Friday, 14 June 2013

Pontargothi Vintage Rally



I was in the workshop last night doing a job for our son when I came across a hot air engine I had made many years ago. They are quite a clever concept working without fuel just on the heat of a naked flame. I was looking for a piece of decent timber and was in two minds about using the Iroko plinth the engine was mounted on. In the end I decided to leave it although I hadn't used the engine in 15 years.
I have always been intrigued with how things work. I was one of those boys that would take things apart and put them back together out of curiosity. Of course sometimes they never went back together. I used to visit the Science Museum in Birmingham and was always fascinated by the large steam engines which were often shown working. I went around Guest Keen and Nettlefold's factory as a boy and was intrigued by the screwcutting machinery (invented by Whitworth). My father was  apart from a chemist, and electrical engineer a self taught engineer and made mostly anything including lathes, milling machines, metal cutting machines all out of metal from the local black smiths. His workshop was like a nineteen century mill with many pulleys going around and the clatter of the metal teeth joining the flat belts hitting the pulleys.( H&S would not have been amused) I was always happy to be in there learning something new.
Anyway Alex and I took the children to Steam Fairs when they were young and I have enjoyed painting machinery and steam engines. Its the old maxim paint what you understand. That is the problem I have with all the Chinese art factories. I cringe when I see their painted galleons and efforts at 19th century works. The artists are clearly talented but they have no idea what they are painting and to me it shows. They are just not convincing whereas if they painted village/city life or the mountains of China I am sure they would be fine.
Anyway the painting above is of two characters at Pontargothi Vintage Rally talking over a stationary engine. I believe this is event is on 29th and 30th June in 2013. I intend to get there if I can.

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