TOUR TO BRITAIN

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Courtesy of Sylvester Fosdick, R. R. 4, Pontiac, Illinois 61764 My 1894 Nichols and Shepherd Engine and 1924 Separator and load of bundles that we left sit in our yard summer of 1966 just to look at while we were getting ready for our Threshing Bee.
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Courtesy of Woodrow Colmer, 51 Home St., Athens, Ohio 45701 Woodrow, is pictured at the controls of his 13 hp. Gaar-Scott engine, No. 15818. His cousin, Clarence Colmer at left and brother-in-law, Sam Russell at the right.
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Courtesy of Woodrow Colmer, 51 Home St., Athens, Ohio 45701 Woodrow is pictured here with his Russell portable 16 hp. engine, No. 14686 which was made in 1911.
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Courtesy of Sylvester Fosdick, R. R. 4, Pontiac, Illinois 61764 My shop. I am rebuilding a sewing engine from a steam crane. It is done now and I have it running.

R. 4, Elwood Indiana

No doubt your readers are anxious to know how the group from the
Elwood Historical Club of Elwood, Indiana, got along on their tour
to Britain. As we arrived home on July 5, it was too late to give
the report for the September-October issue.

We left New York on the evening of June 20 and arrived at
Prestwick, Scotland, the next morning, June 21, Our special coach
met us at the airport and in a few miles we were visiting the
birthplace of Robbie Burns at Ayr. From there we toured through the
beautiful midlands of Scotland and spent the rest of the day as
guests of the ‘Scottish Royal Highland Fair’ held each year
at Ingles ton. That night we were guests of the North British Hotel
on Princess Street, Edinburgh.

I will not go into too much detail of our trip until we get to
the Steam Fair and Engine Rally, but we spent two nights in
Edinburgh, three nights at Aviemore, beyond Royal Deeside visited
Inverness and Culloden Moor Lock Ness (did not see the monster) and
spent two wonderful days in Glasgow.

We flew from Glasgow to London by B.E.A. where we spent 6 nights
at Mount Royal Hotel near Hyde Park. On Thursday a full day tour of
London and on Friday a full day tour of Windsor Castle, Stokes
Poges, Hampton Court, Eton College. Again space will not permit the
details.

Well, on Saturday morning at 8 A.M. our special coach met us at
our hotel and we were on our way to the Cropredy Steam Fair and
Engine Rally at Banbury, which is about 50 miles northwest of
London. Our day’s tour included the Engine Rally, Stratford
upon Avon, the ‘Shakespeare Country’ and beautiful Old
Warwick Castle.

We arrived at the show grounds before the official opening and
were greeted by J. Russell, Esq. of Chacombe Nr. Banbury. At eleven
o’clock, the Earl and Countess of Longford were conveyed to the
speaker’s stand in a 1902 Turner-Weiss Steam Car. The Countess
opened the show with a wonderful speech entitled ‘The Lure of
Steam’.

Mr. Harold Fleish of Eaton, Ohio, and I were invited to the
speaker’s platform by Mr. J. Russell and it was made known to
the crowd that we were representing the many steam shows in America
at their Rally. We had it made for the rest of the day. We never
before met so many friendly people.

Steam engines have always fascinated. Their very size, ponderous
majesty and exposed moving parts have seemed to endow them with an
almost human personality. Proof of this is expressed in the naming
of so many engines and lovely names, too, like ‘Quo Vadis’,
‘Lord of the Isles’, ‘Pandora’, ‘Rip Van
Winkle’, and so on.

Willing beasts of burden the majority of these engines now in
preservation have seen 50 years of real hard service and yet, by
the labors of their enthusiastic owners, they stand before us today
almost as good as the day they were turned out of the factory.
These forefathers of ours forged that proud tradition and hallmark
of quality. It is surely a fine thing that the young people of the
‘jet age’ can come in the thousands to see and admire and
fall under the spell of the wonderful old steam engines.

They had 30 engines under steam and on show, besides a steam
engine powered merry-go-round or ‘galloping horses’ which
was built in the 1870’s and converted to steam in 1882. The
music is provided by a splendid 89 key Gavioli organ which has been
completely restored. The steam engine which provides the ride is
known as a centre engine.

Also on display were the steam yachts ‘Shamrock’ and
‘Columbia’ built in 1900 by Savages of Kings Lym. For more
than 60 years these yachts have been traveling mostly in Yorkshire.
The yacht boiler also supplies steam to a 46 key Chiappa Organ.

