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DaveH

Steam on the road

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I got the idea for this one from a random picture SteveHB had used while developing the Sheffield History calendar.

The post has previously appeared in the calendar thread, but as one of the pictures is aview of engines working locally I thought the best place for it would be here.

The first picture is only a low resolution random image but judging on the size of the engine, the position of various parts of the motionwork, the wheel spoking and the canopy, then, made more difficult by the man stood in front of the gear housing and the fact that this is an offside shot of the engine (most traction engine pictures are taken from the flywheel side) this is most probably a Tasker "Little Giant" B2 class compound engined steam tractor made by Taskers of Andover, Hampshire some time between 1903 when the road traffic act of 1903 first allowed this type of vehicle and 1911 when superioir designs by other manufacturers (Fowler Tiger tractor, Burrell Gold Medal tractor and Foster Wellington tractor) replaced it. For a vehicle rated at only 3 n.h.p. (nominal horse power) that's a fairly impressive load that its pulling, although modern health and safety regulations wouldn't allow those blokes to ride on the load like that.

A more interesting second picture from steveHB as this one does appear to be local to Sheffield.

Firstly there is the stamp on it saying what the picture is, a 112 ton casting which is being moved by Coupe brothers of Carlisle Street Sheffield. I thought Coupe brothers were a company involved with bricks rather than haulage, but even bricks take a lot of hauling in quantity. The 112 ton casting appears to be some kind of former,

The small engine at the front bears some resemblance to the previous Tasker, especially the gear housing (now visble) but that tube from the belly tank to the cylinder has more in common with Robey or Mann engines. Looks more like a Mann to me. Part of its registration plate can just be made out as B (or E)? 2999. The traction engine register shows that no engine with this number has survived into modern day preservation.

The second engine, which appears to be a Fowler, is the most interesting as its number plate can clearly be made out as WA 3695 and as any of the Sheffield Transport section enthusiasts like transit and bus man will know, this is a local Sheffield registration code. However, and sadly, once again the traction engine register shows that no engine with this number has survived into modern day preservation.

The third engine is difficult to identify as it is obscured to a large extent by the second one.

The fourth engine is a strange beast as its chimney does not appear to be in the right place, it appears offset to the drivers left and also set behind, rather than in front of the engine cylinder block. Never come across that before. However that shaping of the side of the cylinder block closest to the camera is typically Fowler.

The fifth engine is a bit too lost in the background to make out any details.

Great picture though with a nice local theme, does anyone know any other details of the company, Coupe brothers of Carlisle Street Sheffield?

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I got the idea for this one from a random picture SteveHB had used while developing the Sheffield History calendar.

The post has previously appeared in the calendar thread, but as one of the pictures is aview of engines working locally I thought the best place for it would be here.

The first picture is only a low resolution random image but judging on the size of the engine, the position of various parts of the motionwork, the wheel spoking and the canopy, then, made more difficult by the man stood in front of the gear housing and the fact that this is an offside shot of the engine (most traction engine pictures are taken from the flywheel side) this is most probably a Tasker "Little Giant" B2 class compound engined steam tractor made by Taskers of Andover, Hampshire some time between 1903 when the road traffic act of 1903 first allowed this type of vehicle and 1911 when superioir designs by other manufacturers (Fowler Tiger tractor, Burrell Gold Medal tractor and Foster Wellington tractor) replaced it. For a vehicle rated at only 3 n.h.p. (nominal horse power) that's a fairly impressive load that its pulling, although modern health and safety regulations wouldn't allow those blokes to ride on the load like that.

A more interesting second picture from steveHB as this one does appear to be local to Sheffield.

Firstly there is the stamp on it saying what the picture is, a 112 ton casting which is being moved by Coupe brothers of Carlisle Street Sheffield. I thought Coupe brothers were a company involved with bricks rather than haulage, but even bricks take a lot of hauling in quantity. The 112 ton casting appears to be some kind of former,

The small engine at the front bears some resemblance to the previous Tasker, especially the gear housing (now visble) but that tube from the belly tank to the cylinder has more in common with Robey or Mann engines. Looks more like a Mann to me. Part of its registration plate can just be made out as B (or E)? 2999. The traction engine register shows that no engine with this number has survived into modern day preservation.

The second engine, which appears to be a Fowler, is the most interesting as its number plate can clearly be made out as WA 3695 and as any of the Sheffield Transport section enthusiasts like transit and bus man will know, this is a local Sheffield registration code. However, and sadly, once again the traction engine register shows that no engine with this number has survived into modern day preservation.

