‘Too rainy for rallies’

Steam engines stopped off in Hemel Hempstead to cool down on Saturdya, July 7, 2012.
Steam engines stopped off in Hemel Hempstead to cool down on Saturdya, July 7, 2012.

TWO steam engines stopped off in Hemel Hempstead to refuel their water tanks from the River Gade after rain meant the rally they had planned to go to was called off.

The drivers were heading to the Chiltern Steam Rally in Prestwood when they heard it had been cancelled due to completely waterlogged fields.

On the journey home to Flamstead on Saturday they stopped to refill their tanks with water pumped from the river, which runs through Hemel Hempstead’s West Herts College campus.

Rally organiser Malcolm Biggerstaff said: “A roller will only do about 10 miles to a tank so quite often you have to find a local river or fire hydrant – we have permits.

“Sadly, in the last nine weeks, 13 steam rallies have been cancelled – there’s a lot of trouble with the weight of the engines as the ground cuts up so easily.

“It’s just a bad year for steam rallies, but we will bounce back next year.”