STEAM TRACTION ON THE ROAD

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STEAM TRACTION ON THE ROAD

This year’s Bishops Castle Traction Engine Rally was as comprehensive as ever and extremely well supported, the ring being lined with spectators even during the heavy rain showers that fell on August Bank Holiday Monday. On the Saturday, to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Salop Steam Engine Society’s formation, the engines had undertaken a Road Run from Church Stretton (where the Society’s first rallies were held) to a lunch stop at the Powis Arms Hotel, at Lydbury North, via Marshbrook, Horderley and Plowden, the holiday traffic taking the hold-ups in good part and a hedge-fire caused by one engine being speedily extinguished. The expected range of fine engines took part and also paraded at the rally field, introduced to the strains of Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance”. The great Burrell and Maclaren showman’s locos, a Fowler BB Super Lion crane engine, Garrett, Fowler, Marshall, Ruston Proctor, Avcling & Porter, Foster and Ransomer traction engines, the many Foden and Sentinel steamwaggons, and Wallis and Steevens and other road-rollers were amongst them, supported by portable steam engines, stationary engines, fairground-organs, miniature traction engines, a 7./2″-gauge steam-railway and no on. A steam “baker’s van”, allegedly from a steam-bakery naturally, joined in; it has an engine from a 1901 Locomobile steam car, the body of a horse-drawn 1905 “Hovis” van, on full-elliptic springs, and a chassis with front-wheel brakes. The old car and motorcycle folk added their support, the cars including all kinds of Austin 1 2/4s, a 1922 Standard two-seater, Reed’s very nice 1936 Riley and an equally smart Model-A Ford saloon, with two Model-Ts to back it up. Guest’s 1929 Riley Monaco had its Soles at the furred of its manifold, Shotton’s Bentley had turned into an early Sunbeam Fourteen tourer, and a 1920 Clyno two-stroke motorcycle was interesfing. Commercial vehicles from 1921 onwards formed a large part of the non-external-combustion exhibits, military vehicles were represented, and it was noticeable that more and more of the stationary engines on show are driving water-pumps or other

equipment. For instance, there was a model mill-cottage with a working water-wheel beside it, which a stationary engine was feeding with water; there were other impressive, one might say foaming, water displays, and even a 1900 Heinrici hot-air engine driving a watchmaker’s lathe. The VMCC had its expected big display of old motorcycles, and the very odd 1934 Tritox single-seater tricycle-van propelled by a 150 c.r. Villiers two-stroke engine would surely be welcome at a future VSCC Cyclecar Rally in spite of its post-vintage dating, We had scarcely recovered from looking at that and the Nimbus and Bolunerland than we came on a 1922 vee-tw. Ariel combo with a pedal-operated clutch — we know, because the pedal was clearly labelled “Clutch”. . . The veteran cars which braved the wet Bank Holiday to attend included Painter’s 1903 Clement, Yates’ 1911 Minerva landaulette, Morgan 3-wheeler and Reg Worthing’s 1913 Model-T Ford. A very worthwhile show, which you are recommended to attend should you be Shropshire nest August ‘Bank Holiday and the atmosphere of which we hope to capture in the accompanying photographs of the road run.

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