Anthony Burton has travelled from the Highlands of Scotland, to the south west of England in pursuit of his passion for the steam engine in all its different forms. He has travelled on narrow gauge railways in Wales and enjoyed the splendour of main line journeys behind some of the grandest locomotives ever built. He has shovelled coal into the boiler of an old Clyde Puffer, while steaming down Scotland’s west coast, and luxuriated in the elegance of a Windermere steam launch. He has marvelled at the magnificence of the great Victorian pumping engines and their elaborately decorated engine houses – and spends time every year helping to oil and polish an old mill engine to get it ready to receive visitors. He has revelled in the fun of the steam fair and shared a ride in a replica of Richard Trevithick’s extraordinary steam carriage with a direct descendant of the great engineer.
All these experiences and more are brought together in this lively narrative, in which the author shares his own sense of excitement and places each visit within its historical context. Above all, this book is a tribute to all those anonymous volunteers whose hard work and dedication have kept this great tradition alive.