REVEALED: The museum with 170 traction engines Britain’s Best seller for
BETTER BRED e Hovis Sentinel YOUR
E ASTER STE AM EVENTS inside
Seaton and Swindon
STRUMPSHAW CONSIGNS FOWLER PLOUGHING PAIR TO AUCTION
Scammell ‘e Impostor’
Early Robey steam engines
Brian Allison’s workshop
◆ Underfall Yard, Bristol ◆ Cheﬃns preview ◆ Steam archive ◆ News & events
On February 14 one of the poplar trees at the Strawberries & Steam (Swindon) show site working area was brought down onto the Marshall threshing drum, which was parked adjacent to the rack saw bench and Ruston portable engine. Once the tree was cut and removed from the drum an inspection revealed only superficial damage. About to tackle the job are Strawberries & Steam team members (from left) Paul Goddard, Jason Howard, Peter Tye and James Lewington. Strawberries & Steam is on June 28-29 2014. COLIN HATCH
1973? Then go tax free!
SOMETHING announced by the UK Government last year has turned out not to be an April Fool’s joke. As of April 1, 2014, the exemption from road tax for classic vehicles will move forward one year, and so all those vehicles made before January 1, 1974, will be exempt. This may end up as a rolling exemption, but that is still to be seen. However, what the Government won’t do is automatically put your 1973 made vehicle straight into its taxfree ‘Historic’ class. Basically it’s down to you to do the paperwork and running round. If you don’t, you’ll still have to pay the going rate for whatever your vehicle is classed as, even if it was made in 1973. So, what do you need to do? Get hold of your logbook (V5C) and write ‘Historic’ in section seven, ‘Changes to current vehicle’, and sign and date the declaration at the bottom. Now you’ll need to get a copy of an application for a tax disc form (V10). You can get this from any post office that deals with
road tax, or you can download it from www.gov.uk/dvlaforms Fill this in, putting ‘Historic’ in the tax class section. Again, sign and date it, and then send it together with your current MoT certificate and insurance documents to the DVLA. A new V5C will then be sent to you, together with your MoT and insurance certificates, within one month. Don’t forget that the new exemption is for vehicles built in 1973, not registered, so if you can prove your motor was made in 1973 but registered in 1974, for example, you can still go tax free. For this you’ll need a letter from a DVLA approved club or a ‘Heritage Certificate’ stating the build date. Finally, if your 1973 vehicle still has at least one full month’s road tax or more when exemption comes in, you’ll need to get hold of form V14 to apply for a refund. So that’s it – but here’s a question. Why has the Government done this? After all, it’s not known for such acts of generosity. Personally I like to think it’s down to the £4.3 billion contribution that the historic vehicle
movement makes to the UK economy each year. I hope I’m not being naïve... (with grateful thanks to my colleague Steve Pullen of Heritage Commercials magazine for permission to cull the above and putting me straight on the subject! Ed) I DO hope that Strumpshaw Steam Museum manages to sell its ploughing engines at the forthcoming Cheffins sale (my money’s on them going to the Republic of Ireland). It is eight years now since Jimmy Key passed away so suddenly and he is very much missed. The museum is still in the hands of people who care very much about its future and we wish them all the very best of luck.
Colin Tyson Editor
OLD GLORY APRIL 2014 | 3
Contents No 290 | April 2014 NEWS 6-24 News & Events 91 Old Glory in Miniature News
Underfall: An engineering gem A thriving boatyard and maintenance depot housed in and working with its 19th century buildings and machinery in a corner of Bristol’s floating harbour.
Better bred: The Hovis Sentinel 2013 saw the first full season for the Saunders Collection’s fully restored Sentinel DG4 No 8084 in its distinctive white Hovis livery.
How the (Canadian) West was Won The Western Development Museum has a very extensive collection over five sites in Saskatchewan which amazingly includes 170 traction engines. Scammell Highwayman: ‘The Impostor’ Scammell enthusiast Ivan Keeping was pleased when he was granted permission by the Edwards family to use his favourite livery on his latest 1965 Highwayman restoration.
Early Robey Steam Engines A long out of print volume is due to be reprinted this summer depicting some of Lincoln’s finest engines.
Keith Shakespeare – rally promoter and preservationist Celebrating 40 years of steam rally promoting and trading, Keith Shakespeare has been part of the preservation scene even longer. (Part 2)
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News updates at oldglory.co.uk www.facebook.com/ OldGloryMag 78
A steam revival in Kenya The recent revival of a Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies and a Ruston portable that were saved from scrap.
