By tractor to France – and back!

Volunteer’s day

Volunteers April 2018

On Saturday April 21st The trustees of the Collection at Tinkers park held a “Volunteers experience day” the aim of which was to enable the team of volunteers who had been working on various restoration and maintenance projects over the winter months to enjoy a  day when they could try their hand at driving various vehicles and railway engines from parts of the collection that they are not normally associated with. This is partly just for fun, on a day when the park and its internal road system is not open to the public, but also to enable the various groups, that normally work on differing aspects of the collection, to gain experience of different types of vehicles and share in each others areas of interest.

About 40 volunteers took part on a fine and sunny day and the Trustees provided lunchtime refreshments. In the evening, a fish-and-chip supper was laid on, together with a film show at The New Inn when various films of early rallies and other events, involving volunteers in the days before the Trust was formed, were shown that included  some amusing incidents which were enjoyed by all those  present.

Reports and pictures by David Vaughan

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 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.

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.

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