Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Somerset Steam & Gas

Sunday was another beautiful day and perfect for a steam and gas convention. I was excited as today I would be seeing plenty of tractors, vehicles I'd not really noticed until I met Rob, but vehicles that I'd grown to love.
The place was filled with engine noise, smoke and chatter, it was hard not to be drawn in by the atmosphere. Not knowing where to go first, we simply headed for the biggest machinery.
Big iron steam engines trundled past while others remained stationary and used their engine power to operate hay bundling machinery, log sawing plants or simply just to let off lots of steam, smoke and piercing whistles.
As one of them clattered past, I detected an English accent and moved closer to listen. Rob immediately called out and asked the gentleman driving if I could have a ride and before I knew it, I was up and driving the great beast.It was brilliant and a lot easier than driving a tractor, except for the wood shoveling into the furnace bit, but I didn't have to do that. Rob also climbed up for a spin and after a turn around the field we jumped down to go and meet other equally friendly people.
At the tractor pull, I was called over by a gentleman operating the weight machine that hooks up to the tractor pulling. 
Medford asked if he could see the photos I was taking and I was happy to oblige. I met his wife and friends by the weigh bridge and chatted for a while. Gordon Shelton who helps with this event also has another event in October which he's helping to organize. The Stafford County School Fair is the first fair at the school and is resurrecting the old fair for the first time in about 30 years. Gordon is looking for helpers and vendors who would like to take part.
I also met another new friend called Bill when I walked across a field to photograph a Farmall tractor.
Bill has his own collection of over 100 tractors and industrial vehicles. He used to be a regular contender in the tractor pull but gave it up when his wife sadly passed. It was wonderful to hear that he's slowly getting involved again with the fairs and regenerating his interest.
This guy was having a rest inbetween pulls on his tractor.
Adding weights to the tractor. Some of these tricycle style tractors would lift at the front so needed to be weighted down, although there is a weight restriction in the event.
Rob and I stopped to admire a Massey Ferguson 50 and the owner came over to chat. They both started talking about engines and transmissions and my eyes slowly glazed over as I understood less and less as the conversation progressed. I broke away and left them to their happy musings.
I had to admire this photographer and his dedication to getting the perfect shot. I would've loved to see his photos.
This tractor won a few awards. Note the weights on the left.
Gordon leveling out the course after a tractor pull.
This guy was stamping souvenir pieces of cedar wood which were selling like hotcakes. We got one and plan to start a collection.
And now for photos of my favorite tractors. Overall I fell in love with the Farmall tricycles and Case came a close second.
Not sure why this John Deere was tied to the pole like a dog.
A very cool old car that drove around the fields.
Even some of the kids were driving around on their tractors.
This stall made gorgeous ice cream and I had the best creamiest peach ice cream I'd ever tasted with big fresh chunks of fruit mixed in. I also had my first ever snow cone, blue raspberry.
As the day wound down, we watched tractors and steam engines being towed away on trailers. It had been a fabulous day which flew by too fast but we'd met some lovely people and seen wonderful antique machinery up close making for a memorable experience which I can't wait to repeat next year.

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