| November/December 1982

Similarities and differences of American and British steam rallies came clear to us as my wife Margaret and I visited the Carrington Park Rally in Lincolnshire, England this spring.

Our guides were Roger and Celia West. Roger is editor of Steaming, the quarterly magazine of the National Traction Engine Club; Celia serves as his co-worker in many ways in preparing the magazine for printing. The office is in their home in Market Harborough, a small picturesque Midlands town.

The chuff-chuff of steam, and the smoke rising from the stacks, spoke the international language which draws all traction engine buffs together. The day was fair, and the crowd was large. Everyone had a good time. This was genuinely a holiday event, as are the shows in the U.S. and Canada.

Carrington Park is one of a series of rallies approved by the NTEC. All the approved rallies are listed in a folder issued in spring, starting with events in April. The schedule continues into November, closing with the Beaulieu Firework Fair handled through the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu.

The Carrington Park Rally was held on Sunday and Monday, May 30 and 31. You must remember that although this was Memorial Day weekend in the U.S., the British do not observe our Memorial Day. Yet it was a special weekend there nevertheless, a Spring Bank Holiday weekend.

Roger and Celia very kindly picked us up at the home in London in which we were staying, and drove us to their home, about 80 miles north. We talked shop, of course. Roger, a dyed-in-the-wool steam enthusiast, is an encyclopedia of information. An architectural draftsman, he owns his own steam roller and helps in the restoration of other traction engines in the headquarters of the Welland Valley Club at Market Harborough. He has an excellent collection of photographs and books dealing with steam transportation, his main interest, as well as with traction engines.


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