The International Steam Pages

Blenheim Palace Fire Engine, October 2021

This is one of a series of pages which I have uploaded to illustrate facets of steam rallies we have attended in the UK. Such events occur all over the country in the summer months, they are easily found by using your favourite search engine and may have anything between a handful of steam engines and hundreds (as at the Great Dorset Steam Fair which could probably be fairly described as having an excess of riches). Click here for the overall 2021 index.

Blenheim Palace has long been on Yuehong's hit list and with the pandemic, I no longer had the excuse that it would be swamped with egregious Chinese tourists. I got a further postponement when I pointed out that it would have been swamped with the equivalent British ones during the summer but come the autumn I gracefully admitted defeat and we paid a sum that would make the GDSF seem like a bargain. It's very special of its kind and the landscape gardens are magnificent. There was a comfortable number of other visitors and the only sign that the Chinese come here was a large bilingual notice board outside the alleged birthplace of Winston Churchill. By ticking the right boxes the admission is an annual pass and we'll be back to see the roses next June, of course. 

However, a pleasant surprise was to see 'Fire Engine' on the visitor map, it turns out that the palace's Merryweather machine had recently returned 'home', it could do with a bit of a polish but in general it looks to be largely in original state. '1541' is stamped on the mechanism and the TER indeed states it is 1541/1890.

Not surprisingly, I had left my own camera at home so I am grateful to Yuehong for doing the business.

Rob and Yuehong  Dickinson