Living here in England offers some of the most unique opportunities one could ever imagine. Case in point: the Weeting Steam Rally and Country Fair. Held just outside the small village of Weeting, Norfolk (pop. 1750) it is celebrating 40 years of shows in which steam powered vehicles (called traction engines) gather to show their stuff. Today I took my 4 children and my Lensbaby 3G mounted on a Canon 40D to Weeting to look around and I have to say, it was really an incredible time.
We parked in a huge field and as we approaced the main event area you could see plumes of grey sooty smoke rising from numerous locations, the smell of sulfurous-coal thick in the air. As we rounded a huge white tent we saw example on example of huge, lumbering machines. What a fantastic sight, some of these monstorous vehicles were 100 years old but looked as if they rolled out of the shop only last week. You have never seen or smelled so much Brass-o in your life!
At one engine we stopped to talk to a very nice gentleman named Rob who kindly took the time to explain what a traction engine was, what they were made for, and how they worked. The children were even asked to step up onto the platform and shown the controls. What a fantastic learning experience. He would explain how the coal fire heated water in the boiler and as he did, a lumbering 8-10 ton machine would go by, gigantic masses of cast iron spinning and stroking about with a speed that nearly defied belief. The ground shook, flecks of coal soot invaded every inch of body. It was grand.
I'm going back tomorrow with my serious gear to get even more images. Enjoy Weeting as seen through the Lensbaby, you can view more and larger images at my print order website.