2015 Show Report

The Saffron Walden Crank Up took place on 9th & 10th May 2015 at Sparrow’s End, Saffron Walden. It marked the revival of the earlier shows organised by Paul Engelmann at his Shire Hill home from the early 70s until the year 2000. A new committee headed by John Hunt and working with the East Anglian Traction Engine Society worked hard to put on a traditional steam and vintage rally, building on the success of earlier events at Audley End.

The event was a resounding success, with 16 full size engines in attendance. Among these were David Gowlett’s Fowler “Ada”, and the Pumfrey family’s Ruston “Success”, which were both regulars at the original “Crank-up” events. Richard Parrott’s Burrell “Princess Royal” and Peter Richardson’s Foden “Perseverance” also attended, both engines that attended the first East Anglian Club rally at Saling in 1955,
By contrast to these stalwarts, Jenny Baxter was attending her first event with her recently acquired Fowler roller “Firefly”, and the Reid family were debuting their Clayton roller “Excelsior”

Miniature steam was well represented too, and making a debut in this section was Alistair Cook with his Savage traction engine. Doug Fleet brought along his miniature Burrell scenic showmans engine, and Bruce Rice attended with his unusual Dodman engine. Making use of the river bordering the site, Ian Couchman was busy pumping water with his Merryweather steam fire pump.
The vintage tractor, vehicle and stationary engine sections each put on a good display, with a diverse range of exhibits that a larger show would be proud of. Local showman Joseph Rule provided some childrens’ amusements, and the Smith family from Linton provided refreshments (as well as a superb display of vintage vehicles), so there truly was something for all the family.
On the Saturday evening a number of entrants took the opportunity to travel to the “Fighting Cocks” pub, where Aveling roller “George”, owned by Dan Chidgey, and the Reid’s Clayton rolled the car park, much to the landlord’s delight.

Public attendance was very good over the weekend, with many people recalling happy memories of the original event and saying how well the revived event brought them to mind. Building on the success of this year’s event, the committee are looking forward to next year’s on 7th and 8th May.