We were quite excited to read in one of the vintage magazines that the Burrell scenic showmans road loco No 3938 ‘Quo Vadis’ was going to steam to the Bill Target rally at Eastleigh pulling a galloper load and as this was another engine that had spent some of its working life with in Petersfield with the Wall family, we had to see it.
On the 10thof May we went down to Ower on the edge of the New Forest where the run was due to start and positioned ourselves along the route, cameras poised to record this impressive event.
At 1150 the Burrell left the Ower yard for the open road, pulling out in middle gear then stopping to change up into top. ‘Quo Vadis’ then tore off up the road towards Romsey, this was the last time that we were impressed with the engines performance! Shortly after, the Fowler agricultural ‘Volunteer’ followed pulling the galloper centre truck at a steady pace. The route was approx’ sixteen miles which should have taken a three speed Burrell no more then three and a half hours, the ‘Q’ took six with two water stops and much changing of gears. When the engine belonged to the Wall family it had a reputation of being a ‘difficult’ engine, in fact ‘Buck’ Wall was heard to say that it was the only engine to reduce him to tears! On this day 3938 lived up to her unfortunate reputation and our hearts went out to the poor crew. ‘Volunteer’ was the hero of the day making good time and waiting on numerous occasions to let the Q catch up. It was such a shame as it is a rare sight to see a large showmans engine on the road, they are without doubt an impressive spectacle and it did look good, its performance was just a little disappointing.
Wall Brothers in Petersfield bought ‘Quo Vadis’ in 1940 and used it until 1948, Gosport fair being its last outing. After this it was laid up in Sewards sandpit in Petersfield, here it stayed until sold to Hardwicks in the early 1950’s.