South Walsham Guides at Strumpshaw


Brass polish and elbow grease were on the kit list when 1st South Walsham Guides helped Strumpshaw Steam Museum prepare for its annual rally.

The museum’s pride and joy exhibit, the 95-year-old steam engine Princess Royal, had been out of action for 18 months but after a complete overhaul and boiler test, she was back to tip-top condition in time for the annual steam rally at the end of May.

The Guides, who camped in the grounds of the museum, rolled up their sleeves to put the finishing touches to the fine old engine – cleaning and polishing her brass fittings. They also helped to clean the museum itself and polished brass railings in the exhibition hall.

“I think getting ready for the rally is really fun,” said Eva, aged 10, from South Walsham. “You get to polish everything and see how the steam engines worked.”

Ella, who is 12 and from Upton, thought lending a hand was “cool”. “We got to clean stuff that nobody else is allowed to touch.”

As a special reward for all their hard work the Guides were given several goes on the Noah’s Ark – a 1930s fairground ride, which is a bit like a waltzer. There was a trip on the museum’s narrow gauge railway too.

“We had a wonderful camp at Strumpshaw,” said unit leader Chris Bond. “We’re really grateful to the owners and volunteers who run the museum – they couldn’t have been more welcoming. It just shows that a tin of metal polish and a roll of cleaning cloth can make for great entertainment – even in the 21st century!”






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