Steam team reunited after 73-years apart

Marshall steam engine during restoration
Marshall steam engine during restoration

A restored Marshall steam engine once owned by a Grimston family is to bring in its first harvest since 1944.

Frank Coe, of Grimston, sold his Marshall steam engine, VF 4183, in 1944, and since then it has undergone an extensive restoration.

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Mr Coe employed around 10 men to run the threshing machinery, which was used on his own farm and on contract to other farmers.

His son, Roger Coe said: “You could do about 10 tonnes of grain a day with the threshing drum, whereas nowadays, farmers do more than that in an hour.”

The Marshall steam engine, which was built in 1928, was bought in 1957 by the late Wesley Key, founder of the Strumpshaw Hall Steam Museum in Norwich.

But, it now belongs to Mr Key’s daughter Kiki Angelrath and is looked after by its driver Scott Bunting.

Ms Angelrath said: “Scott initiated the restoration and, supported by Mervyn Mayes and many others, put a tremendous amount of work into the project.”

The recently-restored Marshall steam engine is to be reunited with Roger Coe’s Marshall threshing drum and a Marshall straw pitcher, to process its first crop of corn since 1944.

The process of threshing separates the grains of a crop, such as wheat, from its stalks and husks.

But, before the steam driven machinery revolutionised this process, it would have been done by gangs of men with hand tools.

She added: “To say that I am thrilled with the outcome is an understatement and it’s great to see the Marshall reunited with Roger Coe’s drum and pitcher.”

The three historic machines are set to reunite to being in a harvest by steam power for the first time in more than 70 years at The Strumpshaw Autumn Rally on September 2 and 3 from 9am to 5pm.

For further information about the Strumpshaw Autumn Rally www.strumpshawsteammuseum.co.uk/events.