TRACTION ENGINE GATHERING AT BRESSINGHAM

The Norfolk steam museum held a small traction engine rally over the weekend of 16th & 17th May. Invited along were 5 visiting engines, in addition to all of Bressingham’s available road vehicles. The line up included former Bressingham owned 1917 Fowler AA class ploughing engine ‘Cissie’, its first time in steam for several years since being re-boxed by current owner Simon Cruickshank. Simon hopes to have sister engine ‘Bessie’ also restored with a new firebox, in time for the pair’s centenary in 2017. Another debut (in a sense) was the re-appearance of the Thetford based Charles Burrell museum’s 1920 8NHP DCC showman’s engine ‘Queen Mary’; which some may remember unfortunately suffered a broken front axle on the road last year. This was the showman’s second outing since then, followed by its first road run the next weekend as they successfully roaded her back to Thetford on 23rd May. Queen Mary was in the company of an 8 ton DCC Burrell roller No. 4601 built in 1927, also from the Burrell museum.

Another attendee was Robey steam tractor No. 33937 ‘ Village Queen’. A regular visitor to Bressingham – the Wheeler family’s 1920 Ruston Hornsby GP engine ‘Oliver’ – arrived by road during the day. Finally, in steam were Bressingham’s own 1924 built Garrett 4CD ‘Bunty’, a rare 1901 built Burrell SCC portable engine and a steam bus. The museum’s Burrell DCC roller ‘Buster’ is currently out of ticket and awaiting the fitting of new tubes and other work before recertification.

This was first occasion in about 20 years since Bressingham has held a traction engine rally and is looking to repeat such events and hopefully expand on them in the coming years.