The 30 engines on display were divided into seven categories.
First the Agriculture Engine which did the work of the modern
tractor. They were fitted with a single cylinder, two speeds and
unsprung iron wheels. Second Road Locomotives. These were similar
to agricultural engines in size but were used for heavy road
haulage and so were fitted with solid rubber tires, sprung wheels
and extra water capacity. Third the Showman’s Engine which was
a decorated version of the road locomotive. A large dynamo was
mounted in front of the chimney. Fourth were the tractors which
were smaller than the second and third categories. Fifth Steam
Rollers; well known to everyone who makes use of the wonderful
British roads. Sixth were the Portable Engines, the forerunner of
all steam road engines. One of the well restored portable engines
on the show here today was almost 100 years old. Last the Centre
Engines; these were portable engines fitted with showman’s
decorations. Two of this type were shown at this show on the steam
yachts and the galloping horses.

To end my story I think I should give your readers the entry
list as best I can:
1. Aveling-Porter Roller, Built 1912, Wt. 8 tons,
‘Cotswold Star’
2. Marshall Agricultural Engine, Built 1887, Wt. 9 tons
3. Fowler Roller, Built 1927, Wt. 12 tons
4. Foden Wagon, Built 1928, Wt. 6 tons
5. Fowler Show mans Tractor, Built 1917, Wt. 6 tons,
‘Firefly’
6. Aveling-Barford Roller, Built 1938, Wt. 10 tons,
‘Kimbell’
7. Foster Agricultural Engine, Built 1909, Wt. 9 tons,
‘Old Smokie’
8.  Sentinel Wagon, Built 1926, Wt. 4 tons
9. Burrell Road Locomotive, Built 1921, Wt. 9 tons, ‘St.
Brennoch’
10.  Ruston Proctor Agricultural Engine, Built 1907, Wt. 10
tons
11.  Aveling Barford Roller, Built 1946, Wt. 10 tons
12.  Foster Portable Engine, No. 201 Built 1870, Wt. 4 tons,
‘Great Tew’
13. Burrell Showman’s Engine, Built 1896, Wt. 12 tons,
‘Sparkie’
14. Humphries Portable Engine, Built 1890, Wt. 3 tons, ‘Rip
Van Winkle’ This engine was owned by Mr. J. Russell. It was
found in a barn where it had been unused for 30 years. ‘A lot
better than under a tree for 30 years.’
15. Fowler Showman’s Engine, Built 1915, Wt. 6 tons,
‘Jemime’
16.   Foden Engine, Built 1925, Wt. 8 tons, ‘Early
bird’
17.   Foster Agricultural Engine, Built 1936, Wt. 10
tons
18. Fowler Engine, Built 1926, Wt. 13 tons
19. Burrell Showman’s Engine, ‘Quo Vadis’
20. Fowler Showman’s Tractor, Built 1918, Wt. 6 tons
21. Limonaire Organ, 89 keys
22. Walliss Agricultural Engine, Built 1916, Wt. 9 tons,
‘Progress’
23. Fowler Tractor, Built 1916, Wt. 6 tons,
‘Pandora’
24. Foden Tractor, Built 1928, Wt. 6 tons, ‘Pride of
Fulham’
25. Aveling-Porter Showman’s Tractor, Built 1912, Wt. 5 tons,
‘May Queen’
26. Burrell Showman’s Engine, Built 1922, Wt. 13 tons,
‘Prince of Wales’
27. Burrell Showman’s Engine, ‘Lord Haig’
28. Garrett Tractor, Built 1924, Wt. 6 tons,
‘Patricia’
29. Burrell Showman’s Engine, Built 1909, Wt. 12 tons,
‘Dreadnought’
30. Burrell Showman’s Engine, Built 1920, Wt. 13 tons,
‘Queen Mary’

Display No. 32 was a cable plow engine with 80 rods of steel
cable on a power operated reel under the boiler. I took several
pictures but did not get the age or weight. It appeared to be the
largest engine in the show.

Well, this about rounds out the Steam Rally. There were
continuous events throughout the day. The grand parade of all
engines. Slow race for all engines. Roll the barrel for the
rollers. Tug of war, tractor vs gentlemen. Steering test for
tractions. Reverse test for Fodens. Balloon bursting event for
engines and at 6 o’clock the Grand Finale Parade.

The engines were all beautifully restored, looked better than
new. One can see that they take a lot of pride in their
hobbies.

We are sending some old copies of the ‘Iron Men Album’
to friends we met at the show, so you soon ought to be getting more
readers in Britain.

We arrived back home safely on July 4. Everyone in our group
enjoyed a wonderful trip.

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