GREAT BRITAIN REPORTING

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Reunion Day in Great Britian. Courtesy of John P. Mullett. See article Great Britian Reporting.
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Reunion Day in Great Britian. Courtesy of John P. Mullett. See article Great Britian Reporting.

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?

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