Monday 27 August 2018

We Saw Winston Churchill Last Tuesday!

No, not the great statesman - we saw the Steam Road Locomotive named after him! It was on a trailer, we passed it on the M11. Like us, it was making the long journey down to Dorset.
Built in Thetford, Norfolk, in 1922 at the wonderful Charles Burrell Engine Works, this beautiful piece of vintage engineering was travelling down to be [part of the Great Dorset Steam Fair.
Now, I had heard of the GDSF before we came to Ferndown - mainly because when I had been at events in Leicestershire and Norfolk, where such machinery is displayed, vehicles often had signboards declaring "Shown at GDSF 1990, 2001, 2004" etc.
But I didn't know then why our local fair is the 'great' one. 
But I have learned more in recent years...
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the event, and there will be 500 engines on show. Here's the official video from Thursday [Day 1] sadly Sunday was very wet and many of the engines had to be protected with tarpaulins. 

You can read all about the GDSF here - how one man's passion to save these glorious examples of Industrial Revolution Technology took over his life [and his home] and he became an inspiration to other enthusiasts. Michael Oliver's legacy has now passed on to his son, Martin. 
When the Winston Churchill Engine was built, in 1922, he was already considered a great statesman [people nowadays tend to focus on his later years and WW2].  It was towards the end of production at Burrell's works. The end of WW1, the Depression, and the increase in the use of the "infernal" combustion engine mean steam powered equipment was falling out of favour. The last engines steamed away in 1928.
I'm hoping that we can get to visit the Burrell Museum in October [ downside- it has limited opening hours, upside- it's free entry!] to find out more about steam powered engineering.
On the subject of great statesman - what do you know about Guiseppe Garibaldi? 
150 years ago, the British people considered him a hero - it is said that when this Italian general came over to visit Queen Victoria, the nation closed down for 3 days! He is credited with being one of the prime movers in the re-unification of the nation of Italy. 
Back then name was on everyone's lips. Nowadays, he only gets mentioned in terms of the biscuit he inspired [so I guess his name remains on our lips]
Jonathan Carr, of the Scottish biscuit family [the famous factory still in Carlisle] had moved south to work for rival Peek Freans, and came up with the idea for this biscuit, latching on to GGs national popularity. It is believed GG never actually ate one himself.
Somehow the dry, currant filled treat became incredibly popular - the 5 segments attached in a perforated strip somehow adding to the appeal.
I'm quite partial to them myself [they frequently appear on a plate alongside the tea urn at church events up and down the country]
But I haven't fancied them at all this summer - our childhood nickname was 'squashed fly biscuits' or 'dead fly biscuits'  Unfortunately I looked down at the pale brown laminate flooring in the lounge at Cornerstones, after Bob had been busy with the flyspray - and realised it looked just like a giant Garibaldi biscuit!
I'm sticking with custard creams for a bit. 


  1. I have this sort of relationship with fig rolls.

  2. Urhghhh, I really dislike Garibaldi biscuits!! It is, alas, the dried fruit I so dislike!
    It's nice to know why they are called Garibaldi-I HAVE wondered!! Hope you regain your liking for them.
    We are currently driving down South from going to look after Chris' Mum for a few days. Xx


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