The following email was sent to me about the above rally and I thought you
might like a read. I apologise for his language he has had I believe a
Paul Worbey has made it very clear - if you aint steam you aint coming in.
We will just put you out the back with the rest!!! It was just like the
Ferero Rocher ad on telly, where the unwanted guest is guided through the
party - and then out of the back door!!
Arrived Friday PM, asked at the booking in office if we were in the usual
place to be told no we were in the back field. I jokingly said oh so you've
chucked us out this year.
Didn't realise how true my joke was. Went looking round the back field,
couldn't find any engines or see any one, so I thought we must have been in
the other field where we were a couple of years ago. Still no sign of any
engines until I saw someone I knew and he told us where we were.
Went into the back field and finally found the engines. I wasn't impressed
and had decided I wasn't going to bother unloading. Then found the next
problem there wasn't any where to camp anyway! So many non steam exhibits in
such a small field. People were leaving in droves... I saw Worbey and headed
over to say where can I park, but a tractor exhibitor got to him before me.
He was told if he didn't like it he could fuck off and none of them would be
there next year. I didn't bother to ask him, parked up on a horrendous slope
and had a free weekend. Couldn't have exhibited anyway as there was no room
on the front row and the back row was on such a steep slope there was no way
you could have got the engines level. One guy had a go and had let his
engine in so low he couldn't get the starting handle to go through a full
turn - it hit on the ground!!! Even if you did go on the back row the hill
was so steep it was difficult to walk on so no spectators went there anyway.
Quite a few people didn't unload or just left anyway.
So much for ? running the engine line up - he was nowhere to be seen most of
the time! Less said about that the better!!
Other than that had a good weekend just looking round with no worries about
having to get back to an engine. Had a drive round on John Slater's steamer.
Probably wont get an entry form next year as a complaint petition was drawn
up an I made sure I signed it very prominently. Hopefully it will get to the
right person but I doubt if it will be of any use.
What did you think to the rally?
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A sad tale unfortunately.
I did visit the show and had a very enjoyable time there. The engine display
was on a sloping part of the field which was very steep at the upper end. I
can understand why there were so few engines up there.
The exhibitors camping area was very crowded. We actually ended up in that
area by mistake. We arrived late Friday and there was no one to direct us so
we pitched our van where the others were.
There were certainly a lot of steamers at the event and they covered a wide
variety of engines as well. There were 2 lovely steam driven fire pumps on
show. I must admit to spending quite some time looking at those 2 stationary
engines. They make my little display things look sad.
The house provides a very impressive backdrop to the park and the show. I
also enjoyed the cars (new & old), motorcycles and trade stalls. Didn't get
to the museum this year, the Grand Prix took some up as well.
Bought a few bits of tool stuff and a marquee, but that's another story.
The engine display certainly seemed to be low on the organisers priority
list. Perhaps that's understandable as they are of low interest to the
general public. At least they were not put entirely out of site as I have
seen at some shows. There were 2 particularly good engine displays. Neither
was a memorable engine, it was the displays which I found interesting. Both
used the engines to drive working machines as they would have been used
originally. The one was in use in the working blacksmiths forge and was
driving a number of things including his power hammer and hacksaw. I didn't
actually get to see him working but the results were there to see. The other
exhibitor was at the end of the engine line and he had built a wooden open
fronted shed like structure which was fitted out with a bench and a series
of line shafts driving a number of machines. There were 2 drills, a power
hacksaw and a grinding machine on a fast and loose pulley. The bench also
had a vice or 2 and a few bits of stuff to look the part. The whole thing
looked quite realistic and even smelled like a workshop. OK so I could point
out errors but it was an excellent demonstration of how these engines were
used. My only real point would be to wish that there was a display notice
for the public. Otherwise one of the best displays I have ever seen and a
credit to it's owner.
We are likely to visit the show again next year but as paying public again.
as a result perhaps our impression of the show is different to Martins
friend above though even he admitted to a good weekend as a spectator. Now
how did he get to ride on a steamer?
My suspicion (and it's only that) is that the organisers are trying to
squeeze too much in to that part of the area. I don't know why they put the
engines in such an unsuitable location but they were not the only unhappy
people who were complaining about their location. I know that the rally is
held on parkland and it could be that there were restrictions placed on what
was done or put where. Perhaps a constructive letter to the organisers would
help them and the exhibitors.