The Birkenhead Festival of Transport took place over the weekend of 22 and 23 September in Birkenhead Park. I went along to see what was happening on Saturday which was a bright and sunny day for a change.
The highlight for transport enthusiasts is probably the collection of steam engines. Some are working engines used in farming or industry for hauling large loads but quite a few are ‘showman’s tractors’. These steam engines were used to erect, dismantle and generate electricity for fairground rides early in the last century.
The Blaenau Festiniog Mountain Railway had a temporary track laid in the park and a steam engine pulled two carriages full of passengers.
Whilst the festival principally celebrates transport throughout the ages it is also designed as a family fun day with many more attractions.
In keeping with the original use of the vintage steam engines as showman’s tractors there were a range of classic funfair attractions which were popular with many of the visitors to the event.
There were other working vintage vehicles such as a couple of fire engines from the City of Chester from the 1950s.
There was also a selection of classic and vintage cars from various periods from the last century.
The Wirral Model Boat Club had some of their boats out on the lower lake in the Park.
On both days there were two encampments within the park recreating two distinctive historic periods. The first was a recreation of a Viking Village with demonstartions of how the Vikings cooked, made their clothes and managed their households.
The second historic recreation was from His Majesty’s 22nd Regiment of Foot. The regiment are a living history group focussing on the life and times of the ordinary British Soldier during the American Revolutionary War 1775-1783. The group represent a Section of the Colonel’s Company of the 22nd Regiment of Foot as it would have appeared in the year 1776. At that time the 22nd Foot was garrisoned in New York which was apparently a loyalist city strongly opposed to independence from Great Britain. I was too late to see the regiment firing their muskets but got some photographs of them in their camp.
And a favourite with the younger children was the donkey rides. I caught the donkey’s at the end of the day waiting patiently ready to go back to their stables.
The event was anticipated to attract around 40,000 visitors over the two days.