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Whoo whoo!


Good lord, that was a huge steam rally! All traction engines (steam vehicles that don’t run on tracks, for you non steam geeks). We’ve not been to this one before.

I wouldn’t like to say how many engines were there. Thirty? Fifty? I like the two in the picture because the size difference. The one in the back is a German engine. Probably the biggest one at the show, but it was broken down for the whole day. Poor bastards; I don’t know how they’re going to move it out of there if they can’t get it going.

The one in front isn’t anything like the smallest, though.

There were so many of them zooming around, I’m amazed nobody got squashed. At the end, they tried to gather them all together in the arena. It was a sight to behold, but completely unphotographable.

At least, with the little camera I took with me. I’m holding out hope Uncle B’s came out better.

Happy Monday – here we go!


Comment from Veeshir
Time: August 9, 2016, 1:58 am

That looks like fun, I’d love to go to one of those.

Do you know why they call them traction engines?
I’ve always wondered.

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: August 9, 2016, 2:10 am

Back in the day, there was a cheesy romance movie where traction engines were featured. Can’t remember the name of the movie or actors in it. I was 7 or so. But it did have a scene where they cooked eggs and ham using the traction engine burner and the coal shovel as the griddle. You could almost smell the greatness of it.

That’s the kind of things guys remember their whole lives.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: August 9, 2016, 2:53 am

There’s something magic about these old steam engines. I love the smell of burning coal…

Tomfrompv – I’ve had fried eggs cooked with coal, and the coal adds a delicious flavor. Sadly, mine weren’t cooked in a traction engine burner though, but on my grandmother’s giant kitchen coal stove which was still a pretty cool piece of gear, now that I think about it.

This isn’t a picture of her stove, of course, but it’s pretty similar

Comment from tomfrompv
Time: August 9, 2016, 3:37 am

What a cool stove, so well made and beefy.

That movie was the Iron Maiden (UK) or Swinging Maiden (US). Spolier: traction engine dies in the end. Apparently it was Alan Hale Jr that ate the ham and eggs.

From the wiki, the film is kind of a cult favorite of traction engine fans. All I remember all the ham and eggs.

Comment from Nina
Time: August 9, 2016, 6:27 am

Have you been to the Black Country Museum? It’s near Birmingham somewhere, and I really enjoyed it. My daughter’s father-in-law even nicked a piece of coal for me from there.


Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: August 9, 2016, 12:49 pm

My Grandmother on my father’s side had a wood fired kitchen stove. I remember her putting a chunk of wood into the thing to cook breakfast, and the wood was stored in the ‘room’ next to the kitchen; it was more of a room at the end of the house than a leanto or shed. It was the back entrance into the kitchen, and the one enveryone used. Work coats where hung in the closet in that corner of the kitchen. No one ever used the front door. Company come to visit used the side door that also came into the kitchen.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: August 9, 2016, 6:35 pm

They must be hot, noisy beasts. But I can definitely see the attraction. Does Uncle Badger want one?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: August 9, 2016, 10:09 pm

No, oddly, Uncle B loves trains to pieces, but traction engines leave him cold. Go figure.

Wikipedia sez: The name derives from the Latin tractus, meaning ‘drawn’, since the prime function of any traction engine is to draw a load behind it. Like tractor, I suppose.

Never been Up North, Nina. Lots to see up there, but we’re kind of stuck with day trips for now.

My favorite was a big engine called Nightmare. Big, black, scruffy, not a scrap of color or brass anywhere on it. I wonder if the original name was Nightmare, though — the plate looked a little like a modern Heavy Metal album to me.

Comment from Niña
Time: August 9, 2016, 11:49 pm

There’s so much to see and do on that island, I can’t wait to get back.

I’d better get back, anyway.

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