The Yank's Return Part 5

Saturday / Sunday June 30th / July 1st - Abbey Pumping Station show

The engine rally at the
Abbey Pumping Station coincided with the official opening of the National Space Centre. So does this look like a giant ribbed condom to you? Or more like an alien pod waiting to split open? 8-)) Next year we NEED to take time to visit the Space Centre ourselves.

Stuart Warburton is the "head beagle" at the
Abbey Pumping Station museum. Among his passions are antique bicycles. During the day he was often tooling around APS either on a Penny Farthing or an 1877 Coventry Rotary Tricycle. The penny farthing bicycle was developed between 1870 and 1878 and became very popular. He sure makes riding that penny farthing look easy. A quick push, a hop up, and he's away. Personally, I prefer the Coventry rotary tricycle.
demonstrates how tightly it can turn. The front and rear wheels steer simultaneously by turning the right hand handle.
Chris and Tom try something a bit more modern, a Sinclair C5.

Despite my best efforts with a couple of
Leicester's finest, I couldn't get Chris either handcuffed or thrown in the hoosegow.

We had a fairly
good turnout of engines for the rally. Here's a view down one of the engine rows.

Andy, Jim, and Phillip work to get Andy's Petter S-type running. Smiles all around when she's running sweetly.

Phillip Thornton-Evison's
1939 1-1/2 hp Fowler

Joey Callow & his

Hugh Stannard with his 1918 2-1/4 hp Foos Junior. (Nice Coolspring Foos Fever T-shirt too.) Hugh had the Foos belted up to a really nice Bamford oil cake breaker

A really nice display of
road flares…

Lovely 1918
2-1/4 hp Phoenix belted to an unusual shear and punch outfit…

Graham Holt's 1-1/2 hp M-type
Petter Appletop (Dave Rotigel would be proud of that full gloss finish.) belted to a nicely restored generator.

boy and his dog…
Solving the
world's problems…
Chester, old chum, it just
doesn't get better than this…
The lads with
Tom's Petter A…
young model steam engine driver steers carefully round Jim's R+V ...

While Andy was enjoying how his Petter S Type was running and the glow from the newly-restored Tilley floodlight, Chester (the dog) has taken notice of Phillip's shirt, given himself a close looking over and is now saying to himself, "
DAMN, I know I USED to have a pair of those." 8-))

Saturday night's party thanking the Abbey Pumping Station volunteers for their hard work all year was terrific. All of the folks who had exhibits were invited too. They had roast pork sandwiches, assorted other goodies on the grill, and two kegs of awesome ale.

Walking back to the car after the party, we noticed some folks sitting around a nicely
glowing cast iron wood burner. With only a little encouragement, they "cranked it up", had fire coming out the exhaust pipe, and the shell glowing a toasty red.

A highlight of Sunday's activities for me was getting to
drive a steam powered Showman's Engine for a couple of laps around the Abbey Pumping Station!! Following a bit of provocation by Dolly, Bob Fleming (the bloke in charge of the APS volunteers) made the arrangements for me to take the controls (well, just the steering).
As I steered through the crowds of people, it was clear that they were blissfully ignorant of the fact that the Yank driving this monster had ZIP in the way of experience. And just for grins, there's a short mpeg of the event. 8-))

Monday July 2nd - Shopping and webbing

Time to get a few last-minute pressies for the folks back home. Then Dolly and I combined our photo collections from the trip and burned two CDs one for each of us with all the pics from the "Yank Returns" tale. Sure does make it easy to refer to a particular pic! Then we moved the Yank's Tale stuff from Dolly's website to Jim Dunmeyer's Old Engine website and did the editing of all the links so they matched the new URLs. This web page will be built there directly. Also got most of the stuff packed for the return trip; amazing that it all fits.

Jim finally got a few free minutes to do the final reassembly on the 1-1/2 hp acorn top Petter he'd been restoring. After changing the timing, she
fired right up and ran sweetly.

We headed off for a quiet "grown-ups" dinner at the Black Horse followed by a nice soak in the hot tub. I think I could easily get used to this hot tub stuff. 8-))

Tuesday July 3rd - Fly Back

WOW. Where has the time gone? Three weeks ago I boarded a plane to come over to England and now its time to head back across the pond. I figger with July 4th coming up there may be SOME here who still hold a grudge so it's better to get outta Dodge! 8-)) Seriously, MANY thanks to Jim & Dolly for having me back to raise hell in England and THANKS so much for being such WONDERFUL hosts and great friends. I had a terrific time and I sincerely hope they invite me back again.

I hope you've enjoyed reading this tale of The Yank's Return to England as much as I enjoyed doing it.

Here's to Good Friends, Old Engines, and Email! CHEERS!

Next up -
Portland 2001!! 8-))

Stamford, Phil Laight's Engine Show
London, Boston, Duxford
Portsmouth, 1000 Engine Rally
Hot tub, guns, Kibworth, Ironbridge
Abbey Pumping Station

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Text by Arnie

Pictures by Arnie and Dolly

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