Dorset Steam Fair
'Oron', 11 Avenue Road ,Chelmsford, Essex, England CM2 9TY
Once again this event was a great success, held during very good weather over five days in September 1990. The site covers over 500 acres and it is estimated that nearly 200,000 people went to see a wide variety of exhibits as well as to wander around the 12 acres of market and trade stalls.
On show were nearly 200 steam engines including Showmans engines, heavy haulage road locos, threshing engines, steam wagons and tractors, ploughing engines and steam rollers. Over 50 scale models of engines were in steam. Of the 275 commercial vehicles, 65 were Scammells. There were also over 100 military vehicles, 200 tractors and 250 vintage cars and motorcycles.
A number of exhibits originated in America or had American interest, with pride of place going to a Case 12 NHP steam compound traction engine number C632. It was built in 1907 and had Grouser spoked wheels front and rear. It was imported from the USA around 1978 and is the only one of its type in the United Kingdom. It was built for the American market, is unlagged, and was designed to be steamed up to 130 psi. It was in steam five years ago but does not now have a current boiler certification.
On static display was an International Mogul made in Chicago in 1917; its factory number is BC 2535. David White bought it in Canada in 1989 and shipped it to England where he carried out a lot of restoration work. He rebuilt the axles and fitted new bearings, the steering gears were re-profiled, and David made a new silencer, clutch linkages and levers and rebuilt the gear box. It has an 11 litre single cylinder petrol-paraffin engine running at 400 r.p.m. It has water injection to improve ignition of low grade fuel. Rated at 10-20 horsepower, it has two forward speeds and one reverse. This was its first major rally since restoration.
Phillip Hopes of Reading had entered a Stanley Steam Car in the steam tractor section of the rally. It was a 10 HP model EX Runabout Reg. No. DS 7831. Built in 1908 it was originally owned by Maynard Leighton, consultant engineer to the Stanley Museum in the United States. It went next to the Rev. Stanley Steamer Ellis, author of Smogless Days, and of the West Palm Beach Motor Museum in Florida, from where it was imported into the U.K.
An exhibit that attracted a lot of attention was the first steam driven vehicle to travel around the world. It was a 1926 built Foden 50 HP, 2 cylinder, steam truck with rubber tyres. It had been found on a farm where its body was being used as a chicken coop and its boiler to cook food for pigs. It took 10,000 man-hours of work to restore it to a road-worthy condition. It left London for its around-the-world journey in October 1969 and arrived in the USA early in 1973, where it toured many states, covering about 8,000 miles out of its total world trip of 26,000 miles.
Pat Freeman is the Publicity Officer of the Road Roller Association of Great Britain, and would he pleased to answer any questions on rollers. The cost of joining the RRA is fourteen dollars per 12 months and you will receive the journal ROLLING four times a year post free. Send your remittance to Pat Freeman, at the above address.