Engine and Tender  --  Klondyke steam party  --   Royal Enfield open day.

May - June - 2008

   Ah, the end of May, and quite a few of us head out for the Engine and Tender.  The weather forecast was telling us of doom and gloom from Sunday onwards, so myself and Will took a tour over to Montgomery Castle on the Saturday.

When I was a lad . . . . . all this was fields.

Having done the scenery thing, we headed back to the site.  I chose not to head for the pub - I ain't spent much time in the E and T since Walter and Marie left.  Sadly, the weather forecast was right.  A fair few packed up and headed home on the Sunday, myself included.   Still, half a weekend away is better than staying at home.

    It would seem there's a steam party at Klondyke Mill.  "Where ?"  Klondyke Mill - the home of the North Staffordshire and Cheshire Traction Engine club - situated at Draycot in the Clay.  Now I'd been past this place umpteen times on my journeys along the A515, but I'd never stopped there.  Time to put that right then.  Once again it was one Enfield Bullet and one BSA Starfire that ventured forth.  Klondyke Mill is a lovely little venue for a steam party - not large enough for a full blown steam rally, but the term steam party sums it up a treat.  You ain't going to find a grand array of showman's engines, there won't be massive fairground rides and I dare say you will not be confronted by rows of over restored farm tractors.  What you will find is a small, informal gathering of folks who like steam engines, and all the other things that seem to go with 'em.  Seeing as we had turned up on "interesting" machines, we got free admission, and also became part of the motorcycle display.  All in all, a most enjoyable way of spending a few hours on what turned out to be a grand day, weather-wise.

Ripe for restoration

Seeing as the sun was still shining, we then carried on over to Bakewell.  I must admit, the traffic was much heavier than I would have imagined, but I suppose the sunshine bought 'em all out.  Matlock, as per normal, seemed rammed with bikes of all shape and size, and also seemed to be rammed with more than it's fair share of tossers . . . now't new there then.  Dinner went down well at Bakewell, then it was time to stock up on a few "Bakewell Puddings" before taking the scenic way back home.

    Would you believe it ?  A Bullet and a Starfire sally forth yet again.  This time heading into the Cotswolds for the Royal Enfield open day, held at Watsonian - Squire, down in the village of Blockley.  We happened to pick another rider up on the way, namely Skip, on his Harley Davidson.  We promised to keep the speed down so he could keep up :-)  Another couple of ex-Moonshiners were already at Blockley, Ron and Maz.  Ron had booked a test ride on one of the new Bullets, so whilst he was doing that, we treated ourselves to some of the Cotswolds finest ice-cream.  Andy decided to try the clubman model out for size.

Just practicin'               ---       OOH  MOTHER -  it won't stop

As with previous open days, Watsonian were selling parts of at very reasonable prices.  I ended up with a set of crash bars and a side stand - all for less than twenty five quid.  Having had our fill of Royal Enfields, we took a ride out towards Cheltenham and found yet another steam railway.  Ah well, any excuse for a cuppa.  So ended another grand day out.  We came back home via the A38, then cut off just before Worcester and took the back road to Stourport.  Both bikes did all they should, the sun did the shining thing, the trains did the steamy thing, all in all, a most enjoyable day out.

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