The third engine is difficult to identify as it is obscured to a large extent by the second one.

The fourth engine is a strange beast as its chimney does not appear to be in the right place, it appears offset to the drivers left and also set behind, rather than in front of the engine cylinder block. Never come across that before. However that shaping of the side of the cylinder block closest to the camera is typically Fowler.

The fifth engine is a bit too lost in the background to make out any details.

Great picture though with a nice local theme, does anyone know any other details of the company, Coupe brothers of Carlisle Street Sheffield?

A bit before my time, but I do remember seeing Stones brewery`s steam lorries delivering to pubs in the city centre in the late 40s.

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A bit before my time, but I do remember seeing Stones brewery`s steam lorries delivering to pubs in the city centre in the late 40s.

Thanks for that Waterside Echo.

I do have some pictures of steam wagons, mainly Foden and Sentinel vehicles from rallies and I am trying to find some local ones, either wagons that worked for local companies or wagons which are still carrying local liveries even if they have now been sold on elsewhere, so that I can post them here.

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Thanks for that Waterside Echo.

I do have some pictures of steam wagons, mainly Foden and Sentinel vehicles from rallies and I am trying to find some local ones, either wagons that worked for local companies or wagons which are still carrying local liveries even if they have now been sold on elsewhere, so that I can post them here.

Stones steam lorries were the only ones I can remember working on the cities roads in the late 40s. Brown Bailey`s still used them in their steel works for quite a while after that. The steam engine reg WA 3695 you quoted would be 1920/21 as the STD Leyland buses, fleet No 28 was WA 2300 reg 1920, and fleet No 13 was WA 4156 reg 1921. Up until the mid 50s Haigh`s from near Bradfield used to go round farms in summer towing a threshing machine with a steam engine.

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Stones steam lorries were the only ones I can remember working on the cities roads in the late 40s. Brown Bailey`s still used them in their steel works for quite a while after that. The steam engine reg WA 3695 you quoted would be 1920/21 as the STD Leyland buses, fleet No 28 was WA 2300 reg 1920, and fleet No 13 was WA 4156 reg 1921. Up until the mid 50s Haigh`s from near Bradfield used to go round farms in summer towing a threshing machine with a steam engine.

Thanks for the information about registration plates there Waterside Echo.

Most traction engine references tend to date engines by manufacturer and engine number rather than by registration plate so this information came in quite useful. I had half expected either bus man or transit to come up with some similar information from their combined vast knowledge of such matters.

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Thanks for the information about registration plates there Waterside Echo.

Most traction engine references tend to date engines by manufacturer and engine number rather than by registration plate so this information came in quite useful. I had half expected either bus man or transit to come up with some similar information from their combined vast knowledge of such matters.

Looks about right Iam too blotto at the moemnet to look it up !

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Looks about right Iam too blotto at the moemnet to look it up !

Likewise bus man *(well it is still Christmas!!!)

But then again steam traction is not the easiest subject to reasearch these days when most people who come into direct contact with it consider it to be a dirty, smokey, polluting 4mph road block in front of them without even giving it further historical consideration so any help or information you guys can offer is gratefull received.

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Likewise bus man *(well it is still Christmas!!!)

But then again steam traction is not the easiest subject to reasearch these days when most people who come into direct contact with it consider it to be a dirty, smokey, polluting 4mph road block in front of them without even giving it further historical consideration so any help or information you guys can offer is gratefull received.

.May be worth mentioning that there were many ex military vehicles being registered for the road at that time. Might be worth trying Sheffield Archives.

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.May be worth mentioning that there were many ex military vehicles being registered for the road at that time. Might be worth trying Sheffield Archives.

Two of my grandfathers Robey traction engines were ex military vehicles, re-registered for the road after WW1 and used by him as a showground showman during the period 1921 - 1931.

The second engine was involved in an accident leading to his untimely death in 1931 when my mother was only a few months old. (Needless to say, I never got to meet him, a pity as he must have had a very interesting, if short, life)

While researching this part of my family history details were obtained from Sheffield & District Steam Society (I am still a member of this), the Road Locomotive Society (archives only open to elected members, but being in the steam club I had suitable "contacts") and, only because the engines still exist in preservation today, the Traction Engine Register and finally, the current, but no longer local owners who had a wealth of information which had been passed on with the engine.

