03 August, 2008

Woolpit Steam Rally

Every summer the little Suffolk village of Woolpit holds a rally for steam-powered machinery of all kinds - traction engines, steam rollers, steam-powered lorries, you name it (More information and photo galleries on the official website). This year I actually remembered it was on and we cycled out to have a look.

Possibly the smallest and prettiest self-service cheese shop in the country, at Rodwell Farm near Needham Market. Their cheese is very good, too.

Chocolate-box thatched cottage passed on the way.

Steam-powered carousel. If you look closely you can see the steam engine that would originally have powered it in the middle of the carousel, though at the show they were running it off a diesel generator. Also, if you look closely, you can see that some of the rides on the inner row are in fact giant chickens rather than horses. Don't ask me why.

Steam-powered road roller. I expect Bedfordshire County Council has got a replacement by now. Though, pressures on local authority budgets being what they are, you never know.


Gabriele Campbell said...

I love old carousels. I wonder why no one's riding those horses; I'd sure given it a go. :)

Jules Frusher said...

You've got to love that pink shed!!! I think I would have to buy cheese from it just because of its colour!

Bernita said...

Interesting how the term "cottage" is interpreted.Am inclined to think of one as a small vacation/holiday type of dwelling of one storey- even though a Cape Cod style "cottage" can be quite a substantial building.
Could you do a piece on thatch sometime? Have always thought it needed cords and weights, but I didn't see any in your picture.

Carla said...

Gabriele - I think the carousel might have only just started up when we got there.

Lady D - Hello and welcome. The pink shed is great, isn't it? I buy their cheese anyway - a couple of local shops stock it, and very good it is - but just had to stop and buy some more when we passed the farm.

Bernita - over here "cottage" is a somewhat elastic term but tends to mean a fairly small house in the country, often of some age. Holiday lets outside a big city are universally called "holiday cottages" regardless of size.
Request for a piece on thatch duly noted - I will try and look up some details. I know that thatch is pegged down with big wooden staples (they look a bit like giant hairpins), and covered in wire netting like a giant hairnet to keep the birds from nesting in it, if that is any help. I've seen weights on roofs in the high Alps, where the wind can get to ferocious speeds, but those roofs weren't thatched.

Rick said...

Steamrollers may be antiques, but the figurative verb remains in regular service!

Susan Higginbotham said...

Love the pix! Sounds like fun.

Carla said...

Rick - indeed it does. I wonder what the equivalent term was before?

Susan - thanks

Rick said...

Good question! Maybe there wasn't one, for lack of a ready visual image for relentlessly rolling over everything.

Anonymous said...

There might have been a diesel generator for the lighting but the 'steam gallopers' are actually powered by steam, hence the need for coal to be delivered to the unit and the water cart to supply water occasionally