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Wirksworth Assessment Trials - photo gallery

PUBLISHED: 09:00 17 October 2014

The late Fred Dibnah's beloved Aveling & Porter road roller 'Betsy' is now owned by his sons Jack and Roger

The late Fred Dibnah's beloved Aveling & Porter road roller 'Betsy' is now owned by his sons Jack and Roger

Dom Andrews

Amber Valley hosted the Wirksworth Assessment Trials earlier this year, bringing back memories of the golden age of steam

Amber Valley hosted the Wirksworth Assessment Trials earlier this year, bringing back memories of the golden age of steam. Fourteen traction engines and a Sentinel Steam lorry left the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway, Wirksworth, to travel through Ambergate to Crich. After lunch at the Tramway Museum the engines returned to the Lime Kiln public house at Wirksworth, via Matlock and the 1 in 8 ascent from Cromford.

The trials put these glorious machines through their paces, providing a welcome change from parading around the show ring at a steam rally. The event attracted entrants from as far afield as Beamish, Co. Durham, and Redditch, with thousands of spectators lining the route. The standard of engine preparation and driving proved very high and, despite several challenging climbs, there were no mechanical breakdowns. Engines ranged from an 1875 John Fowler ploughing engine to the 1931 Sentinel, while four driving ability assessors kept an eye on the day’s performances. First prize was awarded to the 1889 Marshall traction engine No 17134 of Michael Davison, crewed by Phil Doran and Andrew Cook. Steve Arrowsmith’s 1882 McLaren No 127 was placed second with the 1925 Marshall of Paul and Vicky Davis in third place.

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