Fantastic miniature steam engines at the Driffield Steam Fair

Posted by Chris Graham on 1st February 2024

Peter Love reports on the superb collection of miniature steam engines that wowed the crowds at last year’s Driffield Steam Fair.

Driffield Steam Fair

Driffield Steam Fair: This 4½in scratch-built Wallis & Steevens Simplicity roller Arthur was completed in 1994, later passing to James Stanley of Chopwell around 2018 and restored.

The Burrell name was certainly prominent with a variety of engines to be seen. Starting with some 4in agricultural engines, there was John Rex’s scratch-built example Denella, an engine that emanated from 2010 as did Genie, that was built from a kit by Ken Harness of North Thoresby near Grimsby and finished off by John. Continuing the theme, Jason Redfearn’s 2015 example Rose is a Live Steam Model kit with a John Rex boiler. It passed to Jason in 2021, while David Smith’s 4in engine Elsie is a regular at rallies in the area and was kit-built in 2007. 

Driffield Steam Fair

Graham Sadler scratch-built his 3in Atkinson Uniflow miniature, completing it in 2014 after 22 years work.

An engine that that has been rallied in England, Scotland and Sweden is Dora, Stan Atkinson’s 4in Burrell SC agricultural engine that was built between 1985-1989, and is based on 1924 Burrell SC GP engine No. 3984 Dolly. This engine was the first built by L Rex (now known as John Rex Engineers), while Jason Jones’ SC agricultural engine Champion was scratch-built, being completed in 2010 by Jason with the help of some friends. Then came a 4in Burrell agricultural engine that was bought as a Model Works kit in 2006, but was not steamed until 2020. It was bought a day before the rally by John Rex who drove down to Swindon to collect it.  

Driffield Steam Fair

This 4in Burrell agricultural engine Denella which was scratch built by John Rex around 2010 who still owns the engine.

Moving on to some Burrell general purpose engines, Laurence Vasey’s 4in scratch-built Badger Jack was started in 2016 and was built with all sorts of parts in it including Fowler wheels, while Tony Wallace’s 4in Burrell GP engine Wally was built by John Rex between 2012 and 2013. Slightly bigger was George Enwright’s 4½in Burrell SC general purpose engine Hercules that was built by Paul Stephenson of Stoke-on-Trent between 2001 and 2004, while David Burland’s 4½in GP engine Lady Dee was a John Rex kit, being bought from him in December 2017. 

Driffield Steam Fair

This 4in Burrell Showman’s engine, Mack II, was an impressive sight and had been completed in 2003. It was previously known as Henry VIII, passing to Phil Walker in 2019 and renamed.

There were also some Burrell road locomotives on display, including Tara, Roy Leask’s SCC example that he built with John Rex plans and boiler, it was completed in 2008 after three years of work. Then came Chris Parkinson’s 4in Burrell SCC Lady Jennifer that was built in 2012, with a John Rex boiler, by Mick Meadowcroft. It was initially named Lady Barbara, passing to Chris in around 2015, while a couple of 6in Burrells also caught the eye. The first was Michael Venn’s DCC that was scratch-built taking 11 years to complete, while David Evenson’s example Little Lou was scratch-built over a 14 month period. The smallest Burrell at Driffield was Betsy Rose, Mark Marson’s 2in single-cylinder agricultural engine, a Steam Traction World kit that was completed in 2019 and steam tested in 2021. 

Driffield Steam Fair

Seen on the road run and in the parade ring was this 6in McLaren colonial road locomotive, Gantic.

As would be expected, there were some ever-popular Burrell 4in showman’s engines to be seen. Staring things off was Phil Walker’s Mack II that was completed in 2003 and was formerly known as Henry VIII, while still retaining its Royal name was Phil and Henry Pettinger’s Henry II. This engine was built by John Rex using a Steam Tractor World kit as the base, a project that was completed in 2022 and is modelled on Ex-Mayor, which was originally owned by showman G T Tuby who became Mayor of Doncaster. Then came Josh Dodds’ 4in Burrell Special Scenic showman’s engine O Danny Boy, one of six that had been scratch-built by his grandfather, Harry Andrews from North Ferriby, taking 10 years to build. 