So, there are a number of ways open to the tracing of these engines, road registration being one of them.

As this one is local if I get time I will look into it further. Suppose I should thank SteveHB again for such an interesting picture.

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Local again.

These 2 pictures taken at steam rallies in the early 1990's show steam not "on the road" but a local vehicle used to "make the road".

This is the Aveling and Porter 15 ton road roller engine number 6340, registered E 5333 built in 1907 and eventually named "Big Bertha" after the large German WW1 seige gun used to bombard Paris. At 15 tons it is one of A&P's largest rollers.

Aveling & Porter themselves, based at Rochester in Kent were the Worlds largest manufacturer of road rollers, much of the design of these vehicles being accredited to Thomas Aveling. The vehicles are instantly recognisable even today with that rearing brass horse on the headstock and the "invicta" motto.

At the time this engine was photographed it was owned by local man Dave Marris and it had been restored to a period in its former working life when it worked for Thomas W. Ward (Roadstone) Sheffield as its restored canopy side headerboard proclaim.

That yellow livery is apparently the actual colour used by this company, very unusual choice for a steam engine and it must have been an absolute swine to keep clean as it would show up every single black fleck of soot or splattered oily drop.

Dave eventually changed the colour to deep red and the headerboards to read HAWKINS Plant Services limited. I think this was the name of the company he worked for. Eventually the engine was sold as Dave moved up to more lucrative examples from the traction engine world, so although still in preservation the engine is no longer local.

Anyone have any details about Thomas W. Ward (Roadstone) Sheffield?

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Local again.

These 2 pictures taken at steam rallies in the early 1990's show steam not "on the road" but a local vehicle used to "make the road".

Were these kind of 'proper' steam rollers still in use by SCC Highways after the war ? Or is my memory deceiving me ? :)

I have a clear recollection of steam traction engines being used in the fields in Sussex 1945/1946.

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Were these kind of 'proper' steam rollers still in use by SCC Highways after the war ? Or is my memory deceiving me ? :)

I have a clear recollection of steam traction engines being used in the fields in Sussex 1945/1946.

They certainly were Gramps,

I assume by a "proper" steam roller you mean one that is actually powered by steam as modern motor rollers are still called "steam rollers" for some reason

My other grandfather, formerly a professional footballer who had played for Rotherham united in the 1920's had his career cut short by a lifetime of heavy smoking and the consequent effect on his health. In the 30's he worked for SCC Highways on the building and maintaing of some of the Cities bigger and newer roads, - Prince of Wales road being an example. He worked as part of a road laying team with a steam roller, but sadly his job was laying the tar and ashphelt and not working on the engine. After a period with the ARP during the war he returned to road work until ill health (smoking again) forced his early retirement in 1957, -and his "team" were still using a steam roller then!

Steam rollers were among the last steam vehicles to be used commercially on the road. A number of Wallis & steevens "advance" rollers, with instant reversing which was ideal for rolling soft tar without leaving an indented ridge where the roll stops, were used on the laying of the M1 motorway in 1959 -60.

As for traction engines working the fields in Sussex this is highly likely. Although tractors were available just after the war they would be in short supply and older vehicles would be pressed into use. the traction engine is really an agricultural vehicle and farming jobs like threshing were often done by contractors who went farm to farm with their equipment. Depending on the contractors, steam could have been used on the fields until again the late 50's or even into the 60's as with the cost of new equipment in post war austerity Britain old equipment was used almost until it was so worn out it was no longer serviceable.

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Thanks Dave - good to know my memory isn't shot altogether. Watching the road works was a favourite pass-time when I was a kid. I do remember rushing straight out of school to check on the progress of the tram track renewal at the junction of Abbeydale and London road, - would be about 1948/9 and must have taken them about three weeks.

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Thanks Dave - good to know my memory isn't shot altogether. Watching the road works was a favourite pass-time when I was a kid. I do remember rushing straight out of school to check on the progress of the tram track renewal at the junction of Abbeydale and London road, - would be about 1948/9 and must have taken them about three weeks.

Given the date and location it could even have been my grandad employed on this job.

Was one of the men a heavy smoker?

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I got the idea for this one from a random picture SteveHB had used while developing the Sheffield History calendar.

The post has previously appeared in the calendar thread, but as one of the pictures is aview of engines working locally I thought the best place for it would be here.

