Bressingham Steam Museum held its annual vintage farm event on the last Sunday of September. It was a very successful and memorable day. All Bressingham’s working engines were in steam. Visitors were treated to seeing all of the 3 narrow gauge railways operating (one of which was running a period quarry slate train), stationary engines and road engines and of course the ever popular steam gallopers roundabout. In addition a number of interesting machines and vehicles attended including various bygone farm equipment, an array of stationary internal combustion engines and classic cars. The star guests of the day were a 1923 Armstrong & Whitworth steamroller and living van from the East Anglia Transport Museum at Charlton Colville. This formed part of an impressive display in the road engine section, focusing particularly on steam road rolling and mending. With the permanent displays on offer within the museum buildings there was an abundance of fascinating sights crammed into Bressingham’s site.
The event was blessed with fine late summer weather and crowds of visitors made the day very worthwhile. At 2.30 all engines gave a prolonged blast on their whistles in recognition that this event was something special and a day for Bressingham’s staff and volunteers to be proud of. The museum has in past years come in for some criticism from the wider preservation community and also the general public. It has been seen as suffering some decline but this is to misunderstand the circumstances of trying to run an entirely self-supported steam collection. The great efforts of staff and volunteers have shown that with days like this Bressingham has turned a corner and is looking forward to a brighter future. More events are planned for next years’ season.