Patrick Boniface reports from this year’s very successful Hadlow Down Traction Engine & Historic Vehicle Rally.
Cancer Research UK was the main beneficiary of a wonderful weekend of steam engines at Tinkers Park in East Sussex, for the 57th Hadlow Down Traction Engine and Historic Vehicle Rally. The charity has been at the heart of this event for many years and visitors and exhibitors have achieved the astonishing total of in excess of a quarter of a million pounds so far.
This year’s event was blessed with fine weather that attracted thousands of visitors to see the behemoths of steam together with those from vintage road transport. This year’s event presented a fascinating range of vehicles, including the beautifully-displayed 1940 Bristol K5G open-top bus. This was built with a Gardner engine and ECW bodywork, and was delivered new to the Brighton Hove & District Bus Company, but with a fixed roof as a double-deck vehicle. After the war in 1952, she was converted to serve as an open-top bus and used on service 17 Rottingdean to Portslade during the summer months.
Much of the restoration work on the vehicle was carried out by Howard Butler before the bus was donated to the Claude Jessett Trust whose volunteers continue to restore her. Another vehicle attracting plenty of attention was the bright green Euclid 924 road scraper. One of the most unusual vehicles on display was a 1900 Locomobile Surrey steam car that was entered by Ruth Atkinson of Billericay, Essex.
The stars of the show, however, were always the steam traction engines the trust is famous for preserving. Among them was Sandringham, a 1919 Fowler AA7 ploughing engine that was built using parts originally scheduled for delivery to Russia but, following the Russian Revolution of 1918, the parts were used in the United Kingdom instead. When new she was delivered to the Saffron Walden Steam Plough Company, before passing through several owners until, in 2010, the engine was donated to the Claude Jessett Trust.
This report comes from the latest issue of Heritage Commercials, and you can get a money-saving subscription to this magazine simply by clicking HERE