2018 Belper Steam and Vintage Event - photos special

BBMF Spitfire flies over the Belper showground

BBMF Spitfire flies over the Belper showground - Credit: Archant

Robert Falconer visits Belper’s annual Steam & Vintage Event

Over the weekend of 16th-17th June the annual Belper Steam & Vintage Event took place in fields east of the town with picturesque views of the surrounding hills.

There was an impressive variety of vintage transport in attendance, ranging from over 60 tractors from the 1930s to the 1980s to motorbikes, cars, commercial vehicles, military vehicles and steam engines – including three Showman’s engines – ‘Yorkshireman’, ‘The Forest Maiden’ and ‘Admiral’.

The most unusual and oldest exhibit was the steam engine ‘The Little Dragon’ built in 1868. The oldest Brown & May working portable in the world, it was built for threshing and sawing in North Wales. It was in use until 1932 and then left to decay until 1970 when it was rescued by Roger Wyled from Norfolk. It came to the Sheerman family in 1981 and in 1991 it was used to power an air supply for diver Phil Wilson during a 24-hour world record dive. The engine was also steamed through midnight on New Year’s Eve 2000, making it the first portable engine to steam in three different centuries.

Other attractions on show included: the world famous Luke Fox’s ‘Wall of Death’, which dates back 90 years; a vintage fairground with steam-powered Ashley’s Gallopers, c.1890s; fairground and fair organs; and a static microlight aircraft display. There were demonstrations and scurries by the Gun Dog Display Team and a living history display from Jorvik Vikingr – the UK’s premier Viking organisation – who allowed visitors to look round their camp and took part in some enthusiastic fighting. The 83rd Infantry Living History Group turned the clock back to World War II, as did Vintage Vocalist Paula Marie. While on both days people looked skywards for a thrilling display by a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight Spitfire, which made three low passes.

It was an event full of variety and vintage machines, many of which were local to the area and all of which looked at their best.