A visit to the fantastic Heritage Transport Show!

Posted by Chris Graham on 17th May 2024

We report on the variety of interesting vehicles seen at this year’s Heritage Transport Show, held at Detling in Kent, early in April.

Photography: Peter Love

Heritage Transport Show

Heritage Transport Show: Seen arriving at 8.30am is the November 1961 Ford Thames Anglia 105E van 355 SKR. In fact the model was introduced in June 1961 and was in production as a 5 and 7cwt van until 1968 when the Escort came along.

Staged by the KAS Heritage committee and the full-time staff here, the vehicles were slow to arrive, but by 8.45am they were pouring in like no tomorrow, with over 1,000 on site by 10am.

Heritage Transport Show

Zack Stilling featured this very original Commer Cob in Old Glory last year.

By the time the gates opened at 10am there was a long queue of people wanting to get in. The car parks held up well in the soft ground conditions and no vehicle got stuck either.

Heritage Transport Show

This HE Plastow-designed 3in Burrell is looking good, but isn’t quite the finished article yet.

Besides the 700-plus vintage and classic cars there was a good selection of classic and vintage commercials, military vehicles, tractors, miniature steamers and motorcycles. Not forgetting the stationary engines which became part of the Young Farmers Show here in 1966 and have been a feature ever since, but not in such large numbers as back then, as the county of Kent was a pioneer in preserving such machines at one time.

Heritage Transport Show

Going well, a Tasker 4in single-cylinder tractor that’s nearly finished.

There was an excellent line of trade stands in the Maidstone Exhibition Hall with many practical items that you might need for your restoration, including Rye Oils who sold out of 20/50 grade oil in just 20 minutes! They were left with tons of gearbox 90 grade and rear axle 140 grade for the rest of the day.

Heritage Transport Show

A fine road train with a Burrell 4in single-cylinder at the head end.

If literature was your thing there was a good amount of it for sale as well as memorabilia and autojumble, which is making a comeback here as well. One was pleased to see the Farmers’ Market back offering fresh food and drink at reasonable prices compared to paying £6 for a bacon roll and £3 for a cup of tea on some of the stands!

Heritage Transport Show

Great to see the Foster 4in traction engine performing well, and in an unusual blue livery.

The miniature railway from Hadlow Down was doing well with Ben in charge, the system will be travelling to Normandy, France in late June for a notable ‘first’ this year. It was good to see the nine miniature steamers touring around the site during the day featuring Clayton & Shuttleworth, Burrell, Garrett, Foster, McLaren and Tasker.

A well-known engine in the area is this Foster 4in, Maid of Iron.

Further in the Clive Emson building there was a fine bus and commercial flea market along with radio-controlled commercial vehicles, which was hugely popular with the younger generation here.

Another local engine to the area is this 4in Garrett traction engine with its relatively new rubbers – just six miles away there lives a full-size example.

Although the weather started out with lots of sunshine it became more overcast as the day went on, but as predicted the rain didn’t come until 7pm and by then nearly everyone had gone home. It was certainly an excellent start to the season.

Very rare in the UK is the early 1960s (under-powered) Alfa-Romeo 2 25 cwt dropside. There is thought to be less than 10 of these vehicles surviving and this example is the only known one in the UK.


Great to see the heavyweights here like this 1966 Atkinson Silver Knight JRR 39D which started out as an artic unit for JT Hunt.


It was great to see this early American-made Model T Ford arriving at the showground.


Ex-works 1955 Foden OG of the West family which has been on the preservation scene since the 1970s when in the north-west before coming to Crowborough, East Sussex. It now lives in east Kent where it has been refreshed and taken part in various HVCS road runs all over the country.

This feature 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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