The first picture is only a low resolution random image but judging on the size of the engine, the position of various parts of the motionwork, the wheel spoking and the canopy, then, made more difficult by the man stood in front of the gear housing and the fact that this is an offside shot of the engine (most traction engine pictures are taken from the flywheel side) this is most probably a Tasker "Little Giant" B2 class compound engined steam tractor made by Taskers of Andover, Hampshire some time between 1903 when the road traffic act of 1903 first allowed this type of vehicle and 1911 when superioir designs by other manufacturers (Fowler Tiger tractor, Burrell Gold Medal tractor and Foster Wellington tractor) replaced it. For a vehicle rated at only 3 n.h.p. (nominal horse power) that's a fairly impressive load that its pulling, although modern health and safety regulations wouldn't allow those blokes to ride on the load like that.

A more interesting second picture from steveHB as this one does appear to be local to Sheffield.

Firstly there is the stamp on it saying what the picture is, a 112 ton casting which is being moved by Coupe brothers of Carlisle Street Sheffield. I thought Coupe brothers were a company involved with bricks rather than haulage, but even bricks take a lot of hauling in quantity. The 112 ton casting appears to be some kind of former,

The small engine at the front bears some resemblance to the previous Tasker, especially the gear housing (now visble) but that tube from the belly tank to the cylinder has more in common with Robey or Mann engines. Looks more like a Mann to me. Part of its registration plate can just be made out as B (or E)? 2999. The traction engine register shows that no engine with this number has survived into modern day preservation.

The second engine, which appears to be a Fowler, is the most interesting as its number plate can clearly be made out as WA 3695 and as any of the Sheffield Transport section enthusiasts like transit and bus man will know, this is a local Sheffield registration code. However, and sadly, once again the traction engine register shows that no engine with this number has survived into modern day preservation.

The third engine is difficult to identify as it is obscured to a large extent by the second one.

The fourth engine is a strange beast as its chimney does not appear to be in the right place, it appears offset to the drivers left and also set behind, rather than in front of the engine cylinder block. Never come across that before. However that shaping of the side of the cylinder block closest to the camera is typically Fowler.

The fifth engine is a bit too lost in the background to make out any details.

Great picture though with a nice local theme, does anyone know any other details of the company, Coupe brothers of Carlisle Street Sheffield?

HI I traded with Coupe Bros; from 1947 to 1969 [not on an everyday basis] they made there own bricks at one time, but in the years l knew them it was just run of the mill building materiels[ldont know if they have ceased trading now or not]

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Thanks for that Waterside Echo.

I do have some pictures of steam wagons, mainly Foden and Sentinel vehicles from rallies and I am trying to find some local ones, either wagons that worked for local companies or wagons which are still carrying local liveries even if they have now been sold on elsewhere, so that I can post them here.

Might be of interest to DaveH & co.

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Might be of interest to DaveH & co.

Thanks Waterside,

Not seen that one before or even heard of the company but the engine at the front is a Sentinel steam waggon (notice Sentinel's own rathher unusual spelling of the word wagon with a double g). As it says the engines behind it are all internal combustion.

It's not obvious from the picture weather the Sentinel is just heading a line of vehicles or if it is towing the vehicles behind it like a road train, - something it would be more than capable of with a full fead of steam.

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Thanks Waterside,

Not seen that one before or even heard of the company but the engine at the front is a Sentinel steam waggon (notice Sentinel's own rathher unusual spelling of the word wagon with a double g). As it says the engines behind it are all internal combustion.

It's not obvious from the picture weather the Sentinel is just heading a line of vehicles or if it is towing the vehicles behind it like a road train, - something it would be more than capable of with a full fead of steam.

Daniel Doncaster & Sons is an old established business which is now known as Doncasters. They still have premises in Sheffield, but I suspect they don't use steam lorries any more (unfortunately)

Edited by madannie77

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Daniel Doncaster & Sons is an old established business which is now known as Doncasters. They still have premises in Sheffield, but I suspect they don't use stam lorries any more (unfortunately)

Sentinels, along with Foden, made steam lorries up until the last days of steam.

In the case of Foden the decision to go with internal combustion or stay with steam lead to a family rift and the company ERF (E. R. Foden) was formed.

With Sentinel, they did tests of internal combustion v steam at "the hill" in Shropshire.

Sentinels designs were modern and had gearing, shaft drives (instead of chains), undertype engines, pneumatic rubber tyres...etc.

