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Woolpit Steam Show
Walsh & Clark Reunion

Walsh & Clark Ltd operated from the Victoria Works, Guiseley, near Leeds in Yorkshire, and was so named because of the partnership of engineer and designer Russell Clark and salesman Harry Walsh. Originally producing a range of stationary and portable engines, they diversified into traction and ploughing engines. However, like so many others, the company fell on hard times and succumbed to Receivership in 1925, being succeeded by the Victoria Oil Engine Co.

Three pairs of ploughing engines are known to exist, registrations 5038RH & 5039RH, 5045RH & 5046RH, and 5050RH & 5051RH. Most if not all of the above were owned at one time by Gershom Miles of Great Ashfield, Suffolk, who operated 17 different Walsh & Clark engines, of which 7 survive today. His engines were used for contract threshing and moved from farm to farm, last being used in 1958. Subsequently, one pair of engines were donated by Robert Miles to the Museum of East Anglian Life at Stowmarket in 1990 and these have been regular visitors to Woolpit for some years now.

The other current Suffolk connection is by virtue of Earnest Rand who went to work for Walsh & Clark in 1909 as an engineer and salesman. In 1912, he came to Suffolk to arrange a trial at Wetherden, for a local farmer, possibly at Warren Farm, the site of the Woolpit rally. This farmer was to become his future father-in-law. Following his marriage in 1915 he moved permanently to Suffolk starting his own business and became Eastern counties agents for Walsh & Clark, with over 80 machines being installed in this area. I recall they were also agents for Ruston Hornsby as well, and Earnestís son Tom now judges the stationary engines and grandson James is also involved with the rally.

With thanks to the Woolpit programme for the above information.

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