Thursday, 26 November 2015

A little bit of our steam history and a nod to Matthew Boulton

Now the Age of Steam covered a big chunk of our industrial history  ranging from the first steam driven water pumps to Boulton & Watts’ all purpose machine which drove the Industrial Revolution and finished for me with the railway locomotive.

And along the way there were steam rollers, travelling threshing machines and all those vehicles that plied our roads until the petrol powered lorry came along.

Most of those I have totally ignored.
So while I long ago fell in love with the steam locomotive and have marvelled at those stationary machines that worked the coal mines, the textile mills and even Tower Bridge the ones that travelled the countryside and chugged along through our towns and cities were pretty much ignored by me.

All of which was a shame, for no busy Corporation Clerk of Works would have got far without a steam roller nor the Edwardian farmer who saw the potential for reducing labour costs by embracing steam over horsepower and I doubt that fun fairs would have been so attractive without a traction engine to run the glittering lights and roundabouts.

So because I have tended to miss these out here is a picture posted recently by David Harrop which I like because there is the twist in the story.

Look closely and you can see that our old steam relics are lugging a diesel loco.

Now that is a nice touch and I hope David will turn up more from his vast collection.

I have no idea when it was taken or where but I bet he will tell me which just leaves me to ad that when Matthew Boulton was asked by King George III what he die he replied "Sire I sell what all the world desires ............. power."

Picture; courtesy of Roy Pinches and in memory of the late Michael Oliver

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