A Little bit
With the Millennium year in
mind, I decided to arrange a celebration for my home town of Kettering in
Northamptonshire. and with the kind permission of the management of Wicksteed Park Ltd.,
The Kettering Vintage Rally & Steam Fayre was born.
There was an overwhelming
response from Exhibitors and Traders who had responded to my appeals over the preceding 12
months to help create the show for people to enjoy, while raising money for
Without the preservation
movement, our past transport and old crafts history would have disappeared. There would
not be any period TV or Film Dramas, so these Exhibitors have my heartfelt thanks for
their dedication to detail in their hobby.
The inspiration behind both my love of steam,
and the creation of the show, was my mother, Mrs. Joyce Harben Spitteler, who passed away
after a long illness, on June 27th. 2001. She always remembered the big showman's engines
powering the fairground in her younger days. She wanted to see 'The Iron Maiden', as she
had a copy of the film at home; hence it's appearance at our first show in 2000. It was
her line of our family that gave me the earliest interest in steam, with both my
During my younger life, my father Arthur Ernest Spitteler, who passed away peacefully after a long illness on the 21st August
2005, had dealings with many
farmers throughout Northwest England, and Lincolnshire, where I learned about road
transport, and farming. This is also where I learned about steam threshing, having fed the
corn into the threshing drums belonging to Messrs. Dawson's of Frampton, near Boston. My
mother always encouraged me to learn about these old methods of farming, (any excuse to
earn some extra pocket money!) I also learnt to drive a Fordson E27N, Standard Fordson,
David Brown Cropmaster, and Ferguson tractors working in our village, Kirton End, 4 miles
from Boston Lincolnshire.
I also had the pleasure of working for the late Mr. Frank Smith, of Kirton Holme, and G W
Pell Ltd. Haulage Contractors of Kirton, Lincolnshire. During Frank's life he
collected a great many rare tractors, some of which I drove. He also had steam power on
his farm, in the form of a Sentinel 6-wheel wagon, a traction engine and a French built
Austin Tractor. His son, David, was given a Bullnose Morris car for a birthday present!
The 60's were great for learning about our transport heritage, as I also worked in
road transport when I left school. Some astute preservationists salvaged and restored some
of the old equipment, and hereby expanding both our knowledge of transport, and also gave
us the exhibits to expand the rally calendar. All this gave me the love of the
preservation movement as a whole.