West Oxon Steam Rally 2017
By Mark Tewkesbury
A nearly forgotten fact for this year is that it is 150 years since the founding of what must be Britain’s most iconic engine maker, namely R.A.Lister & Co. An event to celebrate this was the West Oxon rally held at Ducklington near Witney. Organisers Eamon Bull and Andy Allman are Lister enthusiasts through and through and wanted a display of H to R engines to do the marque proud. Their friendly attitude has made this event quite popular and whilst the 300 engines barrier was hoped to be broken, in the end 282 was the closing call on the Saturday.
Allan Harris and I had planned to go for some time but it took up till nearly the last week for me to secure a borrowed engine and trailer from Bill Ovenden (Thanks Bill!) worthy of display in the H to R section. Another local in the section was Richard Winter with his ball hopper Lister L and N type.
A complete line up from R to H greeted visitors with many others dotted around the show along with Listers of other models and sizes and many different, interesting and unusual makes seen. Being on the approach to Brize Norton, we also got a free Airshow of all the heavy transport aircraft!
One thing the organisers could not control was the weather and despite a good few days beforehand, the Saturday turned wet after Lunch. Guest of Honour, Doreen Edgington managed a look round before the heavens opened and stayed until a presentation was made in memory of David W. Edgington and the best presented Lister to Graham Raymond for his superbly turned out 1910 L type.
Sunday looked to be a repeat of Saturday but the skies brightened and it was a nice day. All too soon it was time to pack up and head for home after a fantastic weekend.