Crank up at Sweets, Nr Wedmore – 2 June 2019
Once again, what a difference a day makes! After the unusually hot temperature on Saturday, Sunday dawned with the threat of rain. Nevertheless there was a good turnout for Herbie’s rally at Wedmore where 18 engines were on display. 
Bryan Coles brought along his Rushton & Hornsby XHR diesel injection engine now fully restored and working well following bits sourced from India.
Phil Harris showed an interesting Frank Hartop  model S 1hp which runs on gas/trembler coil ignition together with a rare 1963 Rickman Metisse scrambler motorbike.  [Any information on the history of this bike will be gratefully received.]   It was good to see Brian Verrall’s 1961 AJS in original condition alongside.
Exhibits included an interesting Gardner lorry engine, a Victoria 5HP engine presented by Don and William Rogers, Roger Pike’s Rushton & Hornsby IP 3hp on its second outing since being restored,
John Allen’s Amanco Hired Man 2¼hp running a water pump complete with frogs and a lily pad.  Kevin Phillips’ Fairbanks Morse 1½hp was running a very impressive dynamo outfit by Frampton & Co Ltd, Herbies Bulldog, Roger Kempson’s Norman T300 Mark 1, John Emery’s Madison ½hp gas Engine and a Wolseley WD2 1½hp with lighting set presented by Mike Andrews from Glastonbury amongst others.
Michael James of Puxton brought along his 1973 ERF Cummins diesel lorry.  A 1/3 scale model road locomotive was also being put through its paces on the field.
The visiting car line consisted of an Austin A35 van, a Morris 1000 traveller, a Triumph Herald estate and a Mini pickup. There was an interesting collection of sports cars in the car park, obviously another meet up.
Having seen the event advertised on Facebook several tractors arrived: a 1212 David Brown, 6610, A Ford 3000, a Massey Ferguson 135 and a Fordson Dexta with a trailer full of children. A Massey Ferguson 168 running a Lister diesel CS twin 10hp, John Deere 3130 and a Fordson Super Major advertising the Sedgemoor Vintage Show 13/14 July TA9 3RH, and a neat little McCormickB-275 diesel.
The tea and coffee stall did a very brisk trade with bacon baps and sausage baps welcomed by exhibitors and visitors.
Despite the showers the weather didn’t put people off and there was a good turnout of public who supported the raffle in support of the Alzheimer’s Society, ably run by Carol Phillips assisted by Jackie Coles and Wendy Gane.
A total of £166.78 was raised, £110 from the raffle and £56.78 donations.

The Midsummer Vintage Show is now upon us. If you can support the show by volunteering before, during or after then please get in touch or just turn up. Somebody will be on site from Wednesday 12th.

This year we will be giving away a stationary engine as the star prize in a free draw.



Petter AVB1 LAB

The Petter AVB1 LAB was the last of a number of models specifically designed by Petter for use in fuel and oil research, so it bears only a passing resemblance to other Petters of its time. It was built to withstand extreme use using parts from other models and parts specially designed for the purpose. It was frequently used with a supercharger when high power outputs at relatively high RPM were obtained. (Around 17 bhp at 2000 RPM, but figures up to 28 bhp have been quoted))

The example being offered as a prize dates from around 1968, and although some work will be required it is thought to be in running order. Some of the sensors are still in place but the pipework was designed for static use, “plumbed in” to the building in which it was housed, so a silencer etc. will be required. A manual is included!

It was kindly donated to the club by Mr David Gee

Our first event at the Tuckers Grave Inn turned out to be a very enjoyable affair. Although not particularly warm the sun shone brightly all day on a happy band of engineers. Our hosts put on a BBQ, which was well received, and of course drinks flowed freely throughout the day for those not driving. The beer garden seemed to be extremely popular.
Upon arrival it appeared that the field had been double-booked, but we fitted in well with the amateur radio enthusiasts who were holding a rally at the same time. The twenty-odd engines, a beautifully restored US Army staff car, some nice miniature cars and a couple of bikes just about filled the remaining space. Although the turnout of vendors was disappointing the few people who were selling had a fine selection of goods, and lots of people were seen carrying away their purchases.
The engines on show ranged from Robin’s hot air engine to a lovely Victoria being shown by Don and Christine. Steve and Sacha brought along a little Tarpen generator that buzzed away all day keeping its bulb alight, while next door Sam’s Christensen was far more laid back. There was a great variety of pumps driven by a number of different engines; Lister, Bernard and Amanco to name but a few, and Roger had his T300 generator rigged up, shining bright despite the sunshine. Eric seemed to be having trouble with his wick, but he had an interesting display nonetheless.
Thank you to everyone who came along to this, the first, I hope, of many crank-ups at this venue. I can think of few better ways to spend a sunny Sunday, and I hope that next time a few more sellers will take advantage of the opportunity to flog off some stuff. And a mention must go to the ladies who worked tirelessly selling raffle tickets to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

About 25 members got together at the Old Down Inn last night to hear Tony Coverdale’s interesting talk on the copper and brass industry along the Avon in the 18th and 19th century. He explained how it was tied in to the slave trade, and how, like so many of our industries, failure to adapt led to its demise.

Our next talk, on the 20th May, takes us a little further afield, to the moon! I look forward to joining lots of members and non-members to hear from Mike Chipperfield “how Newton and Apollo got us to the moon”.

The WSEC presence at Mells Daffodil Festival was pretty impressive, with over 40 engines of over 23 different makes and all types. Robin had his hot air engines, Adrian his model steam, powered as usual by the trusty Wolseley and compressor, and Adrian Masters a couple of Redwing models. The full-size engines ranged from an almost unique vertical 1898 ish Pierce 1 hp to a tank-cooled Wolseley WD8 and Dave & Mary’s 5-1/2 hp Blackstone. There was an impressive variety of driven equipment too, with lots of different pumps, and corn mills ranging from Mr Bishop’s little Bentall No 1 to the much larger one of Alex Shire. Well done to all, especially Herb who arranged it and put in most of the work, and the organisers of the festival for inviting us.

Despite a bitterly cold wind we had a good turnout for the crank-up at the White Horse Country Park in Westbury yesterday. The miniature train was kept busy giving rides, and lots of people came to see what was an extremely varied selection of engines. Apologies to anyone who missed us, but I’m afraid that in the end the cold got to us and by three thirty it was all over.

What a fine day for the Cranmore sale. Lots of sellers, lots of buyers, and a fine sunny morning. Who could ask for more? If you missed it don’t miss the next one, at Tucker’s Grave on the 12th May.


Wessex Midsummer Vintage Show is starting to take shape, with entries coming in and exhibits being booked. We now need some volunteers to help make this the best show ever. If you can give any time, no matter how little, before after or during the show please contact a committee member, message us through this website or visit the show’s Facebook page and leave a message. @midsummershow