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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Steamin' at Preston

I seem to have had a three week break from the blog, for no particular reason, but here's one to make up for lost time... an afternoon at Preston Steam Event, near Wingham. My ever-indulgent better half allowed me to drag her round the site (the trade-off was several hours uninterrupted tennis-watching, and she did go to Wimbledon on Wednesday, so it was my turn for a treat...).

A great little steam rally, nice to see people enjoying their obsessions, maintaining our industrial heritage and keeping the idea of steam power alive for younger generations to whom steam is as alien as handwritten letters and telephones connected to the wall by cables (sorry, almost went off in to one then).

Anyway, here are a few pictures taken on my phone which came out surprisingly well given it's 4 years old and only 1 megapixel - I didn't have my 'proper' camera with me when we spontaneously decided the steam fair was an acceptable idea after all. Hmmmph.

I know nothing about bikes, but these two looked pretty cool...
Preston Steam Event 2008


Preston Steam Event 2008

And then the small engines - some were about one-third or one-half scale...
Preston Steam Event 2008

And some were really tiddly, with drivers clearly having fun fun fun.
Preston Steam Event 2008


A few travelling fairground organs provided the musical backdrop:
Preston Steam Event 2008


And then inside the permanent sheds - an amazing display of lumps of rust just waiting to be rescued and restored:
Preston Steam Event 2008


Preston Steam Event 2008


Made in Britain, exported to South America (and somehow returned to here). Just an indication of the reach of our engineering heritage in days of Empire... these two had been destined for Buenos Aires, and others were for Valparaiso and other parts distant....
Preston Steam Event 2008


Preston Steam Event 2008


Some ina beter state of restoration than others, of course:
Preston Steam Event 2008


Go on, you can say it - they are really pretty, aren't they!
Preston Steam Event 2008


And a shed full of organs, a fabulous noise, some great percussion and some beautiful carving and plasterwork.
Preston Steam Event 2008


This monster was from a German manufacturer...
Preston Steam Event 2008


And some WWII vehicles, including this tea wagon serving tea in enamel mugs.
Preston Steam Event 2008


And last, but so so not least, this steam-powered carousel, with the gallopers rising and falling to the sounds of the fairground organs, and puffs of steam from the centre engine. Grrrrreat...
Preston Steam Event 2008



There, that was a good couple of hours, and definitely a return visit when they have their next open day. The nicest thing (I think) is that this isn't just a steam fair in a random field or showground, but at the premises of a company devoted to the restoration and display of these masterpieces of engineering. Interesting web site too... Preston Services. Go on, buy one.

3 comments:

Matt B said...

Blooming fantastic. My ol' dad would have been in heaven. Did you know that most steam engines are carbon neutral? There are so green because they can be fueled sustainably through any number of managed forestry methods such as coppicingg.

ZumiWeb said...

There was something in the programme for the day about using wood rather than coal...

All steamed up said...

Lovely to be back in the world of Fred Dibnah for a few minutes - thanks for all the lovely photos. I love carousels - unfortunately I managed to twist my right knee dismounting the one at Palm Bay air show the other week - it is still rather painful but I wouldn't have missed my ride for anything!