Brian Allison: steam engineer Brian Allison has built up a well respected boiler making and engine repair business near Whitchurch on the English/Welsh border.
REGULARS 40 42 56 76 60 92 106
Enginelines Helpline Steam Archive Museum Guide Vintageworld Events Diary ‘Tail Lamp Tom’
READER SERVICES 38
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See page 38
Underfall Yard an engineering jewel
hat is an underfall? This is everyone’s first question, and the answer to this is bound up with the yard’s history and function. The site is where one of the dams was built in 1804 to impound a large section of the river Avon and create a Floating Harbour, where ships could stay afloat at all states of the tide. The dam acted as a weir to control the level of the water held in the harbour and was referred to as the Overfall Dam. In time, more and more use was made of the sluices originally installed in the dam for this purpose, and eventually, in the late 1840s, the weir method was abandoned altogether. The upgraded sluices were referred to as Underfalls. One of the yard’s modern functions continues to be the use of these for flood control across Bristol.
Land immediately around the dam was gradually reclaimed during this process and by the 1880s so many of the docks engineer facilities had migrated here that it made sense to build a new workshop complex. Already on the site was a patent haul-out slipway and the hydraulic engine house that provided centralised power to operate all the lock gates and some of the bridges and cranes in the harbour. To these were added a substantial smithy, equipped with five forges and a steam
A general view of the machine shop.
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Tucked away in a corner of Bristol’s Floating Harbour is the Underfall Yard, a thriving boatyard and maintenance depot housed in and working with its 19th century buildings and machinery. It’s an engineering feat and deserves to be better known and visited, which is just what the trust that runs part of it hopes for in the near future, writes Andy King hammer, a large machine shop with steampowered line shafting to drive the machinery, large shipwrighting and pattern-making facilities and smaller workshops for riggers, divers, electricians and a host of other trades – and a base for the dredging fleet. At its busiest, nearly 140 men worked here, keeping the installations at the city centre docks and those at Avonmouth and Portishead in fine fettle.
Since that time, the yard has slowly declined in importance. Firstly, the focus of Bristol’s shipping gradually moved away from the City Docks (the name used for the city-centre Floating Harbour to differentiate it from Bristol’s other dock systems at Avonmouth and Portishead) to Avonmouth in the 1920s; and the need to support an ever-growing dock system with its own railways meant a transfer of some of the workforce and facilities.
Some of today’s workforce enjoying a break in the sunshine. Aerial view showing Bristol’s Underfall Yard (centre foreground).
OLD GLORY APRIL 2014 | 27
West Was Won
e Western Development Museum has a very extensive and important collection of artefacts collected over ﬁve sites in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan since 1945. Amazingly, this includes 170 traction engines, and Peter Love was allowed a behind-the-scenes viewing exclusively for Old Glory
hile P&J Tours was travelling in Alberta, western Canada, during July 2013, I left the main party in the capable hands of my wife Jayne and caught a plane for the short flight from Calgary to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Here, I collected my hire car with fellow collectors Oliver West and Alan Sale and we headed off for our 1800-plus mile journey finishing in Edmonton, Alberta, four days later. We had a full schedule worked out by Jayne, right down to the last minute, that went well,
Certainly different! The WDM has two of the six preserved Phoenix Centipede steam crawlers in the world today.
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apart from the last day. Here, we came across so much venerable junk in roadside bushes we just had to stop and look. In the end we had to abandon one visit to make sure we returned the hire car on time. My objective was to visit all the Western Development Museum’s sites. I have a soft spot for the WDM, as in 1958 a Canadian gentleman came to my childhood family home in Tonbridge, Kent. He was searching out my father who was then the secretary of the Road Locomotive Society, a role which he continued to hold for many years.
