Thousands flock to annual steam show in St Albans

Horse drawn Shandmason Steam Fire Pump 1908

Horse drawn Shandmason Steam Fire Pump 1908 - Credit: Archant

Those who hold steam in high esteem were thrilled last weekend when their carefully restored engines drew a crowd of over 5,000 people to an event in St Albans.

Herts Steam Engine Preservation Society held its annual steam rally from June 4-5, at Oaklands College’s Smallford campus.

The display featured St Albans Corporation’s last surviving steamroller, which was delivered to the city in 1913 from Aveling & Porter of Rochester.

Mark Waite, chairman of the society, said the oldest vehicle displayed over the weekend was a road roller dating back to the late 1800s.

He said: “Everything went to plan. Members of the society either drove to Oaklands by steam, or used low-loaders to transport their engines.”


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The society has about 300 members in the UK, and the annual rally is now a well established event in the summer calendar of outside events in St Albans.

Over 30 full size steam engines were displayed, in addition to old farm tractors, classic cars and lorries plus other vehicles from Britain’s rich industrial and agricultural heritage.

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Visitors, who enjoyed sunny weather, were able to watch demonstrations on how the old equipment was used in days gone by.

There was also a working sawbench, threshing machine, stone crusher and other machinery at work.

Although we live in a high-tech era, steam wagons regularly pounded through St Albans carrying long distance loads early last century.

The rally is promoted by Herts Steam Club Ltd on behalf of the society. Money raised from the entry charges will help fund local restoration charities and go towards the running of next year’s display. For information on other activities see: www.hertssteam.co.uk

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