SEAMS News Archives

90th Birthday of the Lister D Rally at Dursley

Not having displayed my 1928 Lister D at any  events since I bought and restored it back in 1977, I  decided early in 2016  to take it on a pilgrimage back to its place of origin.

I booked to attend the 90th birthday show organised by John Leah and being held at Ashen Plains near Dursley in Gloucestershire. I had re-restored the D type a few years ago when I put it on a Lister pattern two wheel trolley so it was looking and running pretty good. Unsure of what to expect at a Lister D only show that was not open to the public, I set off early Friday morning to set up in the event field. By Friday evening, the showground was filling up nicely with about 250 engines booked in. Saturday morning was a setup day but nonetheless there were lots of engines running all day and plenty to look at. On Sunday, the show was opened by Fred Lister Grandson of R A Lister.  I had a little chat with him and managed to get a photo of him with my engine.

The event attracted over 230 engines from one of the earliest, the 12th engine produced (number 80011) through to one of the last built in 1961. I thought I knew the development sequence for the Lister D type but there were many surprises and subtle differences when comparing one engine to another. A group of young lads, for months before the event had been collecting non running Lister D’s and had brought 25 very rough engines to the show. They proceeded to get all but one running. It was a testament to the D type design that they were able to do this as some had clearly been idle outdoors for a very long time !

It was a pleasure to meet Mike and Suzi Callow our only members in France. They had come over with a nice group of un-restored but running engines especially for this event (see pump set on front cover). I didn’t see any other SEAMS members there.

There was an attempt at the world record for number of engines running. All the engines attending were given a sequential number and a video was taken in the same sequence of them running during the day. I guess this is work in progress as it will take time to establish any record (if there is one).

I was glad I made the effort as it was a most interesting weekend. For the next anniversary, the Lister D will be 100 in  2026 and who knows what we will be doing then…