SEAMS News Archives

A Busy (and warm) September 2014

In early September Jon and I made the trip to Giverney in France for the annual engine show. We met with Martin Chamney up from Dorset on the ferry. Between the three of us we had two Tom Seniors, a Stover KA, a Ripon gas engine and a Leek gas engine. As usual, the weekend was excellent with a viewing of the Guillemard family engine collection on Saturday and the group evening meal. Sunday saw a trip to the Singer factory and then the full show day. Jon had booked bed and breakfast in a watermill down by the river so we never had far to go. Monday, on the way back to Dieppe, a visit to Expotec had been arranged. Expotec gave us a private tour of their site.  Located in a 12th century water mill the museum has three large working steam engines as well as a number of large oil engines including a Winturtur oil engine.

Friday September 12th is the start of the Goodwood Revival and Ian and I went down to view the classic cars in the car park. No need for tickets as this is ‘over the road’ and totally free. There were many mouth watering cars in the car park, many hundreds this year including some real rarities. Some drive  down in their classics just for a picnic. There are also a lot of interesting traders, one pitch had Airstream and Eriba caravans on show, another displaying Royal Enfield motorbikes and several replica car companies that combine the aesthetics of old cars like the SS Jaguar with more modern mechanics. Plenty of drink and food and of course a free viewing of the airshow. Two Lancasters, one from the BBMF, the other  Canadian over for just this year and never to be repeated. Accompanying them were three other merlin engined fighters and all  flying low over the field setting the  spine tingling.

Back to Westcott for the evening  where we had the Fish and Chip supper. Tony Harcombe’s Westcott Engine Museum is open for the Heritage weekend so he had all the gear out. We joined him for the evening and Mark Tewkesbury arranged the fish and chips to round off a very enjoyable evening.

Saturday saw Ian and myself in period clothing and back at the Revival but with tickets this time. As a member of the GRRC, I had paddock passes to watch the pre war cars as they prepared for racing before speeding off to the starting paddock. Tremendous noise and excitement as they warmed up their engines. In the Paddock everyone must be dressed in period clothing so the atmosphere was just as it would have been back in the Pre War years… This show goes from strength to strength and generally sells out well before the event. Noteable this year  was the  replica of Stonehenge  complete with druids  built next to  the aero club  building and a staged Brighton Pier complete with shingle beach and  ‘Mods’ with their Lambretta’s, needless to say the Rockers were held elsewhere…

Next came the one day West Grinstead Ploughing match on September 20th, an event I have  attended when Doris and Fred were involved. This year Alan and Lynne Cullen were organising the ~25 engines on show including Fred’s old International and a larger one shown by John Wooldridge. Plenty to see and do including sheep shearing by hand and electric, all of which looked like hard work as the sheep put up a fight.. Next  day was the SEAMS show at Fishers Farm Park. When I arrived there was a full line up of engines but space was quickly made for my Lorenz. A good display of cars and commercials plus a few motorbikes provided something of interest for everyone. The show takes place in the front grassed area reserved for overflow car parking in the summer so visitors to the Park and those who just want to see the exhibits, can view FOC. A very pleasant day amongst enthusiasts with always plenty of chat !

The Following week I had entered the Bradford/Amanco engine for the Kingsfold show. Alan and Lynn Cullen were featuring engines starting with B so Bradford it was. It had been under my bench for  probably 15 years or so and was one of my first full restorations. It was purchased rusted solid at the Carter Brothers Sweephurst Farm Sale in the 80’s. The weekend was thankfully warm (it can be cold/windy at Kingsfold in September) and the engine behaved itself so I was able to view the show and chat with other enthusiasts. I heard Patrick Knight was there. Tim Keenan came to have a look around and was last seen taking pictures of Graham’s very original  and very blue Moteur CL.  Paul Harding, now well on the road to recovery, came over for the day and I was pleasantly surprised to see Paul and Pat Britton, Paul is a  friend who I started rallying with many years ago but is not so well these days.

Richard Amos