Back From Canada-USA Tour
WELL, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I have been able to write to you since my return from Washington DC and our East Coast, Canada & USA P & J Tour.
Unfortunately Jayne, due to the loss of sight in her right eye and subsequent operation, couldn’t lead the tour with me, so with her stationed here I took the group to Toronto, Canada, for the start of the 14-day tour.
We were so lucky with the weather, which was quite warm at times. What rain there was came at night, often accompanied by heavy storms along the way, but it didn’t spoil the daytime events. Our hotels were excellent and in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, we were in the home area of so many Amish and Mennonite people who all just love steam and are very good boilermakers along the way.
In this area we visited Kinzers for their annual steam rally, which has been going since the 50s and is the biggest on the East Coast of the USA. This year it featured 100 plus steam engines and was just fabulous. We were made very welcome wherever we travelled, including the three rallies we visited and all the private collections and museums we took in. We ended the tour in Washington DC and after visiting the White House and other sites in the city, we flew back to the UK.
Back here the Great Dorset Steam Fair was a week earlier this year over August bank holiday. The gamble with the change of dates paid off. There certainly was not so many exhibitors at the event. However it's been reported the crowd was larger than previous happened, which is good to hear. In two years time we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the show it’s an event I just love although it did not bring many surprises this year it was still very enjoyable indeed.
After visiting the event over the Thursday/Friday I then travelled to Shropshire, carrying out a number of jobs on the way up. I was able to take in the Shrewsbury Steam Rally, which certainly didn’t suffer from lack of people and exhibitors and again was an excellent event.
Since then I have just returned from the amazing 2016 National and World Ploughing Championships, congratulations to everyone here. It was basically the best event I have attended this year helped by the Steam Plough Club staging their 50th anniversary event with some 30 engines all working in some way or other. We will look at these events later in the year.
As I speak I am packing my bags again to head to County Donegal, Republic of Ireland to give the commentary for the Massey Ferguson Guinness Book of Records event. Last time the organisers staged this event there was a most fascinating steam engine there; more on this next time…
from p. 16 of issue October 2016
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