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13 November 2014
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You are in: South Today > Freddie's > The Steam Machines

Richard Knott

Richard Knott

The Steam Machines

Richard Knott is a collector extraordinaire. Not satisfied with just the usual toy or three, he's built an entire railway network in his garden in Poole. With steam engines galore and diesel electrics there's no end of fun for Richard and his chums.

But it doesn't stop there. Richard has a steam car, a copy of a 1905 Locomobile, one of the earliest steam cars from America. And it goes like a rocket. Richard says his love affair with steam began with a steam loco his father gave him when he was 12, and it's been steam ever since.

All Steamed Up

Gracing the grounds of his delightful house in Poole are all of these plus a one-third-size showman's Foden steam lorry, a one-third-sized traction engine, a magical organ, and a 26 foot Edwardian steam yacht, The Lady Constance.

The only steam machine he hasn't got is an aeroplane.

Richard's traction engine

Richard's traction engine

"It's when you light the fire and you know what's going to happen that I find so exciting" he says.

I had a Grand Day Out with Richard and his best chum Ron Challener, a steam engineer. Ron has built many of the machines and delights in watching the way the parts all work in harmony.

Ron Challener

Ron sets up the engines on the track

Believe it or not, Richard's wife Connie is a keen supporter of his activities. She says they tell her "It's only boys who play trains. Grown ups operate them!"

Funnily enough Richard and Ron met when they were involved in power boating.

Of course many of these machines are outdoor pursuits.  But it's what they have indoors that will take your breath away… 

You can have your say on this or any of my other films.  Just click on the link below.

last updated: 23/04/2009 at 13:43
created: 22/04/2009

You are in: South Today > Freddie's > The Steam Machines

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