The Hollycombe Steam Collection is a collection of steam-powered vehicles, rides and attractions based at Liphook in Hampshire. The collection includes fairground rides, a display farm and two railways.
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The collection dates back to the late 1940s when Commander John Baldock decided to preserve some of the steam traction engines that were rapidly disappearing from British life. By the early 1960s he had acquired a significant collection of road vehicles and started to collect fairground rides. In the late '60s he extended his interests again into preserving railway equipment.
The collection was eventually opened to the public and became a major Hampshire tourist attraction. At length the collection grew so large it became impossible for one person to maintain, and by 1984 Baldock decided he would have to close the operation.
A Society was formed by volunteers to operate the collection. This was successful and the collection continued to expand. At the beginning of 1999 a charitable trust took over the majority of the collection, funded by a Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
The Edwardian Fairground is a complete steam fair comprising rides originating from the 1870s and later. The rides include a Tidman 3 abreast Golden Gallopers roundabout, a single Steam Yacht a Razzle Dazzle being a grand aerial novelty ride with a rotating and tilting movement. S Fields Steam Circus was built between 1868 and 1872 and is the oldest surviving mechanically propelled fairground device. The fairground also has a set of Steam Swings, a Set of Tidman Chair o planes, a big wheel and a Bioscope Show which is an early travelling cinema. The rides are constructed mainly from wood and, where appropriate, are powered by steam engines. There are rides for all ages and the atmosphere is completed with a number of fairground organs and a range of sidestalls.
The farm includes a wide range of vintage steam-powered farm equipment including: ploughing engines, a threshing machine, a baler, and a stationary steam engine driving small machinery through a line shaft.
There is a variety of animals: Shire horses, ponies, sheep, goats, ducks and geese.
The collection has over 30 different steam engines of various types. Some of which are not on display as engines which in some cases are 100 years old require regular maintenance work to keep them in service.
Hollycombe has a large collection of Road Engines and some are used on open days either to plough a field, work a threshing machine, give rides or work a fairground ride.
The Showmans engines are used to work the fairground rides.
- Burrell No. 1876 "Emperor" built in 1895. The oldest Showmans engine in the world, operational and works the fairground rides and runs around sometimes.
- Garrett No. 33348 "Leiston Town" built in 1918. Operational and used on the Juvenile rides.
The Steam Tractors are used for giving rides.
- Burrell No. 3815 gold medal tractor "Sunset No. 2" built in 1919., a regular on the woodland ride. - Operational
- Mann Steam Tractor No. 1260 built in 1917. - Out of traffic awaiting a major overhaul.
- Burrell gold medal tractor No. 3545 "Topper". - In service.
- Aveling and Porter traction engine No. 10143 "Jasper". - Operational
These engines are used for ploughing and driving threshing machines.
- Aveling and Porter agricultural engine No. 8653 "Jo-Ann" built in 1912. Operational and used for the woodland ride and threshing machine operating.
- Allen of Oxford ploughing engine No. 67 built in 1913. Operational and used for ploughing.
- John Fowler & Co. ploughing engine No. 14383 "Prince" of 1917. Operational and used for ploughing.
Portable Engines Edit
This type of engine was used for driving stack agricultural machinery.
- Brown & May - engine no. 6691
- Clayton & Shuttleworth - engines no. 44140 of 1911 and no. 50010 of 1926 "Eileen"
- Marshall, Sons & Co. - engine no. 49893 of 1907
- Robey & Co. - engine no. 33810 of 1915
- Wallis & Steevens 'Simplicity' roller No.8023 "Christopher" built in 1932. - Operational.
- Aveling and Porter No. 10050 "David" built in 1961. - Operational.
Centre or Organ EnginesEdit
- The museum has a number of these rare compact portable engines that powered fairground rides and Organs.
- M. Savage & Co - 6 examples
- Tidman - 4 examples
- and one by Walkers
Narrow gauge railway Edit
The narrow gauge railway at Hollycombe started in 1967 using equipment purchased from the Dinorwic slate quarry in north Wales. The quarry had recently abandoned its extensive internal rail system and Commander Baldock acquired the steam locomotive Jerry M along with a quantity of track and several wagons. Construction started in 1968 and reached the sandstone quarry by 1971. The line, which is 2 ft (610 mm) gauge, was later extended to include a loop, which brought the track length to its present 1½ miles. The second steam locomotive Caledonia was purchased in 1968.
Four of the five passenger coaches were bought from the Ramsgate Cliff Railway when it closed; the fifth coach was built at Hollycombe to the same design.
|Jerry M||Hunslet||0-4-0ST||1895||638||ex-Dinorwic Quarry. Originally named Vaenol, later renamed Jerry M after a successful racehorse belonging to the quarry owners|
|Caledonia||Barclay||0-4-0WT||1931||1995||ex-Burnhope Reservoir railway, later at Dinorwic Quarry where it was named No. 70|
Standard gauge railway Edit
The standard gauge (4 ft 81⁄2 in (1,435 mm)) railway runs for ⅓ mile between the sawmill and the farm, passing the fairground along the way. The railway has a single steam locomotive, 1899-built Hawthorn Leslie 0-4-0ST Commander B, which was named after the collection's founder, Cdr. Baldock. The engine was originally purchased by the Admiralty for use in Chatham Dockyard, and was brought to Hollycombe for restoration in 1985, several years after withdrawal from the docks.
- Thomas, Cliff (2002). The Narrow Gauge in Britain & Ireland. Atlantic Publishers. ISBN 1-902827-05-8.
- "Official website".
- ↑ Old Glory no.229 List of Engines in Museums February, 2009
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