Russell Yeomans has just informed us that he recently had a drive of the 1897 Soame steam cart, built in Marsham, Norfolk, where it still resides. It is pictured here at the Starting Handle Club Show in Marsham, Norfolk, on 14th August 2016.
Built by George Soame in 1897, and restored in the late 1950s, the Cart has a single cylinder engine, fed by steam from a coal fired boiler, with final belt drive. For some time there was doubt about the age of the Cart. Letters between the then owner, an enquirer, and the Veteran Car club in 1953, show that many reports of the first sighting of the car were received. The owner had a letter from a local person claiming they had seen it at a fete to celebrate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee in 1897, the car blowing smuts all over the white table cloths! However, another claimed to have seen the Cart coming through St Faiths in 1883. One Kenneth Fielding remembered the Cart coming through St Faiths with a red flag when he was a boy, putting the date prior to 1896, and the passing of the Red Flag Act. Eventually, a date of 1897 was officially given to the Cart by the Veteran Car Club. Regardless, of the date, it is a running veteran steamer from the 19th century, seldom of which are seen about today.
Photos courtesy of Russell Yeomans unless stated, video courtesy of Marilyn Oliver.