A visitors view of the Open Day

The Tinker’s Park Open day is an absolutely delightful event – I went along this year (2017) for the first time and can highly recommend it. The range of old steam-engines on display, all of them in working order and in fantastic condition, was most impressive. There were also vintage buses, cars – not to mention a small steam-train which will take you round the perimeter of the park! There are other rides to go on and there’s also the chance to sample the excellent beer on tap at the refreshment stall.

As a musician I was particularly interested by the magnificent display of  fair organs, the sort that would have been used at fairground carousels or roundabouts. The proud owners were only too happy to demonstrate these and they really are a joy to experience. All in all, a great day out and I shall certainly return.

next year.

Paul Guinery

December 2017

Paul Guinery is a London based concert pianist who studied at the Royal College of Music. He has worked for many years at the BBC, including writing and presenting music programmes for Radio 3.

Paul is pictured standing in front of the Brighton & Hove Bus CAP229. Keith, is pictured in front of the blue Ford tractor, photographed Paul and Paul kindly took the rest of the images. Thank you Paul.

Tinkers Park Steam Rally 2017

After a late night in the Beer Tent watching Dr Busker, a nights sleep up in the clouds, a ride on the Gallopers and Supervising Pensioner’s Crew, there’s nothing better than to chill out in the shade with an Ice Cream —— a purrrrrfect weekend.

NTET Steam Apprentice day

On Saturday 16th September the Park played host to fourteen children who were taking part in the National Traction Engine Trust’s South Eastern area Steam Apprentice day.  The children’s ages ranged from 8 to 18.

To start their day they all had a ride on the ‘Apprentice Express’ which departed from platform 9 ¾  of The Great Bush Railway promptly at 10:00am. They were then allocated to their different steam engines and crews for a full day’s activities.

To start with the young apprentices had to clean the smokebox, tubes and fireboxes of their respective  steam rollers or traction engines. Then they were shown the correct way to light a fire after, which it was down to cleaning and oiling up whilst waiting for the engines to raise steam.

By this time the apprentices had started to look like real steam engine crew having transferred soot, oil and ash to their  overalls and faces! Time out was taken to enjoy tea and cakes and then it was down to the serious business of learning how to steer and drive an engine.

Two things stood out to those watching the proceedings. The willingness of the participants to listen and learn, and the confidence and enthusiasm with which all approached the various tasks. It was also good to see the mix of ages and the fact that at least half of those taking part were girls, thus finally disposing of the myth that steam engines were merely ‘toys for the boys’!

A|t the end of the afternoon 14 tired, dirty, but very happy apprentices went home having learned a good deal, whilst having fun under the safe supervision of our engine owners.

Thanks must go to Claude Jessett Trust trustee Adrian Vaughan for organising the day and to volunteers from Tinkers Park and the Sussex Steam Engine Club for allowing use of their steam engines and for making it all happen .

The NTET steam Apprentice scheme is vital to ensure that  our steam and engineering inheritance is in safe hands for the future.

NOTE: if any attendees took nice pictures and would like to see them here. Please send to info@tinkerspark.com with a short description. Thanks.

Tinkers Park open day and Steam Club road run

On Saturday September 23rd Tinkers park threw its gates open to the public for the annual open day. The aim of the day was to show off the collection of steam engines, farm equipment and the Great Bush Railway to visitors in a friendly and informal way and to showcase the work the volunteers of the Claude Jessett Trust over the past 12 months.

The event attracted visitors of all ages, both local and from as far away as Suffolk, Cumbria and even Scotland, some of whom were on holiday in the area. Attractions included free rides on the steam railway and the ‘Green Goddess’ fire engine as well as the miniature railway and the ever popular traction engine trailer rides round the park. In addition there was a display of classic cars and commercial vehicles provided by two local vintage vehicle clubs.

A free bus service connecting both Buxted railway station and Uckfield bus station was provided by the trust’s own vintage buses, which included a 1940’s open top double decker.

There were displays of working steam engines and tractors showing timber saw-bench working and old-time road making. The latter featured demonstrations of a machine commonly known as a wacker, a lethal looking tool designed to compact the infill  following trench digging operations, which provided some amusement with volunteers trying their hand at squashing tin cans!

The organ museum was open and two of the trust’s fairground organs were also playing in the park. Popular exhibits in the exhibition hall were two larger scale model railways, one of which is owned by the trust and featured live steam locomotives. Light refreshments and local beer and cider were available and, with the sun shining for most of the day, visitors took advantage of our picnic tables to enjoy  a break whilst watching the activity gong on around them.

The following day saw around 20 steam engines set off from the park for the Sussex Steam Engine Club’s annual road run to Waldron. This has become a very popular event that also now attracts as good a selection of vintage cars, motorcycles and tractors as can be seen at at many a vintage rally.  The Jessett trust entered four steam engines from the collection and, with a warm autumn sun still shining a great day was had by all.


East Grinstead bus running day

The ex Brighton Hove and District open top bus owned by the Trust took part in the East Grinstead bus running day on April 30th. The bus is a Bristol K5G and was delivered to BH&D for use on the seafront service as an open topper in 1939 in an unfinished state, owing to the outbreak of war. It entered service in 1940 having been fitted out in the Holland Road works of the company. In the early 1950’s it was rebuilt as a convertible open top bus, with a removable roof, to enable it to be used on town services in the winter.

Continue reading ““ON THE BUSES””

A timber tractor working in the woods

The old way of hauling timber has a number of advantages, used here so there was minimal disturbance to the ground. The wood floor is covered in bluebells in April. Here the volunteers team are using a timber tractor, tackle and block to work amongst the trees and to haul timber between them. Finally the timber is loaded onto a pole trailer.

Continue reading “A timber tractor working in the woods”

Tinkers Park Volunteers experience day

As a volunteer for The Claude Jessett trust I attended the Volunteers experience day on Saturday April 22nd. The idea of this day is to give volunteers a chance to experience driving or operating as many items in the collection as possible as well as a chance to socialise with other volunteers who may not be able to attend the regular volunteer evenings or weekends. As a volunteer you get the chance to work on any number of on-going projects. You may change your project as time goes on or you may stick to one particular area of interest, traction engines, tractors or railways for instance. The Volunteer experience day gives you the chance to see the overall picture of what is currently being worked on, as well as items in the collection that have already been restored but that you may not have had the chance to get acquainted with.

Continue reading “Tinkers Park Volunteers experience day”