Affiliated to the Southern Federation of Model Engineering Societies.


A Life Time Passion for Steam,  by Mike Penny. (continued from the May Newsletter)

After the excitement of the Andover Rally the rest of the summer of 1956 was very quiet on the steam front. The only transport in our family was bicycles so I did not get to any more rallies. Early in October our managing director Mr Barber arrived on site where we were working, he came across to me and said “I  hear you are interested in steam engines” I said I was and he went on to say, “I am having a private steam party up at the yard” and putting his hand in his pocket he pulled out an invitation typed on the firms headed paper, signed it and gave it to me saying “ come up if you are free and bring a friend with you this will get you in the gate”. I found one of my mates Steve was interested in coming with me so after lunch on the given Saturday we got on our bikes and pedalled up to Amesbury then on to Durrrington. We sailed down Bulford Road from the Stonehenge Inn crossroads, no roundabout there at that time, down in front of us on the right hand side was James and Crockerell’s yard with the canopys and chimneys of an assortment of engines, standing out against the buildings in the background. Most noticeable were two engines much bigger than the rest, these were two showman’s engines, one was Burrell 8nhp Scenic Showman’s works number 3887 supplied new in 1922 to H Jennings Amusement Caterer of Devizes and unknown to me at the time had just been purchased by Mr Barber, over the next three years I was to become very familiar with this engine spending many hours cleaning and on the road between venues. As you all know this was the “Prince of Wales” used in showland days to power and haul Jennings Wonderful Whales the big ride with cars looking like the fish in the name.

At first meeting she looked very plain, nothing written on the sides of the canopy and a small dynamo on the front platform that was powering the light around the canopy not the big Mather and Platt that should have been there. The other noticeable omission was no exciter dynamo on its platform behind the chimney. During next winter extensive work was carried out on the Prince including a complete repaint, when she came out the next year she had the right dynamos in the right places, or so it looked, what a lot of people did not realise the big dynamo on the front was only the outer case with no windings inside, a shaft went through with the correct pulleys on each end, one taking the belt from the flywheel, the other, the smaller belt to drive the exciter and it was the exciter which provided the power for the canopy lights, it was like this all the time I worked with the Prince  up until I finished in October 1959.The other showman’s engine was Fowler 10nhp Showman’s Super Lion, number 17982, The Lion at this time was in the ownership of Mr E Lucas of Salisbury, all James and Crockerell’s rollers and the Garrett tractor were in attendance as was Fowler number 7786 new in 1898”Alfred” which was kept just down the road in the village and belonging to Mr H Toomer.

There were other engines and cars there that day but I do not remember any thing about them, also I cannot give any details of what happened that afternoon, I know I had my old box camera with me and used a roll of film, only 12 exposures, I still have these photos as I have many I took over the years, my mistake was not recording what I photographed, some I recognise and I can put a venue to them, others do not mean a thing to me. Anyone wishing to know more about this event should have a chat to our chairman Mr Pete Parrish, he was there that day a school boy just short of his tenth birthday, with his father Archie. We were not destined to meet for another three years, I will come to that story later. Pete and I have talked about that October day several times and he has told me about a lot of things that happened earlier in the day before I got there, also details about the engines and their owners, Archie had a wealth of knowledge about engines and fairground rides which of course he passed on to Pete, once I eventually got to know them really well  I heard so many facts about the early showland days and learnt so much about steam engines, their use and upkeep.  (to be continued)

4 ton Garrett Tractor at the party in James and Crockerell’s Yard, October 1956

 Burrell Scenic Showman’s no. 3887 “The Prince of Wales“ at the same party.

 Durrington Vehicle Gathering and Village Show  15/7/12

This event is organised by a dedicated team of vintage vehicle owners, enthusiasts and others from the local community who share a common interest in things from the past, and in providing Durrington with a great day out for all, profits from the show go towards supporting the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and local organisations and causes.At last the rain had stopped and with so many events falling victim to the wet weather Durrington survived and held a very successful show and was even blessed with some sunshine, with a very high spectator turn out every body was kept busy answering questions and demonstrating their engines.

Members attending with engines were :- Graham Towle - Steam Launch,  Pete Parrish - 4'' Burrell,

John Ratford - 4''Clayton and Shuttleworth, Tony Taylor - 4 ½'' Burrell, Andy Rogers - 4'' Burrell,

Ian Brockway- 4'' Garrett, Paul Cosens- 3½''Minnie, Martyn Jones - 4½” Burrell and

Trevor Clay - 3'' Burrell. 

Non member Nigel McBurney from Alresford brought his half size Burrell single cylinder which attracted a lot of attention from club members and the general public alike. Steve Anderson and Dave Watts attended without engines but still enjoyed their day and Chris Street exhibited his 1965 Singer Vogue in the classic car section. Special thanks must go to Graham Towle with his 16ft Steam Launch “Sarah Jane” who together supplied very welcome hot chocolate with their Windermere  Kettle, and to Ted Austin for transporting the water containers and the coal supply.

Congratulations to Martyn for winning the steam award with his 4½'' Burrell “The Linnet”.

Heather Taylor.

Three Burrells in the engine line up owned by, (L to R) Tony Taylor, Pete Parrish and Martyn Jones.  

Sunday 5th  August. Steam Up and Barbecue at the club room in Derek Marder’s Yard Andover, from 10.00 am until about 5.00pm, with a possible short road run. There will be a Barbecue outside the club room but if the weather is against us Derek has kindly offered us the use of the large workshop to cook in. To enable us to estimate the food requirements could you please contact a committee member if you would like to take advantage of the barbecue. For those who have not been to the club room before there is lots of parking to the rear of the large workshop and a selection of mixed terrain from tarmac, gravel and grass to drive your engines on all out of harms way.  (There are toilets on site.)

Monday 27th August (Bank Holiday) Newton Tony Show. The organizers of the show have requested that the steam models are in the arena at 14.00hrs to open the show and then the usual couple of laps of the arena before leaving for the road run. Peter Parrish has requested that all participants of the road run TURN LEFT on leaving the show site we did have a few engines unfamiliar with the route that turned right and went missing in the village for a while. Exhibits for our model tent are still required so if you can bring something suitable please contact the editor.

Graham Hunt who regularly attends our club activities with his 4” Fowler B6, is offering his services to members if required, Graham has a very well equipped workshop including turning, milling, welding, fabrication, fitting and years of experience. Please make contact via the club chairman Pete Parrish.