Tony McLean's East Yorkshire Wildlife Diary

Wildlife photography in East Yorkshire

Steam, Smoke & Laughter

Yesterday evening was Driffield’s annual Steam & Vintage Rally parade through the centre of town. Action kicked-off around 6:00 pm and the fun ended around sunset. The main thoroughfare was lined with spectators, many of them families with young children, all come to enjoy the steam powered spectacle. Of course, the real enthusiasts had probably spent the day at Driffield’s show-ground, talking to the proud owners of some of these magnificent machines. However, although I appreciate the wonder of the design and all those gleaming metal parts, I find that it was the people and their often humorous costumes, that I really wanted to photograph.

Saturday evening was the last night of the London Olympic Games and everyone appeared to be in high spirits. There didm’t seem to be any theme to the fancy-dress element of the parade; the more eccentric the better. Thick brown smoke wafted around in the evening breeze and you could smell the hot metal of the boilers on the towering traction engines. One thing that struck me was the absence of the usual fast food trailers. The pubs and cafés on the high street did a roaring trade. However, it was the local chip-shop that seemed to being doing the bulk of the business. In fact, I suspect that a trip to the chippy was the reason behind the rally in the first place! The whole event sparkled with good humour and I, and several other photographers, didn’t have to work too hard to get a great picture or two.

One of the main attractions this year were the steam powered cars. If you would like to know more about this rare and eccentric mode of transport then please visit this site, Steamcar.Net Here’s a picture of a wonderful Stanley car I took with, I presume, the owner by her side.

Couldn’t resist taking this photograph of the crowd as the first of the traction engines trundled into town…

The arrival

It was the children who were the real stars of the show. Here’s a few examples of their little boiler-suits and their sooty faces from my Flickr pages:

Chewing the wheel

The gloves

Bubble girl


The costumes were fun too. Here’s another couple of humorous examples:

The pink straw


Perhaps my favourite image of the evening was of this fantastic lady, relaxing with a glass of wine on the wheel of her huge traction engine!

Wine & wheel


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