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Crofton Beam Engines Steam Gala, Wiltshire 23-09-2017 24-09-2017
Starts: 23-09-2017
Ends: 24-09-2017

Crofton Beam Engines Steam Gala, Wiltshire

- Beam Engines in Steam
- Traction Engines
- Classic Cars
- Boat trips on the Canal
- Craft Stalls
- Barbecue, Cafe and licensed Bar with Real Ales
- Live Music

The oldest working steam engines in the world still performing the job they were built to do! There are two beam engines, one of which is an original 200-year-old Boulton & Watt. Both are fed by a hand-stoked, coal-fired Lancashire boiler.

For more details see their website [Only registered and activated users can see the links Click here to register]
We had an Incredible day at Crofton. It is beyond my descriptive power to truly do the event, the place, the people, the machinery, the atmosphere and the scenery justice. My photos similarly fall woefully short. It was a magical day. I hope the following, goes at least some way summing it up.
Having visited VSCC Prescott on Saturday we travelled 46 Miles to the campsite I'd planned for the night. Having packed up early in the morning, the Sunday was kicked off properly with 23 Miles through stunning scenery towards Crofton. As we came near, the Chimney loomed into view, smoke rising. We pulled in, to the sight of the engine house, with 3 stunning cars and a Gorgeous Green Taskers Traction Engine already alongside it. We parked up with the 1914 Stanley Steam car, 1920 model T, and MGB alongside the chimney, and in front of the Engine house, and were followed in by a 1926 Lea Francis K type. As it happened, and completely by accident, we were parked in a row with the leaf in age order, 1926,27 and 28. 
Completely in awe of our surroundings we had a cuppa and went for a look around. There was a small open marquee, where there were a number of folk bands playing through the day, which created a lovely atmosphere without being at all obtrusive. There was also a wood fired 'hot air' stationary pumping engine outside of it.  Opposite there was seating, and 'The Old Smithy' serving drinks and the lunchtime Barbecue. From the site there is a lovely view of the canal and it's locks, with railway (Main Line, but does get steam trains on occasion) in between. Along with the Narrowboats on the canal, there were also 2 Wallis & Steevens Traction Engines, a Sentinel Steam Lorry, and a 1934 Sunbeam twenty-five Tourer on the Canal Side.
We decided to have a 'quick' first look around the engine house before exploring down by the canal. A quick walk around was impossible in such a fascinating place, it is utterly mesmerising watching each part of the workings. The engines ran throughout the day, taking turns with a 10 minute overlap at each change. The volunteers manning each section and throughout the site, in period dress, were superb, really friendly and enthusiastic chatting about the workings, the history etc.
After quite some time we managed to drag ourselves away from the engines long enough for a look around the canal. It is a beautiful setting, and boat rides were available going up and down the locks. There was a 'floating market' with a number of boats with different wares. There were and a good number of Narrowboats, both moored up, and travelling on their way through the Locks, which we watched for a while before heading back to the site.

We spent the rest of the day around the site, moving between watching the engines, pumps and the stokers, chatting to the volunteers, and talking with visitors about the cars. There was a constant stream of people coming and going all day with a great buzz around the site.
There was plenty more going on, with craft stalls, Victorian ladies dress demonstrations, a charity rubber duck race, where they were spirited along by the water being pumped by the engines, and various announcements and bits of potted history over the PA system.
As the day drew to a close we made tracks for home, another hugely enjoyable 47 miles.
In all our weekend had taken in 220 miles of stunning scenery in our trusty Sevens, much beautiful machinery in action at both VSCC Prescott on Saturday and Crofton on Sunday, and many great people along the way.

Entirely inadequate photographs to follow...

















Please do reply to let me know if you have enjoyed any of my write-ups of events we've been to.
Thanks for the event report and pictures. Sounds and looks like a great weekend and worth putting in the diary for next year. I am taking it that it is an annual event?
Thank you Alan, It was truly wonderful. Yes they have the 'Steam Gala' yearly, and next year it is planned for 29th and 30th September. They also generally have 1 steaming weekend a month, between Easter and September, next year they are also planning a 'Halloween steaming' on 28th October. They are also open most days between above dates with engines static, and I'm sure you could fill a day there even with the engines not running. Entry to the site and tea room is free on all but the Gala weekend, with (very modest) admission costs for the engine house only. The price is reduced for non steaming days.
Cannot recommend it highly enough.
Their website is [Only registered and activated users can see the links Click here to register] and has lots of great info.
(27-09-2017, 04:52 PM)Timothy P Wrote: Please do reply to let me know if you have enjoyed any of my write-ups of events we've been to, so I know whether to keep doing them.


As usual an excellent coverage of a what looked to be a great event, many thanks.

Please keep up the good work.

Cheers, Tony.
Yes Timothy please carry on, I love seeing what others are up to even if some of these threads do make me miss the UK a little.
Location: Auckland NZ

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