SEEING THE BEST Of ENGLAND

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Ed Vogel
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.

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.

One farmer I met, W. H. Harvey, the farm he owned for 30 years
has a very fine 300 year old house and barn on it. This 350 acre
farm has had one owner since 1500 up to 1905 and only one other
owner besides Mr. Harvey since then. Sugar beets and grain are
raised on the farm.

Charley J. Brown owns a 1913 McLaren engine used for road work
in hauling and pulling a four-wheel trailer with a 10 ton load on
the roads. He allowed me to run the engine and we drove three miles
to see a friend of his. As most of the engines there have two road
gears, the trip was made in a very short time. We later visited and
took pictures of some very old churches and very fine old thatched
houses. We took pictures of two fine old churches, one built in
1200 and the other in 1350. These are about 200 feet apart and are
still in use.

Angus Cornelius, a London banker, and his wife showed me London,
Buckingham Palace, Parliament building (where the Big Ben clock is
located). We saw the towers of London where Kings years ago ruled
the city and kept troops and today are used for troops, a marvelous
building with ramports a-round it. I had a wonderful guide as Angus
really knows London. Due to tourists the famous changing of the
Guard has been moved behind the iron fence and now it is very hard
to take pictures of this fine event.

I saw some very fine museums on science and transportation. I
saw an OX 5 airplane motor like was in my first airplane. Through
the generosity of Dr. C. G. Teverson, his fine son Robin Teverson
showed me other interesting things in London.

On another day we rode the famous electric trains in the Tunnels
that are quite wonderful and a Godsend to the people during the
bombing in World War II. We saw the ‘Cutty Sack’, a fine
old-four-mast sailing vessel. Also rode on the two-decked buses. At
Liverpool Station, enjoyed seeing three steam locomotives still
running, but in July will be retired. London is located on a clay
bed and tunnels are easy to dig and pilings must be used to make
buildings substantial.

On the way to G. T. Cushing’s farm, Arthur and I stopped and
visited a Dutch style windmill on a farm that was and still is used
for making flour. The gears in the mill are made of wood and are in
excellent condition. At Cushing’s farm, he has a large steel
building housing several Showmans engines, traction engines and
steam trucks that were used to haul freight. Also some very fine
organs, up to 92-key organs. Mr. Clarke has a very fine 87-key
organ that was used at the fairs and that he takes to the rallys.
This is a very fine instrument.

England has had two periods where the country was invaded many
years ago. The castles were built with walls from 10 to 15 feet
thick. Here the people would defend themselves. Some of these had
fallen down and some that we saw were in fair condition and some
have been preserved. Some were very interesting buildings and quite
old. The next period was when invasion was not quite so likely.
Then followed the period of the very large estates. Some of these
had a brick wall built around the many acres in the estate and like
Audley End Estate, built in 1603, the house cost 200,000 pounds or
about 600,000 dollars. It took thirteen years to build. It has
fabulous rooms and halls, three stories high, some very wonderful
carvings on the ceilings and walls, also wonderful wood carvings.
These lands were often rewards for service to the Kingdom. All
landscaping was done by the owners and all trees and shrubbery were
planted by the owner. Due to high taxes a good many of the estates
are owned by the government and some now are parks.

I asked why the most of the country roads are so crooked and
narrow. I was told that many hundreds of years ago the roads were
made by ox carts and were eventually oiled and never straightened.
However, Britain is getting some new roads and some wider roads. I
also saw a super highway being built that is not quite
completed.

The country side is very green and very pretty. Some of the
finest old buildings that one can find are here. The people are
some of the finest I have ever met and all did their best to show
me the country and their hospitality cannot be surpassed. The
English women are the most wonderful cooks and everywhere I was
made to feel as one of the family.

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment