Despite being a Bank Holiday on Monday 26th August I dragged myself out of bed bright and early to head over to the Town & Country Festival. The night before I had been busy preparing. Having brought several sheets of “Iron on Transfers” paper, I printed out two 3-wheelers.com logos and ironed a small one onto the front of a white t-shirt and a large one on the back. It worked great to! After one lot of printing and 6 minutes of ironing I had my first 3-wheelers.com t-shirt.
I didn’t know what to expect at the festival but I had been invited along by Dave Pool of the Reliant Sabre & Scimitar Owners Club and so with the promise of a free cup of tea how could I resist? The show did not start until 9:30am and as I arrived at 8:45am the fields were bare and so I was able to park right next to the entrance. I walked in and it suddenly hit me how huge this festival was as I walked around literally street after street that was packed full with cars, lorries, horses, tanks, tractors, market stalls and all sorts. Eventually I completed my first task and found the Reliant Sabre & Scimitar Owners Club stand whereby I met Dave Pool, had a chat and enjoyed a cup of tea and a browse through a collection of Reliant literature. Alas though, despite how grand the Reliant Scimitar is I was now on my next mission to find a 3-wheeler!
I walked up and down street after street of 4-wheelers and was wondering why on Earth was there no 3-wheelers when suddenly I spotted my first one; a very modest Sinclair C5. It didn’t actually appear to be on display but stood next to a tent. Despite this it greeted great interest from many folks who walked passed it. I took a photo and thought, well at least there was one.
I turned down another street and saw the Vintage Motorcycle club and I thought surely they must have a 3-wheeler. I wasn’t disappointed. After several more strides I came across a 1914 Morgan “Grand Prix”. The plaque stated that it was 988cc and that it had had an engine and chassis rebuild but the body was “as found”. It also stated that it has been with its present owner (C.Scott?) for 6 years.
Finding the Morgan was quite a find and I was a lot happier now but then next to that I came across a 1903 Humber Olympia Tandem with a huge front seat made of wicker work. The plaque on this one reported that it was powered by a 370cc engine and was chain drive with a clutch but it had no gears.
Content with the fact that I had now found three 3-wheelers the world seemed a happier place and as I smiled I walked and stumbled upon a beast of a 3-wheeler called “Predator”. I havn’t a clue what it was or what it was powered by as there was no one around to ask but this thing was absolutely huge.
By now hunger was starting to surface and so was my sweet tooth. As I passed one of the side stalls I couldn’t help but buy a large lump of chunky nougat; and this was the real McCoy to with bits the size of basketballs in it and rock hard unlike that pretend stuff you get in the shops. Whilst I wore my teeth out knawing away at it, I noticed some large Steam Engines and so headed in that direction. Each step closer brought a change in the atmosphere as it filled with the smell of burning coal and the sound of puffing steam. There were so many steam engines that for a moment it was almost like stepping back in time and I attempted to take photos of these glorious beast that had no “modern” things in the background. As I wandered around them I then came across two 3-wheelers, or 3-rollers if you like. Essentially they are 3-wheelers! The first was a steam roller called “Tomboy” made by Wallis and Steevens in 1926. Its plaque said that it was an “advance roller” as in had improved speed, fuel consumption and improved forward and reverse gears. It was owned by David Wothers of South Littleton, Evesham. I then came across another steam roller “Kenilworth” that was made by Fowler in 1923. This was owned by Kenilworth Urban District where it spent its working life until it was sold into conservation in 1964 and then later purchased by its present owner, Mr. A. Wilson of Cauldon Low, Staffs.
After watching a few steam machine demonstrations I left the steam arena and came across a military one. The only 3-wheeled military vehicle I could mentally recall was the 1947 Davis jeep but alas there are only a couple of those and they are in the US so I was doubtful I’d see one here. In the military section though I just had to stop and browse through the side stalls and at the things they were selling, empty bomb shells, dials from war planes, propellers, deactivated guns and all sorts. Having resisted all that was on offer I then saw a commercial lorry section and hoped that they may have a Scammell Scarab there, sadly there wasn’t one to be seen. As the time ticked on by pure chance I passed the entrance that I came in and so decided to make an early get away before everyone else did. When I arrived there was just empty fields with about 5 cars next to mine. Now there were literally hundreds, if not thousands of cars and as I drove out I thought, come home time that’s going to be one serious traffic jam.
26th August 2002