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Tewkesbury Steam Up 22nd - 23rd June 2024.

The MSRVS has held a steam rally at Tewkesbury since the 1990’s, and over recent years the rally has evolved into a club steam up more akin to a weekend break for a community of like minded individuals and families. The gates were open for members of the public to come and look around our activities, with the proviso of the safety information posted at the entrance gate.
  Our members and guests tend to be families and friends who attend the steam ups. The ‘Black Country Boys’ as well as those from other parts of the country, happily mingle to share stories as well as help each other. Engines that are based on full sized working types, are modelled in scales from 1.5” to 6” to the foot, were steamed up and running from 9 in the morning on both days. Numbers were down on previous years, but the fact that all were up and running most of the time is testament to the community spirit of help and advise shared by all. Steam engines are temperamental and need a lot of understanding. Sometimes an engine just does not want to play, and there were one or two, but when coaxed back into life, everybody is happy.
  It was good to see so many young drivers, able and competent, driving around the central area, alongside seasoned veterans. This is thanks mainly to the attendance of the National Traction Engine Trust ( NTET ) and Louise Maunder for bringing their ‘Steam Apprentices’ to the steam up for experience and training. Six apprentices with their family support were planned, but more than those arrived. There were never less than a dozen engines happily steaming around in the central area , except lunchtime, when engines in steam, stood by awaiting for playtime in the afternoon.
  There was one trade stand, the ‘Thai And Thai Again’ people were on hand throughout the day offering a variety of Thai and Chinese meals. The food was sumptuous, in generous portion and very reasonably priced. Everyone I spoke to who sampled it was of the same opinion. I hope to see them again!
  The Sunday steam run through the adjacent caravan park was a first for me. This run has been a tradition for the club for many years so I took the opportunity to hitch a ride on John Kidley’s 6” tractor ‘Ceris Mercy’ to see for myself. Around twenty five engines and crew followed us as we slowly cruised the access road through the luxury motor homes, where many residents were relaxing and basking in beautiful sunshine on, what was for them, a lazy Sunday afternoon. They seemed prepared for us and many photographed our procession on their mobile devices. There were friendly waves and some banter as we made our way slowly back to the entrance gate. On reflexion, those campers greeted us and were not bothered by the steam and smoke from our engines, that we accept as part and parcel of the operation steam engines. So two communities with different schools of thought on how to spend a lovely sunny afternoon, were able to share their interests and enjoy a few moments together.
  Overall, this was another enjoyable and fulfilling weekend spent in the sunshine on the Tewkesbury Rugby Club grounds. The relaxed atmosphere and carefree spirit of the occasion is down to the responsible and caring nature of the people who take part in our steam ups.
  Modelling usually starts as a constructive hobby in childhood, then develops into an educational past time which can last into old age. There are many constructive hobbies, apart from our own road going steam based and the Gloucester and District Model Boat Club’s that are more than just a past time for grey haired boys and girls. Play at an early age feeds our desire to learn about the world around us, so playing on into adulthood and beyond helps us to continue learning. Technology moves on and the younger generations move into areas we could not even dream about when we were youngsters. They can play happily with modern technology without ever knowing or understanding how this technology works, or even care about looking up the available history of it’s development. Not wishing them to become mere consumers, it would be good to encourage our youngsters to participate in constructive hobbies that were the norm for our generations.
  This question has been debated at MSRVS committee meetings, as expressed by our chairman’s comments on the website. Without young people participating in our constructive hobby, MSRVS (and other club) futures will start to fade. Our youngsters will also miss out on the opportunity to understand the old technologies and history that lead to the modern technologies that they currently use and enjoy.