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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.

History Edit

Hollycombe visitors centre - IMG 1085

Visitors center

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.

Attractions Edit

Edwardian FairgroundEdit

Savage CE in gallopers at Hollycombe IMG 1150

Savage engine driving a ride in the streamfair section

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.

FarmEdit

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 sawmill is used to cut much of the wood used on site and is powered by a large semi-portable Robey Steam Engine. Close by is the engine from the paddle steamer Caledonia.

Steam EnginesEdit

Allen 67

Allen no. 67 a ploughing engine

The collection has over 30 different steam engines of various types.[1] 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.

Road EnginesEdit

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.

Showmans EnginesEdit

Emperor

Emperor traction engine driving a dynamo

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.

Steam TractorsEdit

The Steam Tractors are used for giving rides.

Agricultural EnginesEdit

These engines are used for ploughing and driving threshing machines.

Portable Engines Edit

This type of engine was used for driving stack agricultural machinery.

Road RollersEdit

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

RailwaysEdit

There are three railways: narrow gauge, standard gauge and miniature railway.

Narrow gauge railway Edit

Hunslet 638 Jerry M Dinorwic Slate Quarries 1951

Jerry M running at Dinorwig before preservation at Hollycombe

Narrow gauge station

Narrow-gauge station at Hollycombe

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.

Locomotives Edit

Name Builder    Type    Date Works number Notes
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
Jack Ruston Hornsby 4wDM

Standard gauge railway Edit

Commander b

Commander B locomotive

The standard gauge (4 ft 8+12 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.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Old Glory no.229 List of Engines in Museums February, 2009

External linksEdit


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