Lugtrout Lion

Lugtrout Lion with Mr. Nelson

'Lugtrout Lion' with Mr. Nelson and Les Allen at the controls, pictured outside Mr. Nelson's home in Lugtrout Lane.

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In his stately way the 'Lugtrout Lion' cocked a metaphorical shook at the other animals on the jungle path and continued his ponderous journey.

His pace may have been slow but his superior strength was undisputed and the other creatures were respectful. And well they might have been, for 'Lugtrout Lion' is a powerful 40 years old steam-roller, whose 'den' is at the Sheldon Works of Nelson and Co., engineers and mobile crane hirers, the managing director of which is Mr. L. V. Nelson, Of 'Rose croft', Lugtrout Lane, Elmdon Heath.

The 'Lion's' jungle paths on Sunday was the route between Sheldon and the Museum of Science and Industry, Birmingham for the Museum's traction engine rally.

THIRSTY! Leaving the company's yard at 9 a.m., he set a steady pace between three and four miles per hour with Mr. Nelson at the wheel, and 17 years old Lee Allen, of 390 Lugtrout Lane, steering and arrived at the rendezvous with 15 other old stagers two and a half hours later!

On the return journey, this time as far as Mr. Nelson's home in Lugtrout Lane, a weary 'Lion' trundled back in three and a quarter hours! Total distance, some 20 miles.

Like any other King of the animals on a long trek, his thirst and hunger had to be satisfied. He stopped once each way for water - 160 gallons of it -and had consumed no less than five cwt. of coal by the end of the day; best coal, that is. Welsh steam coal!

STILL TIRED! Mr. Nelson, who bought 'Lugtrout Lion' from Banbury Corporation in the summer of last year, saving him from the scrap yard, commented on Monday: 'It was the longest journey I have made with the steamroller and what with the shaking and Vibration vibration I am still very tired!

'Lugtrout Lion', a six horse compound steam engine was made in 1922 by John Fowler and Sons (Leeds) Ltd. After his rescue from Banbury Corporation he was renovated at a cost greater than the original price Mr. Nelson paid for him and is now a handsome but unusual variation of 'The Status Symbol' in the Sheldon area.

Note for the cognoscenti: The 10 ton Lion mustered a maximum pressure of 180 lbs. per square inch during Sunday's trip.

Solihull News, England