Boconnoc Steam Fair

Wonderful colours, the smells of steam and smoke (and burgers); the vehicles all polished to perfection

We had promised ourselves a day out before July was through and on the last day of the month we made it: we visited Boconnoc Steam Fair.

Old cars and traction engines are really not my thing but the sign had caught my eye and when I googled and discovered the labour of love that lay behind the renovation of the house itself, the decision was made.  Besides, it’s nice to be suggesting something that is of more interest to Bernie than to me for a change.

As it turned out, we didn’t get to visit the house itself.  There were too many people and there was too much to see outside.  We’ll visit again at another time.  Today we just enjoyed the outside spectacle.

First there were the classic cars.  All shapes, sizes and ages – and all exquisitely presented.  My eye was caught by this beautiful Morris Traveller – Dad’s very first car was a grey version of this one.


I remember her well – Doris the Morris.  Us four girls used to sleep in the back on top of all our camping and holiday equipment as we journeyed through the night (mostly to the West Country).  I can’t imagine how we squeezed in there together.  It wouldn’t be allowed now of course.  Bernie and I have talked about buying one of these and touring Scotland.  Why this car and why Scotland has never been established, but in our daydreams, the two are synonymous.


There were resplendent cream beauties …


And flash, brash, long-nosed American imports.


We admired inside and out.


All were shiny enough to see your face in.


Or in this case, to see me in duplicate, taking a photo of me taking a photo…


My favourite though, was this gorgeous yellow camper van.  I really wanted to take this one home!

Next came the vintage motor cycles.  Bernie is a great enthusiast.  I was too busy being talked at listening to his commentary to remember to take pictures …


And of course, everywhere there were traction engines. Large and small.


The sights and sounds were a feast for the senses.  Wonderful colours, the smells of steam and smoke (and burgers); the vehicles all polished to perfection.

This particular engine had a poster in front of it…



… a picture of when it was first discovered.  What an amazing transformation, and like Boconnoc itself – a real labour of love.


There were traction engines on the move all the time.  I was pleased to see one driven by a lady.  She looked every bit as smart as the vehicle under her control.


There were plenty of characters everywhere, probably as colourful to talk to as their prized traction engines were to look at!

We also watched the tractor pulling.  This is something completely new to me – and relatively new to Cornwall from what I understood from the commentator.  It appears to involve the tractor pulling a huge ‘sled’ (with eyes) for as long a distance as possible, and involves masses of noise, black smoke, fumes and some rather spectacular wheelies.  A tractor on two wheels is quite a sight.  My first reaction was: why?  But it quickly became strangely compelling…

We could have stayed late into the evening, when I suspect a whole new atmosphere evolves.  But this time we were happy to leave at the end of the afternoon – having walked a long way towards our car only to find we could see it but not actually reach it; it being the other side of a wide ditch.  But we made it in the end.  A good day, and a nice way to mark the end of 4 months in our newly-adopted county.


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