Waldron Steam Gathering

On the last Sunday in October the village of Waldron was the venue for a gathering of road locomotives, rollers, classic cars and motorcycles. It was a glorious sunny autumnal day and cars and motorcycles of all ages were arriving from an early hour. Motor bikes were lined up on the road by the Star Inn and cars were parked in the large field behind. By mid-day when the steam exhibits were due to arrive there was a varied collection of classic, vintage and veteran cars and a vast crowd of enthusiasts enjoying the hospitality of the pub, the barbecue and the local shop. Atmosphere was provided by a fairground organ complete with moving figure and then the familiar chuffing sound was heard heralding the arrival of a Sentinel steam lorry. Gradually road locomotives and rollers appeared and soon the whole of the village centre was full of these massive engines – makers Burrell, Watson & Haig, Aveling & Porter, Tasker, Wallis & Steevens, Allchin and Fowler were well represented and all had travelled by road, some from the Claude Jessett collection nearby at Hadlow Down. Once parked a Wallis and Steevens road locomotive had a tabby cat dozing on its blanket on the nearside massive rear wheel, oblivious to the noise and crowds. It was wearing a collar and lead and was well accustomed to attending these events. Soon there were some dozen or more rollers, lorries and road locomotives parked up, quite apart from the motorcycles and classic cars all providing a magnificent spectacle for photographers and enthusiasts.

The variety of uses of these steam vehicles were illustrated by the road locomotives used for towing the road trains used by the agricultural contractors, the rollers and lorry used for road construction and the Fowler with its metal cable on a drum which would have been one of a pair used for ploughing.

Among the classic cars was a rare Albert made by Gwynnes Engineering Co. Ltd. Of Hammersmith, Chiswick and Vauxhall, London which created considerable interest, a Bullnose Morris and a very nice Bristol. Several of our members attended with their MGBs.

Gillian Beecher