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Showman's Engines

Steam Rollers  Ploughing Engines  Traction Engines  Other Steamers

These are perhaps the most impressive of the steam traction engines.
They are certainly a magnificent sight, particularly at night when generating power.
These photographs were taken at the Great Dorset Steam Fair at various times.  If you have
never visited the steam fair but are within reach then believe me, it is well worth a visit.  To see the
exhibits properly would take several days, and just a quick look at all the different areas takes all day.

My friend and I spent several days in our caravan at the site a few years ago, in order to have a really good
look around and to see it being set up.  It is something I will never forget.  We had a fantastic time.
We each had a word and gained permission from "Management" at home and so off we set.
I must admit to being a little apprehensive - several days in a caravan with only another
man for company!  I needn't have worried as we had such a good time.
We didn't get bored at all and found the whole excursion
very enjoyable indeed.

 

Below are several photos and video clips to whet your appetite.
As usual, click on them for a bigger version and then Back to return here.

 

DSF_Princess Mary.jpg (164133 bytes) This Garrett engine is Princess Mary.  These engines are kept in a beautiful condition, which must take hours and hours of loving care.
DSF_Showmans King George VI.jpg (154187 bytes) Here is a close-up of Burrell engine King George VI in full generating mode.  Note the flat belt driving the 110volt dynamo from the engine flywheel.  Note also the canopy lights in operation.
DSF_Burrell Quo Vadis.jpg (131343 bytes) This is another Burrell engine, Quo Vadis.  Many of these engines are very well known by those in the steam circles.
DSF_Showmans Engine Dynamo.jpg (136222 bytes) This picture is a close-up showing the rear of the dynamo.  You can see the commutator and brushes through the open casing.  Below are the two meters showing DC volts and amperage.  It's interesting to watch these when an engine is generating the power for a fairground ride.  As the ride starts the amps increase markedly, and the engine note changes as more power is needed to meet the demand.  Too much light is shining on the meter glasses here and so we are unable to read them, unfortunately.
DSF_Showmans British Hero Valvegear.jpg (167623 bytes) This is a close-up view of the crank shaft on British Hero.  It was taken from the foot plate.  I am sometimes lucky enough to be invited up there for a better look at the engine.  They really are magnificent machines!
DSF_Showmans Lineup.jpg (102919 bytes) The power for most of the fairground and some other attractions is supplied by the showman's engines.  Here you can see them all lined up at dusk and in full steam.  Note the chimney extensions that are used when stationary like this.
DSF_Showmans Night Lineup 01.jpg (97515 bytes) Nearly dark now and the steam generated lights begin to dominate the scene.  This is a spectacular sight and being in amongst it all is quite magical.  Although hundreds of people stay for the evening spectacle I have yet to see any trouble.  What is it about steam?  Wonderful!
GDSF_Showmans Lineup After Dark 02_01Sept2007.JPG (94568 bytes) This shows the view when it's fully dark.  It is a wonderful sight at night with all the engines lined up, in full steam and generating all that power.  Note that we have now changed to wide screen shots.  A newer digital camera you see!
British Hero After Dark_30Aug2008.JPG (104899 bytes) This is Showman's engine British Hero generating electricity after dark.
 

Video Clips...

From dusk the showman's engines come alive at the Great Dorset Steam Fair.  The atmosphere is very difficult to describe, but watching the video will give you a taster.  In 2008 I counted no less than 64 engines, all generating power for the fairground and other exhibits.
This clip shows a close-up of "British Hero" after dark, generating electricity for the fairground rides.