THE TRACTION ENGINE RALLY AT PICKERING

By W. Cole
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G. H. Bingley
This threshing scene was also made in 1914. We are threshing wheat on our 1500 acre farm with a 42 inch Wood Bros, separator. This separator took all that four men could pile into it, plus a sheep-skin coat once in a while, which was stached in a corner

We take the following from the Road Locomotive society’s
journal for December. This is the organization of the steam engine
fans in England. We felt all of you would be interested in what and
how our English Brothers conduct events which correspond to our
‘Reunions’.

I attended this event on August 14th, and am pleased to say that
everything went off well; the weather kept fine, and there was a
big crowd.

About ten thousand people were present. Ten engines turned up
out of an entry of thirteen, and the proceedings started with a
grand parade of all the engines around the field (about a mile
round). This was a good show, and then the racing events commenced;
engines were put in classes, two speed compound against two speed,
and three speed against three speed. There was only two each in
these events, and in each case one engine got a good lead over the
other and maintained it to the finish.

The race for single cylinder agricultural engines proved the
most exciting, as there were four of these abreast and pretty close
to one another. They got away to a perfect start, and there was not
much in it up to about a third of the way round the course; then
the last year’s winner, ‘Old Glory’, fell away when it
started priming badly and also had a big end running hot, and all
the others passed it. A superb performance was put up by ‘Old
Faithful’, a 65-year old Burrell single, No. 1436, made in 1889
and owned by J. Hugill; driven by H. Hugill and J. Morton of
Brompton-in-Swaledale, Yorks., it was driven in a masterly manner
and romped the course to finish a worthy winner in a good race. I
should say there was about 80 yards between first and second,
second and third (both Marshalls that took part last year) finished
almost abreast, and ‘Old Glory’ was last.

The Burrell had been renovated up and painted green with motion
work polished, and looked quite smart.

After this event there was a race between two small tractors,
both compounds with three speeds. One was a Robey 4 hp. ‘The
Village Queen’ owned by R. Preston of Potte, who also was the
driver; the other was a Mann agricultural tractor, No. 1247, listed
as 5 hp., and owned by L. Lazenby of Pickering and driven by M.
Brewer; this tractor was made in about 1916 or 1917, and was
previously in the Bishop Auckland area. The race was not a very
good one, as the Mann was slow at starting and the Robert had about
30 yards start before it got going; when the Mann did get on the
move it kept about the same distance from the Robey for about a
third of the way round, when it began to prime badly and lost about
another 30 yards. However, it recovered and set off after the
Robey, and I thought that it was going to make a fight of it, but
the Robey kept going very well and maintained its lead, to win by
about 60 yards. The Robey was in immaculate condition, and was a
good advertisement for steam.

Next came the obstacle race, which was really a test of driving
and steering; driving around fifty gallon drums which were spaced
equally apart in the middle of the field. This was interesting, and
was won by the little Robey, which proved much handier for the task
than the bigger engines. The big Fowler show engine had a real
tussle in this event; it also proved very unwieldly in the racing,
and the smaller engines went around unless than half the time.

The tug-of-war between ‘Old Glory’ and four Fordson
Major tractors, was rather humiliating for steam. In two pulls the
Fordsons won, pulling the steam traction fairly easily; owing to
the fact that the Fordsons had large trakgrip pneumatic tyres, and
there were eight of these tyres against two almost smooth iron
wheels on ‘Old Glory’, the latter simply did not bite on
the grass surface and the tractors slid him back.

I consider it was all a good show, and worth going to see; the
field was very rough, and pretty hard on the old engines, but they
stood it.

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