We have had a long association with steam engines at Eastnor. We bought our first steam roller to work on the estate roads in 1967 and we still have one today, which this summer rolled a restored track to one of the Big Chill car parks. We have held open days with our own and visiting engines for the last ten years, usually with a road run at the end of the day. Many were attended by the late Fred Dibnah, steeplejack and broadcaster.
This year, we had a smaller event, with about 15 engines visiting and quite a few working models. We kept it informal, with visitors able to look closely at the engines and also ride on a model steam railway, visiting from the Broomy Hill Museum in Hereford. Two Stanley steam cars and a steam-powered baker’s van joined the display, moving in a silent and mysterious way with only a puff of steam at the exhaust to show how it was happening.
It was a great day, with the air filled with the old fashioned smells of coal and hot oil and the sounds of a local brass band. We welcomed over 900 visitors, which was a strong finish for our visitor season.