VIDEO: Festival of Steam

That unmistakable steam engine-smell hit my nostrils more than a mile away from the Festival of Steam in Singleton on Saturday.

Hundreds of visitors at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum at the weekend got an insight into how the now-antiquated machines of yesteryear operated when they were at their prime.

Some curious little machines weaved in and out of the crowds as they watched the larger engines chug-chug around the site.

Head operator and organiser Henry Warner said: “What we try to do is rent some steam engines and demonstrate what they would have done in the past.

“The Gallopers are a beautiful site and powered by steam. The engines that drives them are magnificent engines and worth a lot of money. We have around 40 different models here that people make themselves, based on the originals.

“It’s a fantastic day out even if you don’t like steam engines, which are well worth coming to see.”

Engineer and steam engine enthusiast Nigel McBurney from Ropley was driving his red small-sized engine around the Weald and Downland site.

He said: “I built this engine last year. It’s coal-fired obviously and works the same as a full-sized engine.

“When I was very young my next door neighbour owned three engines and I always wanted one. They were still there after the war. Now I have got one. It is the first time I have been to the Weald and Downland.

“It’s a very pleasant site. I have quite enjoyed it today as I am allowed to drive around. Some rallies you are not allowed to drive.”

Steam engines of all shapes and sizes were on display with some being driven around the museum site. Even the

Carousel was steam-powered.

There was also some live music, demonstrations and the chance to drive some of the engines. For more information log on to www.wealddown.co.uk