Barrow Voice
www.barrowvoice.co.uk -
First Publised 1975
3,000 copies published quarterly and delivered FREE to all households in Barrow upon Soar

The “Rat Run” to The Great Rempstone Steam and Country Show

You may have seen these engines trundling back and forward through Barrow and Quorn. and may have wondered about the history of these fine machines. The smaller of the two is a 6 horsepower general-purpose traction engine, number 1995, built in 1884 by Aveling Porter of Rochester in Kent. It was the modern tractor of its day and moved between farms driving Thrashing Drums and general farm work. In the late fifties, the engine passed into the ownership of A C Ripley of Yorkshire where the engine was retired and purchased by Aveling Barford, from where it passed into preservation and is now owned and run by the 1995 Association. The engine is a fine example of late Victorian engineering and is very unusual as it has a wooden front axle and the steam cylinder housing the piston is mounted on the left-hand side of the engine, one of only a handful of left-handed engines to survive.

The second engine is also a generalpurpose agricultural engine but has been converted in later life into a road loco. Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies “Jubilee” is also a 6 horsepower engine, having been built in 1908 at RSJ Orwell works in Ipswich with the maker’s number 20760. Mr Powell of the Speldhurst estate near Tunbridge Wells, Kent, took delivery of the engine in December 1908 and she remained there until 1949 when she passed to Howard Hull of Biddenham.

In 1955, she was purchased again by RSJ Orwell Works for their museum and was set upon by their apprentices who changed her colour from olive green to black, added balance weights to the crank and converted her to a road loco. She then passed between several owners until 1977 when her owner added many chrome parts and named her “Jubilee” in recognition of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee. In 2011, she was purchased by a local businessman and is currently managed by father and son team Geoff and Tom James.

We’re sorry if you get stuck behind one of these fine old engines, but please be patient and please do not pull round them and cut in just before a junction or traffic lights as you may have modern ABS brakes on your car but these machines do not have any brakes at all; weighing over 10 tons each, they take an awful lot of stopping!

Simon Dubbin