Watch: Historic steam machinery team reunited at Strumpshaw Autumn Rally
PUBLISHED: 16:41 02 September 2017 | UPDATED: 07:44 03 September 2017
Three historic farming machines that last worked together in the 1940s were reunited at the Strumpshaw Steam Museum’s Autumn Rally.
The machines were brought together to bring in the Autumn harvest by steam power.
They included the museum’s recently restored Marshall steam engine, which was put to work alongside a Marshall threshing drum and a Marshall straw pitcher, belonging to west Norfolk farmer Roger Coe.
Visitors to the rally got to see the three machines processing a crop of corn in a scene not witnessed since Mr Coe’s father sold the engine in 1944.
“My father Frank bought the steam engine and drum in 1939 and they used to work together,” said Mr Coe.
“He owned a farm near King’s Lynn but also worked as an agricultural contractor and used to travel around with the machines to process corn.”
The engine was built in 1928 and supplied new by J.W Slator of King’s Lynn to Renault Brothers of Hunstanton Hall Farm, Ringstead.
It was later purchased by Mr Coe’s father and after he sold it, the engine changed hands on numerous occasions from 1946 to 1957.
It was eventually bought for £130 in 1957 by the late Wesley Key, founder of the Strumpshaw Steam Museum.
It was repainted and rallied until 1977 when it stood on display in the museum until 2014.
It now belongs to Mr Key’s daughter Kiki Angelrath.
The engine underwent extensive restoration by Scott Bunting and Mervyn Mayes and was steamed in July after 40 years of silence.
Mr Coe said it was privilege to see the machines working together. The process of threshing separates the grains of a crop, such as wheat, from its stalks and husks.
Before the steam driven machinery revolutionised this process, it would have been done by gangs of men with hand tools. His father employed around 10 men to run the threshing machinery.
“You could do about 10 tons of grain a day with the threshing drum, whereas nowadays, farmers do more than that in an hour,” said Mr Coe.
The Strumpshaw Autumn Rally aims to showcase agricultural machinery from the days of steam and other working demonstrations included wood sawing, stone crushing and road surface laying.
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