Our original plan was to load up the Tillinghast and spend the whole weekend at Astle Park. However, things rarely go according to plan, and after 7 hours loading on Friday, we set off at about 7am on Saturday morning with Jim driving the Land Rover 101, towing Tillie, and me driving our Volvo towing Arnie's Bamford. All went well for 6 whole miles, before the points melted on the 101 and it was almost 2 hours before they were replaced and we were moving again. Without the proper equipment handy to retime the engine, it wasn't running smoothly and a hundred mile journey didn't exactly seem a sensible idea. Making the best of a bad job, we went instead to Leicester's Abbey Pumping Station for the Urban Rally, where a crane was used to unload Tillie in about 8 minutes flat. After running Tillie and the Bamford all day, we decided that the best way to make the most of our time was just to spend a day, without any of our own engines, at the Astle Park 1000 Engine Rally. At first the weather couldn't make it's mind up, and alternated between sun and drizzle, then settled down to warm sunshine.

As ever, there was a great selection of unusual engines and lots of friends to meet up with.


Arnie enjoys a rally breakfast - egg, bacon and sausage cob with a freshly pulled pint.

Allan Engine

JEH Andrew Engine

Original Bentall engine

No need for chalk timing marks on this Bentall!

A nicely restored Bentall

This unusual Blackstone looks so much like a Lister D that it is known as a "Blister"

Crank side of the "Blister"

The owner of this old Scania truck is prepared for every eventuality with his alternative power source!

Two Petters, an S and an Atomic

Rad-cooled Petter Atomic. Note the young audience enjoying the show!

Petter S

Cambell Engine


Emerson Brantingham

Arnie testing Dave Croft's Danish beer delivery bike!

Godiva Oil Engine

Heinrici hot air engine

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© Dolly French 2004