What is there to see?
These large and powerful traction engines were designed for hauling loads of up to 100 tons on long journeys. They had faster gearing and were better sprung to cope with the increased road speed. Another feature was the water tank under the boiler to allow greater distances between water stops.
A Showman’s road locomotive or showman’s engine is a steam powered road going ‘locomotive’ designed to provide power and transport for a travelling fair or circus. Similar to other road – going traction engines, showmans engines were normally distinguished by the addition of a full-length canopy, a dynamo mounted in front of the chimney, and brightly coloured paintwork with ornate decorations. They dynamo was used to generate electricity to illuminate and power various fairground rides.
These are probably the best known type of steam engine. They were used for levelling surfaces such as roads or airfields. The levelling/flattening action is achieved through a combination of the size and weight of the vehicle and the rolls: the smooth wheels and the large cylinder or drum fitted in place of treaded road wheels. Road rollers could still be found working on road making up until the early 70’s when all other forms of steam traction had mostly been abandoned.
These were the most common type of engine to be seen in the countryside as they were designed to provide the means of driving machinery to carry out tasks such as threshing corn, stone crushing, timber sawing and also general haulage of agricultural and other equipment. The development of the internal combustion engine and the rapid advance in the design of the agricultural tractor meant that these engines were largely made redundant well before the end of their useful working life. The outbreak of war in 1939 saw engines in some parts of the country brought back into service for the war effort and saved many from the scrap mans cutting torch.
Engines that were used ti drive equipment usually around farms but that had to be drawn from site to site by horse because they were not self propelled.
These are small replica models of the full size steam engines. These models have been painstakingly created by skilled engineers from scaled down drawings.
Men working traction engines often lived in a wagon towed behind the vehicle. There are a number of restored Living Vans being used by owners of steam engines as living accommodation during the rally.