AFS at Welland

There is a major Steam Rally at Welland, which is between Malvern and Upton-on-Severn. It happens on the last weekend of July, which this year falls on Fri-Sun 29-31 July. We go to the Rally on Wed 27th, and spend Thursday setting up and practicing. See the rally website here.

So what about Welland?

We can offer:

  • A spectacular AFS pumping arena display, on all three days of the event, ideally around lunchtime.
  • 2-3 Goddesses as fire cover for the fireworks on Saturday night.
  • A great road run to a nice pub on Saturday afternoon.
  • A pumped-water dust-suppression service for Gate ‘M’ and the tractor-pull drag.
  • A Goddess pumping competition championship consisting of 6 five-minute heats run one each morning and afternoon of the three days.
  • A magnificent static display of AFS equipment and memorabilia under the cover made of ladders and salvage sheets between two Goddesses.
  • A meeting point for ex-AFS men and women to chat.
  • A clean pumped-water service from the stream to supply: our dam, steam engines as appropriate, our goddesses for fire cover, our goddesses for dust damping.
  • A Goddess entry into the tractor-pull ?
  • A War-time fire display? Especially if I get my Austin K4 60-foot Turntable Ladder running by then.
  • An audience for the dancing girls display next door, and clientèle for the beer tent beyond that. 🙂

Points to note:

  • The tractor-pull is about 500 ft long, or 6-7 hose lengths. If it is really dry, we could simply run 45mm hoses directly from the pump. Would have to be careful to only damp it, not flood it 😉
  • There is another stream near to gate M hidden in the trees. Would need a bit of ground-clearing to get access, or just bring a couple of goddesses with full tanks from the main stream.
  • Jan Sutcliffe and Carol Henwood are doing catering for us, which means that we don’t have to worry about getting food just before or after a display. Also makes for a good communal evening meal in the display area.
  • We need to get a LARGE camping area pegged out ideally by Wednesday lunchtime, as by Thursday morning it was very difficult to get space together.
  • Norman recently mentioned concerns about kit security overnight, and wondered if we ought to dismantle the display area, and take everything back to the campsite each night. The obvious snags with that are: (a) it is a dreadful faf, (b) it needs doing last thing at night when muscles are relaxed by alcohol. An alternative approach, as we did this year, was to have some people camping in the display area. Ideally, a few more people there would improve security. The thought of wiring all the vehicles to an agricultural electric fence unit crossed my mind, but another approach would be to wire some form of trip-wire to the blues and twos.
  • Dan has a number of vehicles not too far from Welland, and has indicated that he is willing to allow other RSOLES from further afield to leave a car at his place, and drive an appropriate vehicle to the show.
  • We do need more manpower than last year, and we need to practice collecting the 6-inch hose better.
  • More RL GP trucks would be nice.
  • This year, a number of people were in appropriate gear – AFS tunics, or military fatigues, or 70’s fire-fighting clothing. I think that added a lot to the display, and would like to increase the level of ‘uniform’, without being rigid.

Have I missed anything? Comments most welcome, please.

About lowdhamstation

I am a director of a small (and very technical) business, a committed Christian, a Reader (and preacher) in my local village church, husband to my dear Frances, am interested in heritage railways, and heritage fire engines. I currently run a group that displays wartime and early post-war fire engines at 1940s re-enacting events and steam engine rallies. O yes, and vintage cars and motorbikes, and we live in a Victorian railway station.
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2 Responses to AFS at Welland

  1. Mike Beggs says:

    Pardon my ignorance but where is Welland?

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