Dartford Steam

This weekend Heather’s brothers, Richard and Doug (plus Caroline and Esther—and little baby Joseph, of course) were both around so we were in search of something to do. While looking at other things I stumbled across the Trevithick’s Industrial Dartford Celebration and so off to a Dartford park we just about managed to organise ourselves.

Back to the fire engine

The Fire Engine

Back to the fire engine

A short walk from the car park to the proper park led us to a pleasant stroll though its periphery before reaching the show itself, conveniently set up next to the cafe. There we were greeted by not a steam driven vehicle but an old fire engine, and a “Del Boy” Reliant Robin! There was plenty of steam action just beyond though. Trevithick was a pioneering engineer at the beginnings of the steam engine revolution* There’s a Trevithick Street near where I grew up, in a row of streets named after engineers. I think I had a great aunt or something lived there, once. At least half of it has been knocked down now. He was Cornish born, learning much from pumping water from mines (particularly the wonderfully named Ding Dong mine) and worked in Wales and London as well as more exotic foreign lands. Dartford’s connection comes as the place of his death, hence the location for this celebration of the man who pioneered high pressure steam engines and built possibly the first full scale steam locomotive. His legacy was evident further into the park, from a miniature steam railway giving short rides to the little traction engines trundling around the park and their full sized cousins parked up nearby,

With his little engine

Happy Fellow

With his little engine

It wasn’t all steam either. A fair ground organ gave a “musical” accompaniment, with a display of interesting vehicles (including a “Green Goddess” and various trucks). A row of classic cars at one end led to a farming display with some tractors and two horses, while at the other end was a display of classic motorbikes. Most of us enjoyed a burger from the one catering outlet but unfortunately there was no vegetarian option for Heather so she had to resort to the cafe later.

Other than that little disappointment though the whole thing was well organised and entertaining, and luckily the rain held off for most of the time we were there.

After, while Doug and Esther had places to be, the rest of us retired to Heather’s Mum’s for dinner and to have a couple of rounds of the enjoyable “train game” 🙂

Deborah Claire, a traction engine

North Kent Haulage & Winding Co

Deborah Claire, a traction engine


More photos from the day are on their own page.

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