SEEING THE BEST Of ENGLAND


| January/February 1968



Road engine

Courtesy of Ed Vogel, R.R. 4, Buhl, Idaho. This is Charley Brown's road engine used for road work in hauling and pulling a four-wheel trailer with a 10 ton load on the roads. I had borrowed Arthur Clarke's dirby.

Ed Vogel

R.R. 4, Buhl, Idaho

I boarded a TWA Boeing Jet Airliner at Chicago on June 10 at 5:00 o'clock and arrived at London Airport in the morning at 7:30. We had a very smooth trip at 35,000 feet at the speed of 600 miles per hour. We were above a cloudy overcast so did not see the ocean of England at all. I was met at the London Airport by Arthur Clarke, whom I had written to and was invited to come and stay in his home for my vacation. I met Arthur's fine family, wife and five wonderful children who, during my stay, showed me the most consideration and wonderful time I have ever received.

Arthur Clarke has a very large and fine Showman's engine called the 'Fowler'. This engine was used to run a very large generator that furnished electricity for the various Merry-Go-Rounds and side shows at the fairs and also pulled the wagons and caravans that the folks lived in from one town to another. Due to my interest in steam engines and Arthur's, I met many fine fellows over the English country side who were very nice folks and did their utmost at all times to show me things of interest. Clarke took a lot of his time from business to show me things of interest such as very old buildings, churches, castles and farming areas.

We drove around 160 miles from Braintree, hauling iron to a very large Smelter in a Commer diesel truck. Here I saw hot molten iron poured in making long iron bars. Here also are two small locomotives still in use to move the ore and iron on the tracks in the yards.

On the trip back we were able to see the types of farming ground. Half of the distance the ground was quite level (in this area were located several American airbases used in the last war). The remaining distance of the trip the land was a little more rolling. The country roads are quite crooked but all are oiled and most roads are lined with hedges and trees.

On one trip we stopped at Colin Britt's farm. We ate a very fine dinner with him and his mother. He had a traction engine and a fine organ. He told me that in order to harvest, one must have a quite large combine and really get going when the weather was dry enough to harvest so as to get the grain threshed. Then in order to keep the grain from heating, one must have a dryer to bring the moisture content down so the grain can be .stored. His dryer cost little over $5,000. When the stationary machines were used, the grain was stacked and went through the sweat and then threshed in the winter or spring, thus a dryer was not needed. The price of grain was about equal to our price per 100 weight. I saw farms from 350 acres to 600 acres. No doubt there are smaller farms, but I did not happen to visit them.