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Ross-on-Wye Steam Engine Society Rally at Much Marcle, July 1975During the first year of exhibiting at vintage rallies in 1975 I ‘gatecrashed’ a few events. As one usually had to book exhibiting space months in advance I was too impatient in that first season to wait until the following year to show my engine, so would just arrive at a rally and enquire whether there were any exhibitors who hadn’t turned up and could I fill their space? It never failed, and even if it had there would have been no loss as I would probably have visited the show anyway. The first photo shown here was at such an unplanned show at Much Marcle in Herefordshire on a hot July weekend in the summer of 1975. My souvenir plaque board has just two plaques so this was my third show as an exhibitor, not all those I ‘gatecrashed’ gave me a plaque!

In 1975 everything was so simple, as previously mentioned I had begun exhibiting in the summer of that year. My first engine, a diminutive J.A.P. running a 12v dynamo, fitted easily into the back of my tiny 600cc Citroen Dyane car and along with a small tent, a sleeping bag and a few provisions I could easily slip into a quiet corner of the exhibitor’s camping area and enjoy a weekend in the company of my new-found friends. This little engine served me well for the first season and partway into the second but it was soon necessary to purchase a car capable of towing a trailer as I was aspiring to greater things.

My plaque boards and negative/slide files indicate I exhibited at seven rallies in 1975 with my first engine, they were at Southerndown, Ffynnon Plant, Much Marcle, Mitchell Troy, Fairford, Eastnor and Llandow, I have photos of my engine at all of these events, in those early days I liked to capture my engines with the visiting public in shot as well and some from my first season are shown here.

Southerndown Vintage Rally July 1975 Fairford Steam Rally August 1975Left: Southerndown July 1975 – Right: Fairford August 1975

Mitchell Troy Steam Rally August 1975 Eastnor Rally at Massington Farm September 1975Left: Mitchell Troy August 1975 – Right: Eastnor September 1975