Esq. 'Wentlea' Capel St. Many, Ipswich, Suffolk, England
A great day for the steam men of Great Britain was the 21st of June, for on that day a grand rally and reunion was held at Hors monde in Kent. The organizing of this was not the affair of any society or association, not necessary to even set up a committee, for this was one man's 'all out' effort. Chris. W. Lambert was that man and he spared nothing for its success. Nothing of this kind can be seen anywhere else in this country or even on this side of the Atlantic.
Without a secretary and with only the help of his wife, 200 letters went out, 600 miles were traveled to procure engines with which to enlarge the show and as a result, 35 engines were gathered together. There were at least 12 different makes: Aveling and Porter, Rochester, Kent; Charles Burrell and Sons, Thetford, Norfolk; Clayton and Shuttle worth, Lincoln; Wm. Allchin, Northampton; Marshall Sons and Co., Gains-borough, Lines.; Sentinel Waggon Works, Shrewsbury, Shropshire; Wm. Tasker, Andover; Wallis and Steevers, Basingstoke; Richard Garrett and Sons, Leiston, Suffolk; Ruston, Lincoln; John Fowler and Co., Leeds; Paxman, Colchester, Essex; Brown and May. Devizes; and of many different types: traction engines, tractors, plow engines, steam trucks, steam road rollers and portable engines. What is more, all of these except two is were the property of Mr. Lambert and even the two exceptions had been his and were sold by him to their present owners. One of these is quite a midget, the smallest type of tractor built in, this country. It began its long and useful life by hauling loads of furnture from town to town, truly living up to its name, 'Little Giant' This was in steam and so were 19 others. One big feller at the other end of the scale, weighing 15 tons, had in the early days hauled wagon loads of coal at a gas works but later acquired plenty of brass trimmings and became a brass how engine, hauling the show mans gear from fairground to fairground and generating electricity for lighting the sideshows at night. This sight is one you missed in the States but one of which we never get tired over here. Still with its brass and ornaments, it fascinated all who saw it. Two hundred people were present, some had come nearly 300 miles to see and enjoy the fun. There was not a bed to he had in Horsmonden the previous night and getting a meal was a problem although Mr. Lambert acted host to all comers at tea, both the local hotels cooperated and even so, tea had to be in two Sittings.
One building was set aside for showing of models. There were seven of these, all first-rate jobs and including a working model of a thresher. After tea a picture show followed with 'shots' of the similar rallies held other years and this was rounded off with a film on the local hop-growing industry, the groups finally broke off to make their way to distant homes, somewhere about 10 o'clock, truly a day to be remembered and one that will be remembered in after years by those fortunate enough to be present. Out will come the photo album and same idea of the glory of it will be passed on ... Who is there anywhere (including the U.S.A.) who can stage such a one-man show as thus?