Picture of the Day: Fairground Organ, Hollowell, UK [2013]

Sometimes days go by where it appears that over previous years there are days where I havent taken any photos. Then you get to times where there are photos and videos because of annual events. Usually around this time of year is the Hollowell Steam and Heavy Horse Show so my photostreams seem full of my visits there

Picture of the Day: Fairground Organ, Bloxham, UK [2018]

I love these things. Whenever I go to a steam fair or county show, I look out for them so I can film them. There will come a time when these things will fall silent for the last time and I fear generations to come might not care to preserve them as well as people today. 

Picture of the Day: “Camouflage”, Loughborough, Leicestershire [2011]

Believe it or not, there is a man standing in this picture. It may look like a harmless artistic photograph of a grassy bank with a metal pipe sticking out of it but if you look….really closely…you’ll see….there is a man dressed as a World War II German soldier. Can you see him now? 

This was taken in 2011 when Zoe and I visited the Great Central Railway’s World War 2 Weekend which, until this year, has happened annually. Volunteers, reenactors and enthusiasts recreate the Second World War at the stations along the heritage line there. Each station dressed as different stages – Evacuation Britain, Allied Camp at Normandy, Battle ground and Occupied France. Its such an educational, enjoyable and fun visual experience and comes wholly recommended.

Great Central Railway 

What I wrote about the day back then

Picture of the Day: Little Steam Engine, Kirklees Light Railway, Yorkshire [2007]

The Littlest Chuffer

Can you see the little steam engine? Look how shiney its brasses are. Look at the red buffer bar and the green and black livery on the engine. Can you hear the hiss of the steam coming out of the engine?

“All aboard” cries the station master and the carriage doors are closed noisily. Can you hear the carriage doors closing?

Peeeeeep — the station master blows his whistle. Can you hear the whistle blowing? Chuff chuff chuff — that is the sound that little steam engines make. Toot Toot goes the engine’s whistle. De-clack de-clack — is the sound the wheels make as they go along on the track. Can you hear it?

Perhaps, when lock down is over, you might travel to Denby Dale just outside Huddersfield and visit the Kirklees Light Railway and see the little steam engine.

Vintage Vehicles Thing – Ackworth May 2007

Probably the most disappointing thing about the whole thing was that we didn’t just say “No thanks” and carry on driving. In the small print of all the posters in the local shop window and the signs on the roads there was little mention of the £4 adult entry fee. So imagine my surprise on driving through the “Free Parking” gate only to be greeted by a man in combat fatigues grinning like someone about to fleece £8 off unsuspecting tourists.

Bloke – Eeh tha’ll be eight pa’and
Mrs Gnomepants – £8! We dont have enough! Sorry, can we just get out at the bottom? The sign up there said free parking we were just passing through.
Bloke – Oh well…er…well how much have you got spying the £5 note I am brandishing
stegzy – Erm £5…..
Bloke – That’ll do…

I suppose it was a lot less painful than walking through Fitzwilliam wiggling a £5 note in the air and saying “Mug me!”.

Anyway, what i thought would be an interesting collection of steam engines, memorabilia and old tractors turned out to be little more than a showcase of “vintage” cars (There was a Ford Capri there and a Mark 2 Ford Fiesta, they’re no more vintage than my piss). Still it was nice to see some old familiar vehicles in very well kept condition.



Old Capri from a distance



Some of the vehicles were peculiar



others straight out of the 1950’s



Trucks with trucks



Straight out of time



Some in red

Other glorious sites included several marquees of overall suited gentlemen selling what can only be described as the contents of granddad’s shed. Rusty, old motor related things. Like Haynes manuals for Renault 5s, rusty suspension springs, bell pushers from old Atlantean Buses, pipes and things, tat, crap, Junk. No. Really….The wife’s magpie genes nearly caused us to be the proud owner of a couple of new doorbells and a door knocker until the impracticalities of having a bell push from a bus fitted to the back door (yes, we receive our guests at the BACK DOOR, want to make something of it?) and the absurdity in having house fly shaped brass ash tray as a door knocker were realised and had to be placated by a pair of gardening kneel pads for a £1.



Of course this guy was the one of the few that happened to be selling anything remotely useful. Burgers make good wheel chucks apparently.

There were other highlights. Such as when it rained and the view over to Hemsworth, South Kirkby and Brierley Gap and a couple of steam driven thingies.



This is a steam driven musical pipe thingie.

This is what it sounds like in the wind.



There was also a steam driven clang maker. A thing that goes clang which is powered by steam. It went something like this:-

Next to the clangy thing was another steam driven thing. This didn’t go clang. I’m sure going clang might not seem important to some people. But it is. If your machine don’t clang it ain’t worth showing.


To top the whole day off, this steam powered thing feebly spooged water out of a pipe every 30 seconds. I’m sure it had a function once. What ever that function was I have no idea. What I do know is, however, paying £5 to see all that crap instead of the £8 that I should have paid was still a down right con. Bloody farmers.

The exhibition was called the Scammel Exhibition. Scam-me-l. I should have guessed from the name.