The weekend of the 15th and 16th of May 2010 saw the Eastliegh Vintage Machinery Preservation Society present their annual rally at Matterly Farm near Winchester, Hampshire, the second event to be held at this location after moving from their site at Brambridge, near Eastleigh.
The programme listed 42 full sized steam exhibits which represented a good cross section of makes and types which included an interesting Fowell 8nhp traction engine, No 103 “Cromwell” of 1913, one of only 7 surviving engines of that maker. Aveling and Porter Convertible No 4255 “Queen Victoria”, a 6nhp compound engine of 1899 is a regular attender and was making its debut with a new set of rubber tyres that suited her well.
Burrell 7nhp showmans No 2625 “Lady, Pride of England” of 1904 was a welcome addition, she had come down from her usual home in Worcestershire to spend a season in Hampshire in the care of Kev Lockyer and the Sewards crew.
The Matterly site provided plenty of space for the engines to steam about and the organisers had provided a “playpen” which in our opinion was a bit of a waste of space as moving around the site safely was not a problem, in fact the abundance of space was a bit of a double edged sword as exhibits were quite well spread out meaning a lot of walking for visitors.
Other classes of exhibits were well represented with good selections of cars, commercials, tractors and stationary engines. The military section even had a vintage helicopter which flew in and landed on the field.
The jury is still out as to whether the move to Winchester is a good idea, the event has lost some of its old fashioned friendly atmosphere that was so prevelant at the Eastleigh site, the compact nature there gave it a certain intimacy which has been lost in the great space of Matterly.
All in all though a good event and well worth a visit, see you there in 2011.