Driffield Steam Fair

Garrett 6in Garrett 4CD showman’s road locomotive. It was scratch-built by Martin Young of Jarrow and took about three years to complete. It made its rally debut in 2023.

They weren’t the only showman’s engines on show, Martin Young’s 6in Garrett 4CD example made its rally debut earlier in the year after being scratch built taking two to three years to complete, while the Clark family’s 4in Garrett SC agricultural engine Katie was scratch built by Les Lansbury at Mablethorpe in 1996. It passed to the present owners in 2009 with the boiler being re-restored in 2019 along with the engine having a re-paint, while David Barlow’s example Julie was scratch-built 14 years ago from drawings and castings, a process that took five years. 

Driffield Steam Fair

4in scratch-built freelance engine, Gordon. It was built in 1997 by Eddie Chapman of North Cowden, near Catterick, later passing to Stephen Gell of New Marske, near Redcar.

Completing the Garrett line-up was Jake Stephen’s 4in Garrett SC agricultural engine Morgan. It was built from castings in 2018 while Paul Redgate 6in 4CD engine Northern Pride was built in 2014 by Adrian Nutting, while Bernie Fairbank’s 6in Garrett agricultural engine that had been scratch built from 2010 was also to be seen.

Driffield Steam Fair

Robbie Hindmarsh’s 4in Foster agricultural engine was bought in January this year and has been given a general make-over with bearings and bushes being looked at.

Peter Crook from Harrogate was seen with his 4in Clayton & Shuttleworth agricultural engine Skye that was bought in a semi-derelict condition in 2018 with several repairs being carried out. Then came James Stanley’s 4½in scratch-built Wallis & Steevens Simplicity roller Arthur that was completed in 1994, while Stephen Gell’s 4in scratch-built freelance engine Gordon was built in 1997 by Eddie Chapman of North Cowden near Catterick.

New to the scene is Adrian Nash’s scratch-built 9in Foden C Type, Harold, built over a four-year period.

A regular on the rally scene is Harry Dearing’s 4in Fowler A9 engine Molly Dooker that he built over several years being completed in 2013. Then came Charles Hill’s 4in Fowler A9 agricultural engine Cleveland Lass, completed in 1996 after being built by Bernard Hadfield of Pudsey. The engine has been rallied since 2013, whereas The Wanderer is a 4in Fowler R3 showman’ road loco that was scratch-built by Brian Ives, who completed it in 1988. It is still with the same family, now being owned by his son John, with the engine being converted to a showman’s engine in 2022. 

4in Garrett single cylinder agricultural engine, Katie, was scratch-built in 1996, passing to John Clark of Louth in 2009. The boiler was re-restored in 2019.


David Burland’s 4½in Burrell GP engine, Lady Dee, was a John Rex kit, being bought by David in December 2017.


Chris Parkinson’s 4in Burrell SCC road locomotive, Lady Jennifer, was built in 2012 with a John Rex boiler by Mick Meadowcroft. Chris bought the engine around 2015.


The impressive 6in Burrell road locomotive double-crank compound, Little Lou, was scratch-built by David Evenson of Bradford, and took 14 months to complete.


The 6in Garrett 4CD engine, Northern Pride, was built in 2014 by Adrian Nutting, later passing to Paul Redgate of Pickering.


Harry Dearing’s 4in Fowler A9 engine, Molly Dooker, was built over several years, being completed in 2013. ‘Molly Dooker’ is an Australian term for a left-handed person.


This 4in Burrell SC agricultural engine, Rose, was built around 2015 and is a Live Steam Model kit with a John Rex boiler. It was bought by Jason Redfern in 2021.


Charles Hill’s 4in Fowler A9 agricultural engine, Cleveland Lass, was completed in 1996. It was bought in 2010 and has been rallied since 2013.


Tom Blyth’s Aveling & Porter single-cylinder steam lorry was built from a Maxitrak kit, which was bought in 2022.


Named after his mother-in-law, Steve Weaver’s 3in Marshall agricultural engine, May Be, was scratch-built in 2002, being bought by Steve in 2019.

This report comes from the latest issue of Old Glory, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE


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