| November/December 1969

57 Stanley Street, Rothwell Kettering, Northamptonshire, England

The Northamptonshire Fair and Steam Hobbies Society held their 'Steam Weekend' on Saturday and Sunday - August 9th/10th 1969 in a field a joining 'The Old Red House' - a pub midway between Kettering and Northampton, and dating from the days of Horse Drawn Transport, when it was a Coaching Inn.

During the two days over 3,000 people attended the event, and the Committee consisting of B. Fossey, W. Lines, B. Maycock, C. Gibbard, J. Clark, P. Forman and F. Clark . . . consider this a very good attendance for the first event of its kind organised by the Society.

Some Showmen attended the event, providing a Children's Merry Go Round and various side Stalls. A large models exhibition was housed in a big Farm Yard Barn standing next to the Red House, This housed some wonderful models which covered all fields of Steam from Several Portables through Agricultural Locomotives, Showmen's Road Locomotives to models of Steam Railway loco's. Also present was Frank York of Rothwell with his superb working model of English Fair, which is complete with miniature working models of almost every type of fairground ride it is possible to name, plus all of the side stalls, together with miniature Showmen's Road Locomotives. It took Frank over two years to make, and the whole thing is driven by a motor from a washing machine.

The rally field itself was of course the biggest attraction for steam enthusiasts, 'in steam' were Agricultural locomotives, Steam Rollers, various models in steam which included a little beauty of a Burrell Traction Engine, belonging to F. Eatwell of Banbury, plus full size Portables and a display of vintage Tractors. Two Fairground Organs were present and working, one belonging to Michael Bevis of St. Albans, who actually built it, and a German Bruder 43 key organ owned by D. Chapman and W. P. Price of East Leake. The makes of Steam Rollers and Traction engines I noted were: Ransomes, Sims and Jeffries; Wallis and Stevens; Aveling and Barford; Aveling and Porter; Marshall; Foster; Fowler; Clayton and Shuttleworth and Burrell.

There were no Showmen's Road Locomotives present, but this is going to be remedied next year, when the event will be twice as big. In passing I should mention that quite a lot of Portable engines running on Oil, and Paraffin, were on show. I made my visit on Sunday and stayed for just over 5 hours in glorious weather.