You have about 2 minutes’ warning on our street when one of these highly powered polluters is approaching. They whistle occasionally, but it’s the sound of the wheels, rubber covers barely effective at muting the trundle, that tells you a steam traction engine is not far away. And although the smoke is probably much worse than most diesels on the road, the sight and sound of these machines are balm to the soul.
You’re not going to be bowled over at the excitement of an English Country Fête, particularly one at a very small village. But it was very pleasant to visit Hatley in Cambridgeshire and see the sights brought together by a few dedicated people, drink some tea and find a cake or two to eat without guilt (I was supporting the locals, of course).