| May/June 1998

Ah yes, Spring is just around the corner, now! This has been the mildest winter in recent memory in our neck of the woods, and already the buds are everywhere with the promise of what's to come! Swaps and auctions, time to clean out the barn and get ready for the summer shows.

Our 24th annual show directory has gone out to many of you who order it each year. It's hard to believe that the book has grown to a whopping 288 pages this year. You won't find a handier, better way to carry around all the information you need on steam and gas engine shows, so order one if you haven't already!

In the meantime, we've got lots of letters and great stories this month, so let's get to them:

SEAN CULLEN, 20 Widley Road, Cosham, Portsmouth, Hampshire, PO6 2DT England, writes, 'I am seeking any information at all about an engine which was exported from the United Kingdom to the U.S.A. in about 1960. I am particularly interested to know if the engine still exists.

'The engine in question was built as a three ton steam roller by Wallis & Steevens of Basingstoke, Hampshire, England, in 1929 with works number 7983.' It was converted to a tractor, running on pneumatic tyred wheels in 1953. At the same time, it was converted from coal firing to gas firing.

It is one of fifteen engines built to the same design, known as the 'Simplicity.' The design had a number of unusual features, the main one of which is that the boiler is inclined to make the engine safer to drive for inexperienced drivers (at least this was the theory). The engine has a single cylinder and its belly tank is triangular in shape.