Posts Tagged ‘traction engine’

A 1940s day on the Isle of Wight

September 23, 2013

Sometimes your luck is in. When we travelled on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway back in July 2004 it was a 1940s themed day. The railway, of course, is utterly delightful. It forms a part of the line between Ryde and Newport and on to Cowes and that was a route I knew and loved from train spotting days. But with the added 1940s theme it was a wonderful day even for non railway nerds.

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We can start in the forecourt at Haven Street where supporting vehicles were available to admire. I do not know if bus trips were available, but I expect they were.

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What a fine vehicle with an interesting history. She was new in 1937 and I quote from http://onlineweb.com/buses-coaches/JT%208077.htm.

This Bedford WTB with Duple coachwork was new to South Dorset Coaches at Corfe Castle in Dorset, and stayed with the company for thirty years.  It then passed to Adge Cutler of The Wurzels, who used her for band transport, but he was also interested in vintage vehicles, and took her to a number of rallies, including the London to Brighton Historic Commercial vehicle Run.  Following Adge’s untimely death, she passed to new owners in Gloucestershire in the mid 1970s.  She became semi derelict before passing to Pearce, Darch & Willcox, at Cattistock in Dorset who restored her, and recertified her as a PSV in 1987.  After two or three years the company and its modern coaches sold out to Southern National, but JT 8077 remained in the old garage until 1992 when acquired by John Woodhams Vintage Tours in Ryde, Isle of Wight. Very few WTBs survive today, and JT 8077 is the only known example in passenger service.

On the railway there was a demo ammunition train which pootled about.

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But it was the extras which made the day for me.

image008 A 1940s lady, complete with pram, enjoys a picnic.

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This is a 1909 Marshall steam traction engine.

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A couple of pictures of a 1940s motorcyclist

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A display of 1940s goods as a kind of shop counter.

But now you’ll have to forgive my nerdism. The Isle of Wight line has two of my favourite class of loco. Neither were in steam, but they are still fantastic engines. They are the 1872 designed A1x class of the old London Brighton and South Coast Railway – always known as Terriers. Quite a few were still operating in the 1960s. They had spent working life time on the island so there is a rightness about them being there.

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Number 11 was sold by the Brighton company and used on the Isle of Wight. She returned to the mainland and survived until 1963 when Butlins bought her as a static exhibit at Pwllheli. She returned to the island in 1972.

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Number 8 was also used on the Isle of Wight for many years before returning to the mainland. She was withdrawn in 1963 and became a pub sign on Hayling Island before arrival back on THE island in 1979.

A chance traction engine at Poulshot

September 12, 2013

Ten years ago, in August 2003, we had aunt and uncle staying with us. We had taken them to the village of Poulshot in Wiltshire when a very nice traction engine rolled into the village. It was in need of water.

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The crew obviously were in need of refreshment as well for they stopped outside the pub.

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The front end of this Tasker’s built locomotive.

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It was built in Andover.

This loco was built in 1923 and worked first in the Tunbridge Wells and then the Uckfield area. In 1934 it was converted to a roller and then worked in the Horsham area for a while. After a spell in Tasker’s museum it was converted back to a tractor and went out on the road again in 1969.

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It looks more complex to manage than a modern vehicle.

What a lovely bonus that was for me. And the older generation loved it too.

Brown and May

July 23, 2013

Brown and May were agricultural engineers in Devizes. They ceased trading 100 years ago in 1913. The centenary of the closure was marked by the Brown and May trust, in Devizes. You can read a brief company history on the photo below.

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There are believed to be 16 extant Brown and May engines. 14 of them were on display.

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Here’s a portable in need of attention.

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A steam tractor

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A showman’s engine

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A Brown and May transfer.

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A works plate on a portable.

But Brown and May advertised and there were little paper exhibits too.

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An idyllic scene with some equipment prices.

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And Brown and May made smaller items, like these weighing scales.

What a great item – and a great event too.