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.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TVTEC January Meeting

The TVTEC January meeting will be a talk from Joby Carter of the Famous Carter’s Steam Fair. Joby will be talking about Fairground rides, signwriting and all sorts of other fair related antics of the life of travelling showmen.


See you at Englefield social club from 7.30pm on Monday 9th Jan

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Get your TVTEC 2017 Calendar

TVTEC 2017 calendars are now on sale. At £5 each it is an ideal present or something to brighten up your workshop wall.

Calendars are available at tonight’s Christmas meeting  – hurry while stocks last!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TVTEC Christmas Meeting

The Christmas meeting will take place on Monday 12th December at Englefield Social Club from 7.30pm. Food buffet will be served, photographs and books on display, short films shown on the projector, and a Raffle. See you there!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Thames Valley Traction Engine Club are holding a photo competition. The winning photo will be included in the 2017 TVTEC calendar. Please bring any photo’s you’d like to submit along to the October club meeting on Monday 10th October or alternatively email them to alittleandoften@gmail.com. The winner will be announced at the club dinner in November.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Thames Valley Traction Engine Club Dinner

The TVTEC Dinner will be at the Mill at Aldermaston on Saturday 12th November. http://theoldmillaldermaston.co.uk/functions-and-parties/

Tickets are £26 per person. Please buy your tickets at one of the club meetings or contact the secretary Carole Davis carole.davis15@googlemail.com.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

TVTEC October meeting

For the October club meeting on Monday 10th October we have Colin Hatch showing old slides from the 1970’s rarely seen in public. This includes many pictures from the Thames Valley area and is not to be missed.

This will also be your final opportunity to submit your pictures for the photo competition where the winning photo will feature in the TVTEC 2017 calendar.

It will also be your opportunity to purchase your tickets for the 2016 Dinner on Saturday 12th November. Tickets are £26 per person.

Burrell Traction Engine no. 2426 at Banbury Rally 1972

Burrell Traction Engine no. 2426 at Banbury Rally 1972 with a young Colin Hatch on the manstand

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment