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.
To be continued
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