On Sunday 19th November, at Kempton in Steam,
11 Howlers enjoyed a rather unusual outing. We saw the world’s largest working steam engine – a triple expansion – a veritable behemoth ‘In Steam’.
Although some had travelled over 40 miles to get to our start/meeting point it was our shortest ever distance run out – just 2.8 miles! This was one of those venues which is on your doorstep, that you ride past literally thousands of times but have never been to before.
We welcomed Mike Grimshaw on his first outing with us. Brian joined us on his brilliant Vespa and Mike Scotten gave his 1957 Royal Enfield an outing.
Those who delight in engineering and mechanics marvelled at the intricacies and feats of design and the Mercury Arc Rectifiers The plant was operational 24/7 from 1929-1980, later being backed up by two huge steam turbines.
From here The Metropolitan Water Board used to pump water uphill to Cricklewood in North London (via pipework which incidentally runs under The Ace Café).
When I first suggested this as a winter run out I wasn’t sure what level of interest this slightly quirky venture would be met with but ‘‘British engineering at its best back in the 20s and 30s.” and ”Wow, what a fantastic place” were amongst the many enthusiastic comments on the day.
Sometimes size is everything – just look at Dan about to wield a spanner