Above: A typical one-time Canadian scene, the Kendall team at Estvan, Saskatchewan, with a mighty American-Abell‘Cock of the North’32-120 tricycle that’s preserved in the WDM Collection. WDM ARCHIVE
Roy Potter was a pioneer of the museum and had his roots in mechanical farming from the 1920s. He ‘lost his shirt’ as he once wrote and had to give his Ideal 8-16 tractor away to his three workers, as he was broke from the job. However, he gave me great inspiration that day in 1958 and 40 years later I was able to visit what he had helped to create, and also meet a relation of his who, at the time, was involved in the organisation. Now, some 15 years on, an invitation was extended by executive director Joan Champ and conservation manager Thom Cholowski to visit their various museums that are spread over a 400-plus mile radius. Saskatchewan, in relation to the rest of western Canada, is a province with the much richer Alberta to the west and Manitoba to the east. The First Nation tribes that were part of this area were the Chipewyan, Cree, Saulteaux, Assiniboine, Atsina and Sioux. The first European to visit the area was Englishman Henry Kelsey (1667-1724) who arrived in 1690. Other European explorers also arrived later, followed by fur traders who ended up as part of the Hudson Bay Co and the North West Co. Clifford Sifton, Minister of the Interior in charge of immigration (1896-1905), introduced a variety of agriculturally inclined European emigrants to Canada to settle prairie
land around the transcontinental railway. The political boundaries of this area have changed several times, evolving through Rupert’s Land, provisional districts of the North West Territories, and finally as Saskatchewan province of Canada in 1905. Politicians at the time proclaimed it as Canada’s most powerful province, based on its Anglo-Canadian culture and wheat production for the export market, but it never lived up to that and for many years became rather a backwater. The population quintupled from 91,000 in 1901 to 492,000 by 1911, thanks to heavy immigration of farmers from the US, Germany and Scandinavia. Efforts were made to assimilate the newcomers to British Canadian culture and values. The population reached 758,000 in 1921 and peaked at 922,000 in 1931. There was great hardship with the wheat collapse, all part of the Great Depression. Also, with the war years, people moved away to find work and by 1951 the population had dropped to 830,000. It then slowly climbed back up, and has held steady at about one million since 1986. Over half of the population has roots in Great Britain and Ireland, with Germany providing 30% and just over 12% came from France, with a good amount from Scandinavia and Russia as well.
All set up for threshing on the Saskatchewan prairies, the Langley crew take a break with the JI Case 32110 – the WDM has three in its collection. WDM ARCHIVE OLD GLORY APRIL 2014 | 45
Tail lampTom Telling iT like iT is
What do you want to see at rallies? DANCING diggers, kite festivals, parachutists (that’s got to be better than crawling under a hedge to get into a rally without paying!) an escapologist, helicopter rides, laser pigeon shooting, target shooting using paintball guns (targets noted included David Cameron, George Osborne, Katie Price and Keith Lemon), ferret racing, parrots and owls are all some of the more unusual things which have been listed as attractions at traction engine rallies over the years. Traditionalists may hate seeing these things at rallies, yet without them many families would not bother to attend. My teenage grandchildren enjoy rallies, not so much for the steam engines but to witness such attractions as above as well as having the opportunity to visit the fairground, which is commonly part of larger rallies. They also enjoy viewing and photographing classic cars at these events. I know of a committee member of one organisation which stages an annual rally who, if he had his way, would ban all exhibitors of
Dancing diggers: Not traditional, but certainly a draw for the public at this steam rally last year.
bicycles, tractors, stationary engines and lawn mowers… fortunately other committee members outvoted him as they wanted those attending to have the opportunity to view such collections as part of our heritage. These exhibits generate a considerable amount of goodwill for rally organisers, as generally the owners of the machinery do not have the opportunity to show it to others without attending the events. These are the self-same exhibitors who will gladly do the footwork to put rally posters up at local shops, church halls etc. thus promoting the rally for little cost.
In OG 286 was a feature on a 13-year-old boy who had amassed a large collection of lawn mowers. Seb Austin has collected over 40 examples and is now specialising in mowers built prior to the Second World War. As a result of his interest, Seb has learned how to restore and maintain his collection as well as learning about how the internal combustion engine works. He has also studied the history of the lawn mower and in time I am sure that he will become a noted authority on his chosen subject. Individuals like him should be given every encouragement to
exhibit their collections as through their efforts our hobby will go from strength to strength. I believe that if we follow the path of those who only want to show engines, cars, commercials and motorcycles, our hobby will wither and die. Some even feel that fairground organs are not appropriate at rallies if they do not play traditional tunes but only modern popular songs. Personally, after parking my car, there is nothing nicer than the smell of engines lighting up accompanied by well-known organ melodies drifting over the hedge. Roll on the 2014 season!
The views expressed by ‘Tail Lamp Tom’ are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher.
▲ Road steam legends: Steve Neville
l Keeping the city streets clean l Western Development Museum Part 2 l Young restorer l Boilermaking memories l May issue on sale from April 17 106 | APRIL 2014 OLD GLORY