BRITANNIAS GRAND GLOBAL TOUR


| September/October 1972

  • A steam-driven English truck
    Pictured above is a steam-driven English truck that I saw for the first time this spring.
  • Advance Rumely Steamer
    Advance Rumely steamer taken at the Platte City, Missouri Show in the early 1960s. Courtesy of M. M. Glenn, 8625 West 60th, Shawnee Mission, Kansas 66202.
    M. M. Glenn

  • A steam-driven English truck
  • Advance Rumely Steamer

Cross-Country Ink, Inc., Box 3660, Los Angeles, California 90028).

This well-preserved 'van', which will be 50 years old next year, was on the first leg of an around-the-world tour and had just been unloaded from an ocean-going freighter in San Francisco, California, where it was on display along The Embarcardero . only a stone's throw from the famous Fisherman's Wharf.

In talking to the very obliging three-man crew (driver, mechanic, and I presume relief driver) whose accents gave away their New Zealand origin, I learned that the truck is to cross the United States this summer and will visit several steam shows; they had no definite itinerary, however. When they asked me for suggestions, I of course put in a 'plug' for my own favorite show, the Midwest Old Settlers and Steam Threshermens Reunion that meets in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, over Labor Day weekend. I imagine though that the Britannia may be as far east as Williams Grove by then!

Top speed of this rig is 16 miles per hour. The fuel is slab wood, and a supply of it is kept in a small bin behind the driver. The body on the rear provides very comfortable living quarters for the crew. I was told that England's Foden Motor Company, which built this beautiful vehicle, is still building trucks .... but now they are all diesels!



The truck's arrival in San Francisco was very timely, as opposite it across the street was stored Mr. Alan Pegler's 'Flying Scotsman' train where it had been stored for the winter. The familiar green 4-6-2 steam locomotive and cream-colored cars were being made ready for a regularly scheduled 3-mile sightseeing trip along the waterfront to the Oakland Bay Bridge .... a service which is now operational. Courtesy of F. Clayton Snyder, 6633 North Drake Avenue, Lincolnwood, Ill. 60645.

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