In tests Sentinels waggons performed just as well and often better than their petrol and Diesel stablemates, being capable of over 50mph on the road, being able to pull greater loads and to hold speed better, with less gearing on inclines such as "the hill"

Unfortunately the men who had to drive them, quite understandably, didn't like steam.

A petrol or Diesel wagon started at the turn of a key, ran all day with little effort, was relatively clean and could just be parked up and left overnight.

In contrast there was about 2 hours work to get a fire lit, do some cleaning and oiling, do some general maitainence and checks and get a waggon into steam before you could move it. the work was very dirty, required manual labour to keep shovelling coal into a hard worked engine, needed regular water pick ups throughout the day and needed the fire dropping and ashpan emptying before going home to, - before anything else, - a bath!

As life with internal combustion was so much easier and cleaner they were bought instead of steam vehicles and so market forces determined their demise. But in terms of getting the job done and shifting the loads they were every bit as good.

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Sentinels, along with Foden, made steam lorries up until the last days of steam.

In the case of Foden the decision to go with internal combustion or stay with steam lead to a family rift and the company ERF (E. R. Foden) was formed.

With Sentinel, they did tests of internal combustion v steam at "the hill" in Shropshire.

Sentinels designs were modern and had gearing, shaft drives (instead of chains), undertype engines, pneumatic rubber tyres...etc.

In tests Sentinels waggons performed just as well and often better than their petrol and Diesel stablemates, being capable of over 50mph on the road, being able to pull greater loads and to hold speed better, with less gearing on inclines such as "the hill"

Unfortunately the men who had to drive them, quite understandably, didn't like steam.

A petrol or Diesel wagon started at the turn of a key, ran all day with little effort, was relatively clean and could just be parked up and left overnight.

In contrast there was about 2 hours work to get a fire lit, do some cleaning and oiling, do some general maitainence and checks and get a waggon into steam before you could move it. the work was very dirty, required manual labour to keep shovelling coal into a hard worked engine, needed regular water pick ups throughout the day and needed the fire dropping and ashpan emptying before going home to, - before anything else, - a bath!

As life with internal combustion was so much easier and cleaner they were bought instead of steam vehicles and so market forces determined their demise. But in terms of getting the job done and shifting the loads they were every bit as good.

Of course, up here in the primitive wilds of Cumbria, we are still using steam buses lol

Not exactly step free entrance and I'm not sure about the carbon footprint, but it is great fun for the passenger. Photographed in Brough in April this year.

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Of course, up here in the primitive wilds of Cumbria, we are still using steam buses lol

Not exactly step free entrance and I'm not sure about the carbon footprint, but it is great fun for the passenger. Photographed in Brough in April this year.

Now my mate Eric Stanley who, when he retired left Sheffield and Sheffield steam club to go and live in North Yorkshire / cumbria to work on the Settle - Carlisle Railway would have loved that.

I have previously posted a picture of Eric along with Bernard Mettam in the thread where Bernard had written a book about trams.

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Wadsley Lane, 1933

Very interesting picture here Steve.

Those wagons have transverse boilers (boilers which go across the width of the vehicle rather than along its length)

Very few manufacturers made engines to this design, and very few of those made actually survive in preservation so they are very rare to see now.

2 of the main manufacturers of this type of vehicle were Mann (based in Leeds) and the Yorkshire Patent Steam Wagon Company (obviously based in Yorkshire)

The traction engine register lists only 11 Mann vehicles still in existance, - and not all these are to the transverse boiler design, and 6 Yorkshire Wagons.

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Now my mate Eric Stanley who, when he retired left Sheffield and Sheffield steam club to go and live in North Yorkshire / cumbria to work on the Settle - Carlisle Railway would have loved that.

I have previously posted a picture of Eric along with Bernard Mettam in the thread where Bernard had written a book about trams.

The Lake District Steam Bus Co has a history of the vehicle - no Sheffield connections, unfortunately, and not a genuine bus, but who cares!

A few years back it ran a scheduled service in the Windermere area, but now it appears to be private hire and rally appearances only (as far as I can tell)

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Of course, up here in the primitive wilds of Cumbria, we are still using steam buses lol

Not exactly step free entrance and I'm not sure about the carbon footprint, but it is great fun for the passenger. Photographed in Brough in April this year.

Then there is this Sentinel steam bus as well, from the Varley collection which used to be based at a steam museum in gisburn, Lancashire.

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