The International Steam Pages

Weald of Kent Steam Rally (3rd - 4th August, 2019)

This is one of a series of pages I have uploaded to illustrate facets of the steam rallies we have attended in the UK. Click here for the 2019 introduction and overall index.

Ashford in Kent is as far away from home as Boconnoc in Cornwall which we did in a day trip last weekend.  Fortunately we could stop off in London on the Friday night and in Ashford on Saturday night post rally. Saturday was mainly Brownie Point Day and we got to the rally at 14.30 to find the weather 'overcast'. In view of the better forecast for the Sunday, I put the camera away, noted the engines present and relaxed.

Again like Boconnoc, we found this to be a great experience where steam was the focus of the show and the other exhibits parked off centre to make up numbers. The site benefits greatly from having a grass airstrip right down the middle which allows for a good trundle up and down. Despite being here 3 years earlier, there were 12 engines 'not seen before' mainly Aveling and Porter rollers recently restored. I had promised Yuehong a visit to the White Cliffs of Dover on the Sunday morning, but the M20 had a part closure, the traffic was near stationary and instead I got an early morning 'turkey shoot' in the sunshine although later it clouded up again. Hence the photographs are mainly static.

For me the highlight had to be seeing the unique Fowler Burrell ploughing engine in action. It's also the oldest (1868) working ploughing engine but with a new boiler and Burrell cylinder block, just how much is still original is uncertain.

It's a great show, but in highlighting small issues I hope things can be even better next time we visit. They need a second commentator who actually knows something about 'steam' and importantly, the public entry gate area was full of 'potholes' which made negotiating it plain dangerous for anyone less than fully able bodied. The programme again could have been better, the information was incomplete and the RSJ wagon was claimed to be by Aveling and Porter. Like Boconnoc, it would have been safer to have supervision of the exit gate where it was near impossible to see the traffic approaching on the road outside.

Choose the page you are interested in and within that, click on a thumbnail for a larger image. Then click again to return to the page.

David Collidge's Steam Scenes website ( is a fount of information and was a great help in compiling these pages.

Rollers General Engines All the Rest Steam Ploughing

Rob and Yuehong  Dickinson