| January/February 1955

Belgrave, Llandrindod Wells, Radnorshire, Great Britain

I was surprised and very pleased to see the photograph of Mr. William Marshall which included myself in your issue for this month. I am one of the lucky ones who benefit by your arrangement with Mr. Pratt for getting copies ever here. It has amazed me how much interest there is in your Country in these elderly engines, for we do tend to imagine that your folk are only interested in what came tomorrow. That you are able to run to such an elaborate and expensively produced magazine with so many pictures goes to show the number, and wealth, of your supporters. Four day Rallies certainly make me wonder, do the organizers, or the engine owners, or the spectators have to work for their living and if so how come four days off in a row?.

Still, we had a little local do last month at Andover, Hampshire, with about 19 engines and I drove my little Burrell Showmans tractor with a trailer of coal, water and tools for 85 miles in modern traffic to get there, all on my lonesome. Went on from there to the National Rally, where there were about 25 engines at Appleford, near Oxford. Here it rained all day and only the threshing engines could get about in any form, while the Showmans engines put their belts on and made light with their dynamos, 'driving light' as we say. All except me, having steamed a good deal farther than any other engine there my little tractor got leaky tubes and as the weather was hopeless I did not attempt to do anything about it. Next weekend we expanded the tubes, lit up, and were home, 115 miles in a day and a half.

All this was with my little Burrell 4NHP, three speed tractor, built in 1912. I also own a big Fowler, also a Showman's engine, 3 speed, 4 shaft, 7NHP. She sports a 350 amp. dynamo and so can light up half a fairground if required. She was built in 1918, six years younger than the Burrell. These two are painted maroon with yellow wheels and look very well together on a fairground, a kind of 'Mother and Son' effect. At Portland .Fair recently we had four in a row with my old 'Queen Mary', the Fowler, lighting the lot of them.

I have recently acquired a Clayton and Shuttle worth tractor, not a Showman, but with rubber tyres and a cab. She has not been done up yet although I have retubed her and had her in steam.

I enclose photos of the two Showmans engines, which, of course, you may keep if you wish.