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Kemble Steam Fair
Meets, Shows and Events
Having visited the Great Dorset Steam Fair on numerous occasions but never exhibiting due to needing to take a weeks holiday, Kemble Steam Fair was the next best thing. Held at Kemble Airfield just past Malmesbury it only entails a 45 minute drive to get there. I did try to to enter in 2009 but the show has limited entry, and last year my form was too late to process in time - so this years entry was sent in as soon as possible.

There is no class for hotrods, so after a few phone calls to the organizers it was decided to enter into the pre-war American class. Reg's Dorset was also entered into this class as we were driving up together to make a weekend out of it.
My '32 alongside the The '34 Phaeton of Andy McLean, the Early Ford V8 South West Area Secretary
     
    Now due to my new bigger caravan purchase earlier in the year the 32 was now too small to use as a towcar - so I had to tow it with the daily, leaving Sue to drive the rod for the first time. We had to be on site by 10.30am Friday due to health and safety, so we left about 9 o'clock.

No problems with the trip, so once there we swapped vehicles and I went to place the Ford on the show field while she waited with the caravan and daily. Upon starting the engine I noticed a funny whine and thought I'd have a quick look once the car was in its show place. Upon lifting the bonnet it was apparent the alternator mounting bracket had broken in two - could I blame it on Sue? after all it was her who had driven it there .. With the caravan to set up I decided to get our camping area all set up first and sort out the faulty bracket later. Caravan ready, a walk back to the car entailed and work commenced.

Alternator removed it became apparent that the bottom through bolt would not come out unless the crank pulley was loosened and moved forward, and since the new front model A crossmember had been installed this would require the engine lifting up to clear said member. The only other option being cutting a v shape in the pulley so the bolt would clear. This meant a trip back to Bristol to get a portable grinder.. two hours and 60 miles later the grinder was put to use with V's cut out of the pulley, one to remove the bolt and the other to balance the pulley to eliminate further trouble.

With the bracket removed we now returned to Bristol to weld the broken bracket up. Another three hours and 60 miles later we were back at Kemble, as it had gone past 10pm, drinking started and refitting the bracket would take place on Saturday morning. Early next day bonnet up, tools out, the bracket was attached to the engine followed by the alternator but then disaster. The bracket had distorted during welding and it was impossible for the fan belt to fit as the alternator was now out of line.

Desperation had now set in and after talking to one of the marshals I was directed to find an exhibitor who had his classic car workshop on the airfield. I found him, and good as gold he agreed to open up his garage and repair my bracket. By now the heavens had opened up and waiting outside his workshop I got soaked (this was before he had himself got to the shop not that he made me wait in the rain). Bracket repaired and painted I made my way back to the show field, refitted all the parts and at last had time to relax.

Then more rain, still at least I was sat in the car and had not been caught out wandering the vast show field as many people had.
 
1970's style local Pop.
 
A pair of stock Pops, still with original number plates and each wearing a single auxiliary light.
 
    During the afternoon there was a fly-past by the Red Arrows, but to top that a display by the last surviving Vulcan bomber which flew around for ages - what a noise those engines make!

All weekend classic planes were taking off from the runway, whilst the steam vehicles paraded around their own areas and static displays of bikes, scooters, vans, lorries, buses, coaches, army vehicles, and animals kept everyone occupied. There were model tents, auto jumble and all sorts of stalls catering for all you could want, plenty to keep the missus and kids happy even during the rain.

An illuminated steam fair took over at night whilst entertainment was provided in the main marquee along with decent beer and at sensible prices, catering vehicles kept the taste buds happy. Sunday was a dry day and due to the dry summer we had encountered there were no real signs of the previous days rainfall, so no muddy tracks.

A lot of one day entrants arrived on the Sunday including Ivor in his Austin 16 and a white Pop I had not seen before, but I believe comes from Winterbourne area. We packed up and left about 7pm missing the traffic, taking the Chippenham route home so missing out the M4. In all a packed weekend but I could have done without the bracket saga ...

Phil
     
Immaculate Ford Skyliner
 
The sign says it all..
 
40's Chevrolet, a regular at the Griffin on a Tuesday night.
 
Smart Panhard with matching trailer
 
Rain-soaked Plymouth on Saturday
 
Classic British cars (and a hotrod)
 
Classic 60's 'Vette
 
Classic Planes all weekend
 
Fantastic sight and awesome engine noise
 
A common sight in the 60's, AA m/cycle with sidecar
 
Cafe Racer Norton/BSA with matching skid lid..

..and a one year old build of a steam car featuring disc brakes
 
How to hotrod your push bike - bolt on a petrol engine
 
Mk2 Zephyr Convertible wearing knock-on wires.
 
Avenger Tiger - rare in it's day, so ultra rare now.
 
 
EV40
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