Stoke Row Steam Rally

While driving through the Oxfordshire countryside on the way to Grey’s Court the other day I spotted a sign advertising the forthcoming Stoke Row Steam Rally. Helen was away that weekend so it seemed an ideal opportunity to give it a visit.

On arriving at a very large field in the middle of nowhere I immediately got a sense of just how big a deal this was. I was expecting a small number of steam engines but what I actually got was a small number of steam engines plus classic trucks, cars, motorbikes and tractors – lots and lots of tractors – I guess because they are easier to store and have probably come straight from some farmer’s field!

Mamod Steam Engines on Steroids

As much as I like classic trucks/cars/motorbikes and possibly even the odd tractor it was the steam-powered vehicles that I was really here to see.

There was a good selection of full-sized transport and small pumps too all of which you could smell long before you could see them. It’s a lovely smell that you don’t get anywhere else any more and is unique to these types of engines. The mixture of burning coke, oil and steam I guess.

All of these machines were beautifully maintained and probably in better than showroom condition. They were all lovingly looked after by almost exclusively men there with a rag in hand polishing some part that was already gleaming. Not only that many were also dressed in period costumes and had gipsy caravans to sleep in behind their machines.

Several questions sprung to mind given the size and pondering pace of these contraptions such as where do they keep them and how do they get them here? I didn’t stop to ask – I really needed my Grandpop for that line of questioning as he’d stop and question anyone given a chance!

I wandered around all the other exhibits and the stalls with lots of tat on sale. There were some nice things on sale too, he adds quickly, remembering that I’d bought one of Helen’s birthday presents from one seller. I do hope that she likes Mamod steam engines!

One Reply to “Stoke Row Steam Rally”

  1. Fascinating! There is also the Noel Hill Steam Rally near Maidenhead in late July or August. I visited that event in the late 1970s and early 1980s. More than 40 years of extra history has been added since!

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