The Tavistock Steam Fair

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The Tavistock's annual Steam Fair, held in June, features tractions engines and steam lorries as well as vintage and PVT motor cars, motor bicycles and pedal cycles, stationary engines and models and at least one steam organ to provide musical accompaniment. This page has pictures from 1999 to 2003.

The Mayor traditionally opens the Steam Fair, assisted by the Town Crier.
This picture is from the 2001 Steam Fair, held on 3 June, when the Mayor was Cllr Mrs Norma Woodcock
In 1999, it was held in September, because of unwelcome works in the main square during June. When I opened the 1999 Steam Fair on 26 September 1999, I was very fortunate in having a 1908 White Steam Car present whose owner, Dr Robert Dyke from Penzance, kindly drove the mayoress and me around the town in it.
Rather a lot of smoke in Duke Street: blamed on Polish coal. The leather hats have a purpose: the White's carburettor, located beneath the floor under the driver's seat, tends to blow back; the hat is used to beat out the flames.
Interested spectators ... ... examine the "go" department.
The mayoress enjoyed the ride.

These pix from 4 June 2000 show some of the variety on display at the Steam Fair.

A Foden steam Lorry "Stumbles" - an ex-Devon County Council road roller, formerly used in Tavistock until retired to become a play object in the Meadows before being rescued and restored by the Robey Trust.
A collection of tractor seats Stationary engines, many of them working. These are mostly petrol-fuelled impulse engines, often used for pumping water.
Views from a balcony overlooking the square
Morgans new(ish)... ... and old in Drake Road

In 2001, we also had some other interesting vintage motor cars, including ...

A 3-litre Bentley and A 25 hp Sunbeam long chassis sports tourer, first registered on 20 Oct 1928 in London

On 1 June 2003, there were some American monsters, including ...

A suprcharged Auburn and an immense Packard limousine
... as well as a couple of British rarities like ...
a Swift and a Triumph
There was also a fine collection of relatively modern Goldwing motor cycles in Duke Street.

And finally ...

Here are a couple of the steam organs that provide musical accompaniment for the day

Photographs copyright © 1999-2003 R W Mathew.


Updated 5 June 2003