It’s been 11 years since the last Millers Trail Road Run, that event being a great success 2013 was seen as high time to have another crack
Jonathan Wheeler (whose family owns Bardwell Mill) approached the Society last year about working with the Friends of Bardwell Mill to assist in planning a road run to raise money for the on-going restoration of Bardwell Mill. The club happily accepted the proposal and on Saturday 21st September 6 engines had arrived in nearby field and haulage yard for a 13mile road run taking in 4 mills. Simon Webb arrived on his locomobile to bring the tally to seven full size steam vehicles
The run started out with the engines heading to Bardwell to visit the windmill where they met with the eighth and final engine, the Wheeler’s Ruston ‘Oliver’ which was waiting to join in on the run with a newly painted trailer. Burrell 3922 ‘Margaret’ didn’t make the initial trip to Bardwell heading instead straight to Stanton Windmill with a trailer load of club members and guests.
Stanton Windmill was shut but the gates had been left open allowing ample time to wander around and admire the structure, Glen Prince who was taking his 4” Foster round the route bought the engine into the mill grounds for a photograph before setting out on the next leg of the journey
‘Margaret pulled away from the mill just as ‘Oliver’ arrived. The Hart families recently purchased Aveling roller ‘Sally’ had already visited having left significantly earlier than the rest of the engines. An unscheduled stop at ‘The Cock’ in Stanton was then observed with Society President Keith Honour’ taking a vote from ‘Margaret’s’ trailer as to whether or not we should stop. A majority vote secured a pit stop and before long all the other engines had arrived and were parked up in Stanton
With lunch fast approaching the engines then set out for the lunch stop at Pakenham Water Mill taking in some beautiful countryside lanes. At Pakenham a Stanley Steam Car was waiting in the car park though not taking part in the run. Catering was laid on by the mill as well as Ale for the passengers on the run. After a tour of the mill the party departed for Pakenham Windmill taking a longer route to avoid the weak bridge.
After a brief stop at Pakenham we were off to Ixworth High Street to visit another pub before heading back to Bardwell where all engines stopped for a warm drink and a photo call. With the light fading it was back to the field for the evening do where Dr Busker played late into the night with the two showman’s engines ‘Margaret’ and ‘Peter Pan’ generating light all evening
The run would not have been possible without the efforts of Jonathan Wheeler and his daughter Alice as well as the rest of their team. We hope to return at some point in the future for a repeat of this fantastic run