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OH, TO OWN A STEAM ENGINE!


The story of how a young enthusiast acquired his first steam engine Article by Alan Porter


D


uring the dying days of steam traction on British Railways more and more steam enthusiasts turned their thoughts to the


possibility of actually owning their own full size standard gauge locomotive. The author was no exception!


On an organised visit to several preserved railways one day during the spring of 1967 the author came across a small 0-4-0 saddle tank under repair. The sheer size of this little engine overawed him and the thought of owning and running a class 4 or 5 locomotive was out of the question. Then, a few weeks later, the author visited a traction engine rally in Yorkshire and there in front of him was a line up of some twenty traction engines, steam rollers and wagons. Now that's more like the size of steam engine!


A few weeks later the author's mind was made up when he was invited by another enthusiast friend to view his newly acquired traction engine. It was a beauty, a fully restored Clayton & Shuttleworth engine of 7 nominal horsepower. However, when told of the purchase price, some £800, there was no way in the world that the author could afford that sort of money. However, the price of a fully restored steam roller was about half that and for an unrestored one even less. So, pennies were saved for twelve months in order to acquire one of these machines.


In the spring of 1969 an advertisement was placed in an enthusiast's newspaper for a suitable steam roller with the result that a reply came from an enthusiast in Yorkshire who said that he had such


Aveling & Porter 10 ton single cylinder roller no. 6544 "Little Wonder" at work in 1952 in Sunroyd Hill, Horbury, Yorkshire.


18 MARCH/APRIL 2020 call 01295 404099 to advertise or email advertising@vintagescene.co.uk


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