Invitation from the Burnham Club

The  Burnham Steam and Historic Machinery Club (BSHMC) have a visit from a gentleman called Noel Shelley from Norfolk, who will be giving a talk about casting. The talk will be in two parts with the first at Farnham Common Village Hall Victoria Road, Farnham Common, Bucks SL2 3NL on Thursday 18th May from 8pm. The second part will be an actual casting demonstration at Cecil Rowans yard (directions below) on Thursday 15th June at 7.30pm. All TVTEC members are welcome.

cecil rowan directions

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TVTEC visit to Combe Mill

The club will be visiting Combe Mill on Monday 12th June from 7.30 PM.

Combe Mill is a Victorian steam and water powered sawmill now operating as a working museum. For more information visit their website:

The visit will consist of a guided tour of the mill (approx 2 hrs). Numbers attending will be needed before the visit so we can book the right number of guides.

Please contact Carole Davis by phone (01276 709994) or email on at least 3 weeks before the visit (by 22nd May) if you would like to come.

A charge of £4 per head will be collected on the night.

Address: Combe Mill, Blenheim Palace Sawmills, Long Hanborough, Oxon, OX20 8ET

By Road: A4095 Witney to Woodstock. In Long Hanborough turn north for Combe. After crossing the river, you will find the mill turning on the left before the railway bridge.

Map reference: SP 41663 15041. Latitude 51.832370 Longitude -1.396712

Sat Nav: Combe Halt railway station

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Club Meeting, Monday 8th May

This month we will have Alan Stevens showing some more of his collection of slides from the early preservation days. Below we have a picture of Burrell “Earl Beatty” being towed by the Palmer’s Wallis traction engine “Wildfire ” from Goody’s yard to Knowl Hill in the fifties. See you tomorrow at Englefield Social Club from 7.30pm.

earl beatty

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April Meeting

Don’t forget the April TVTEC meeting this Monday 10th April. This month Frank Bamfield will be showing old transport films. For more information visit:

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February Club Meeting change of speaker

We have a change of speaker for this Monday’s club meeting. Jim Sarney will now be giving us a talk on various steam subjects. Jim’s knowledge and experience is second to none so this is expected to be an evening too good to miss. See you at Englefield Social Club tomorrow night (13th Feb) from 7.30pm.

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Five go mad at the Great Central Railway

To break the winter shed time up a day trip was planned recently by five club members, P Narrowly, S Hutson, H Cotgreave, F Cooper and T Leverett. Where better for five deranged steam heads to go but a steam gala at the Great Central Railway, Loughborough.

The G.C.R had eight locos in steam at their Winter Gala and was very well attended by thousands of enthusiasts, rivet counters and normal people (T.V.T.E.C members)(Don’t laugh you weren’t there, we are normal in comparison)

We know steam railways aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, however if you fancy a trip somewhere different then I for one would highly recommend it. As with many preserved railways the small details really make it a great experience. G.C.R has really gone to town setting the scene of a working railway of the 1940’s, gas lighting, period dress, great authentic buildings with fires roaring inside and impressive displays on track too. Steam hauled freight trains touching 60mph ran throughout the day, continuous and stopping passenger services and perhaps the star of the show the T.P.O (Travelling Post Office) flying through collecting post three times a day!

For me, the highlight of the day was the shed area at night, here locos are brought in for fire disposal and maintenance by the shed gang. As someone who never got to see the real thing when the railways were run by steam it was fantastic. Engines arriving being met by the shed master, maintenance noted, fires dropped and steam hissing and leaking adding an atmosphere which to be honest is difficult to describe how great it was.

Much fun was had, some beer was tested and passed T.V.T.E.C standards, so we all came away thinking what steam trip can we go next before the rally season kicks off!

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Dredging by steam

Tristan Leverett reports. A chance conversation with an ‘steam interested’ colleague (that’s code for any excuse to spread the word/bore people about steam) about a trip to Tinkers Park for the RLS spring do 2016. I was explaining with some exuberance about the ploughers ‘Windsor’ & ‘Sandringham’ which now live with the ‘Claud Jessett Trust’. After saying about what hard life they’ve lived, really having two working lives one ploughing and the second with James Lowther and his dredging concern.

Suddenly a lightbulb moment happened for my colleague as he said, “that sounds familiar, I’m sure I went to see some steam engines dredging two lakes at Haslemere in the late 1970’s early 80’s” Followed by those words we love to hear “I think I have some photos somewhere!”

Well here they are, some unseen photos of the engines arriving and at work. In classic style one of the pictures shows ‪15364, “Windsor”‬ hard up against a tree to anchor the engine whilst pulling! Apparently, the tree still holds a scar from this.

With there being two lakes in line there was an earth mover between the lakes emptying the dredge before the second pull through the next lake.

After a conversation with Pete Narraway, he also recalled seeing the engines at work around the same time and said at that time an adapted skip was being used for the dredge! Makes you wonder how heavy this homemade dredge would have been by the end of the pull? At a guess, very bloody heavy! Pete said when he saw them, the pulling engine stalled several times under the strain, even with the button in and the engine well in the blood.

The long working life of these engines is a credit to John Fowler, I think many of us can remember seeing them in poor cosmetic condition over the years, now I think they will enjoy their retirement at Tinkers Park. I for one look forward to seeing them out again in the future, hopefully together again working, though perhaps without the skip!

All images copyright of Tim Hook.

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