Monday 25th May
In order to allow the crews to load up in time for the blow-down dinner, a shorter day of 24.7 miles was planned for Sunday, to Fovant Badges and Salisbury Cathedral. Turning right out of the gate, we passed over Salisbury race plain, passing the race course of Horse racing fame, then along the chalk Valley, again another beautiful day. A long climb then followed, then a steep down-hill of 15%, before pulling in at the lay-by to view the World War 1 badges, made by soldiers at the time, using local Chalk. It was at this time that I was able to ride in Steve Baldock’s beautiful model R that he has just completed. Retracing the route up the hill, a sharp exhaust beat could be heard, music to any steam man’s ears, despite slightly leaking glands due to the gland clips being slightly too short, something Steve will address soon in his meticulous manner. Basil Craske with the model K too had similar ideas, but coming back down the hill at highly elevated speed, the pilot light blew out, then as speed slowed, reignited, followed by a boom of the burner full of fuel re-igniting! Despite this, all were able to press on to The Ship Inn at Burcombe, where a two course lunch for £9 a head was enjoyed by all! A short trip followed to Salisbury Cathedral in convoy, it was at this time that then our pilot light decided to go out, amid much smoke! We were soon away again, passing through the Cathedral close before parking up again. Basil Craske decided to pose his model K in front of the Cathedral, and I understand a number of good photographs were taken. A good look around the Gothic designed Cathedral, with the tallest spire in the U.K, was done by the full contingent, many regarding this as one of the major highlights of the tour.
It was but a half a mile or so back to the hotel, where cars were loaded in preparation for the blow-down dinner that evening, the event seeming to finish barely after it had started.
Once again, we sat down to a three course meal at the Rose and Crown, where a number of awards were given out, the majority in the style of rubber ducks! Steve Baldock received the Learner Duck award for his outstanding achievement with his new car, Basil Craske the speedy duck award for his high speed efforts, John Dyke the lame duck award for breaking his car, and Dudley Watts the super driver award, having covered more miles than ever previously before, a fantastic achievement. A special thanks must be said to all the people at the places we visited for their co-operation, as well as Peter and Sarah Hounslow, without whom, the event would never have happened. A fantastic three days was had by all, many saying it was not long enough, and much leg pulling being undertaken regarding the intended deviations in the route instructions!
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Sunday 24th May
Sunday’s tour was the longest route, a trip of 76.4 miles to Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway. Unfortunately, John Dyke realised that his White’s packing gland had come adrift from the cylinder block, meaning, despite effort to remedy the problem, was found to be incurable until back at his workshop. This day’s tour involved a trip into Hampshire, our passports at the ready, and across the New Forest, stopping at the viewpoint at Woodgreen, to more spectacular views. A stop was made for coffee and water at the Fighting Cocks public house, before carrying on negotiating Horses, Donkeys and the like, much to the amusement of a number of the crews.
Skirting through Beaulieu, past Beaulieu garage, and a stop for water at the Ford, we arrived at Exbury Gardens and Steam Railway in the early afternoon, where an area had been coned off in readiness for us. A prepaid trip on the large scale Railway, built for Lord Rothchild was enjoyed by all, however lunch came at a price! £6.50 for a jacket potato was considered rather excessive! An alternate route was then traced back, stopping at Bramshaw Golf Club for water, before passing through Downton, and into Salisbury, to complete another days touring. That evening, a wonderful meal at the local Wildwood restaurant was had by all, in their private function room, allowing crews to discuss another good day.
Saturday 23rd May
For the first day of the tour, a round trip of 69.5 miles to Wilton Windmill and Crofton Beam Engines was planned. Having given Basil Craske a sat-nav, we departed the hotel at around 10 o’clock. Then followed a route, skirting Salisbury and then over Salisbury Plain, where fantastic views could be seen for miles around, the beautiful weather aiding this considerably. At around the 15 mile point, a water stop was made at a Petrol station car wash, where the workers took great delight in posing with their pressure washing gear aimed at the cars, while the tanks were being filled.
The route then continued further over the plain, the evidence of the local military being clearly seen, with fantastic views for all to see. A stop was made for coffee at the Shears Inn at Collingbourne Ducis, where the crews were able to sit and natter before pressing on. All the cars pulled away and were off in a flash, except a certain member of the contingent whom forgot to turn their gas pilot light back on (no names mentioned!). Following some rather steep hills, we arrived at Wilton Windmill, where a guided tour of the Mill and its working was undertaken by the majority of the participants. We were also thrilled to be able to watch a group of Tiger Moths zig-zag across the sky above us for a good ten minutes, good organising on our part I think! But before too long, it was time to press on to Crofton Beam Engines, only a few miles down the road, where lunch was to be had by the river, as well as witnessing the engines in steam, which date from the late 1700’s and early 1800’s. This set-up was kindly arranged by fellow steam car owner Peter Turvey and his colleagues, who welcomed us with tickets, to allow us entry at a reduced rate, thank you Peter.
However, the journey from the Windmill was not without incident, as the model R driven by John Oliver decided its Swagelock fitting on the main steam line would part, causing the car to come to a halt. But thanks to much fettling by Basil Craske, a temporary repair was carried out, allowing the car to limp back to base, at a much reduced rate. Despite parting company again on a very steep hill, the car carried on, along with the others, back across the Salisbury Plain, stopping again for water, this time at a stream, before arriving back at base. The model R was then taken to Richard Hounslow’s workshop on his farm, where a satisfactory repair was undertaken, in readiness for the next day.
On Friday the 22nd May 2015, the Hounslow Family welcomed 8 cars and their crews to the start of the first steam car tour in Wiltshire. Those attending were:
John and Anne Dyke-1910 White model 00 20HP Doctors Coupe.
Steve Baldock and Richard and Connie Knott-1909 Stanley model R 20HP.
Basil Craske and Russell and Wendy Yeomans-1908 Stanley model K 30HP semi-racer.
John and Marilyn Oliver and Vic and Val Nobbs-1909 Stanley model R 20HP.
James Barron, Christine, Ollie and Liam Calver and Alan and Clair Barkley-1910 Stanley 70 20HP.
Dudley and Lynette Watts-1921 Stanley 735A 20HP.
Richard Hounslow and Delia Pady-1924 Gwynne 8 I.C car.
Peter and George Hounslow-1923 Stanley 740B 20HP.
Sarah Hounslow, Jacky Reay/Viv Newman-modern back-up car with extra water and fuel.
Having arrived and unloaded, the trailers were moved and parked in Richard Hounslow’s field on his farm. Following this, we all sat down to a three course meal at the Rose and Crown hotel, where route maps were given out, ready for the first days tour, Saturday.