Sandstone Heritage Trust - News

HTN 86 - Gerald's engine day - by John Menasce

3rd May 2005

The weather started off with a shower in the morning and continued to remind us between bouts of glorious sunshine that the forecast was for 60% rain on the day and that the weather was going to get worse [which it did but fortunately only after the day's events were over].
The engines were largely unaffected by the rain and ran happily despite some heavy showers or concern from their owners as to their water resistance.

Rain however didn't dampen any enthusiasm from the participants who came in great numbers.
As the access to Gerald and Jenny's garden is down a steep brick-paved path it is only the bravest of us who brings anything large to this event and as the photos show, we had somewhere in the region of 50 to 60 smaller engines, which were carefully manhandled down the path by their owners, assisted by Gerald's 4 willing helpers [who just as willingly helped haul them up the path again at the end of the day's events.


(Below left) Participants came from far and one even left home at 4.00am to be there early to off load this Crossley, which because of its size had pride of place on the driveway.


Loading and unloading from vehicles is becoming quite sophisticated with everything from power winches, to light weight collapsible "A" frames and chain blocks and some really innovative ramp designs [one actually sliding under the trailer load bed to store it].
Safety awareness is becoming important, as spinning flywheels and belts will do serious damage to passing humans especially when the area is crowded with people and machinery like this event is.

What is most encouraging is the number of new younger faces and new entries with some unusual engines like the Douglas in the picture to the left. The hobby is growing and it is not just the preserve of the older generation.

The 2 strokes contributed seriously to the hole in the ozone layer and at one point there was a distinctive blue haze hanging over the Buidendach's property, which was not just braai smoke, and which the repeated rain showers obligingly washed away.

Geselligheid from the participants made this a great day. Hospitality and catering from our hosts was superb, with copious trays of sandwiches, snacks, salads, tea and coffee to augment the "bring and braai".
Thanks go to Gerald and Jenny Buitendach for opening their beautiful garden to us again, to their family, friends and domestic staff who all put in a huge effort with catering and organisation to make the day a real success.