The Society was formed on 27th February 1956 by a few stalwart steam enthusiasts which has grown over the years into one of the largest preservation societies in the country. Its first steam rally was in 1957 (in conjunction with the National Traction Engine Club) at Woburn Park where it was very well attended by engines from all over Bedfordshire and surrounding counties.
Since those early days, the Society's annual rally's have grown considerably as has interest in the steam preservation movement. Over the years the Society has since expanded its activities to accommodate for today's changing steam engine movement and actively participates in encouraging interest in steam preservation through, for example, steam apprentice activities and road run gatherings. The main event of the year is still the Society's rally in the grounds of Shuttleworth House, Old Warden in Bedfordshire during September each year.
Many of our members are owners of steam engines of varying sorts, some of which have been rebuilt from a derelict state and all of which require some degree of maintenance and repair. Read about some of these projects in our Member Activities pages.
To commemorate our 50th anniversary, the Society commissioned Roger Newbury to film the various celebratory events we held throughout 2006. The above video clip is an extract of the final production.
In 2006 we celebrated our 50th Anniversary with a series of commemorative events, starting with a Birthday Party attended by over 400 members and friends. This was followed by a very successful Steam Apprentice driving weekend in April, where over 100 children learnt how to safely drive and maintain steam engines, even cooking their own breakfasts on shovels. Midsummer brought a new event, a Village Day in Blunham joining the community for a fun family day out and incorporating a road run to the village of Tempsford. The Annual Bedfordshire Steam & Country Fayre, held over 3 days was the Society’s biggest ever event. The “Made in Bedfordshire” display gathered together a diverse variety of exhibits from Steam Engines to Classic Cars, Horse Drawn Ploughs to the World’s Oldest Tractor.
Meet the BSEPS Committee
John Saunders President
John Saunders - President John has been involved with the Society for many years, being Vice Chairman from 1991and becoming Chairman in 1996 until 2004. With his brother Ted and Mum Hilary they own the Saunders Collection that includes many engines and fairground rides. The collection is exhibited all over the country and abroad with an old time stage show.
Dave Roberts Chairman & Safety Officer
Dave Roberts - Chairman & Safety Officer Interested in steam from a young age, Dave joined the Committee in 2001. He has co organised the Annual Road Run since 2001. Dave will be known for being involved with the Saunders Collection Burrell's "Ex-Mayor" and "Lord Kitchener", and his service as Editor of the East Anglian Traction Engine Society's magazine "Steam Preservation". Dave is currently restoring a 1900's F.J.Thomas Living Wagon and looking after the sole surviving Sentinel S8 owned by Richard Hazell. In 2010 Dave purchased his own Sentinel, an S4 waggon which will be rallied throughout the UK. In 2011 Dave became Chairman for the Society.
Michael Watts Vice-Chairman
Michael Watts - Committe Member Michael joined the Committee in 1983 and became Vice Chairman in 2004. He owns Marshall Traction Engine "Punch" and a two sets of threshing tackle, which are displayed at events around the area, the biggest display being at our rally in September. Michael co-organises the talks at meetings and contributes to the Bedfordshire Notes in the NTET's magazine "Steaming". Michael organised the Annual Road Run in the mid 1990's.
Lin Worbey Hon. Secretary
Lin Worbey - Honorary Secretary Lin became involved with the Society back in 1977 taking the position of Secretary. Lin is very involved with the Annual rally and Steam Apprentice Weekend and organises the popular Annual Dinner and Dance in November. Lin works as a Special Needs Teacher in an Infant School.
Paul Worbey Rally Organiser
Paul Worbey - Rally Organiser Paul joined the Committee back in 1977 and took over as rally organiser in 1981 from Fred Harris. Paul is also very involved with the running of the Society's Steam Apprentice weekend and runs other events throughout the year away from the Society. Paul and family own two 6" Scale Miniatures - a Burrell Devonshire Engine and a Foden Wagon, is custodian Marshall No. 76751 and is currently rebuilding the sole surviving 3 Ton Garrett Overtype wagon, No. 30826. In the past Paul has been on the Committee and Vice Chairman of Friends of the Charles Burrell Museum, and a Committee Member of the Hertfordshire Steam Engine Preservation Society.Paul has served as a Vice Chairman of the NTET and Chairman of their Rally Organisers Committee.
Mark Worbey Magazine Editor & Archivist
Mark Worbey - Magazine Editor and Archivist Mark has been involved with the Society behind the scenes for many years involved with much of the rally paperwork. He has collated the rally Programme since 1995 and has been the Editor of the Newsletter since the start of a regular publication in 1999. From 2001 onwards he has co organised the Annual Road Run. Mark owns a 1950 Ferguson TEA 20 tractor and is currently restoring a Garrett Steam Wagon Trailer of 1928.joined the committee in 2005 and became the Society's first Archivist in 2006.
Matt Moore Rally Publicity Officer
Matt Moore - Rally Publicity Officer Matt has been involved with steam since a young age and has helped on several engines over the years. He joined the committee in 2006, wanting to become more involved with the events organised by the society and give something back from his enjoyment. He works for a local haulage business.
Nick Allen Membership Secretary
Nick Allen - Membership Secretary Nick attended his first steam rally when he was 8 years old and has been fascinated by steam ever since. In 1983 he fulfilled an ambition to own an engine a 1920 Aveling & Porter Steam roller. Nick has been actively involved with a number of local rallies over the years and he is currently completing an extensive overhaul of his roller. He recently retired after 32 years as a Police Officer. Nick joined the Committee in 2008.
Tom Allen Committee Member
Tom Allen Committee Member
Mark Bray - Committee Member
Sandra Bray Committee Member
Sandra Bray - Committee Member Sandra has been involved in rallying steam engines for the last 18 years. Previously restoring a roller living van, the current project is the restoration of a Fowler D2 Roller that was rallied up to 2000. Rallying at present with a Sentinel steam wagon 4.5in model. Sandra has also in the past owned and rallied a Fowler Showmans engine and has attended the BSEPS rallies since joining the steam scene. One highlight being that she got married from the rally at Shuttleworth in 1997. She joined the Committee in 2011.
Matt Cain Committee Member
Matt Cain - Committee Member Having attended Steam engine rallies from a young age as Sunday family outings, mainly the BSEPS Rally at Roxton Park and The WESES rally in Cornwall Matt has always been fascinated and entranced by engines. His desire to become more involved lead Matt to other events run by BSEPS, including the monthly social meetings. He purchased his first engine, a 3” Burrell in 2006 and spent the next 5 years learning the ups and downs of engine owning. Matt now owns a 4” Garrett agricultural engine, one of a pair built, the other now in the ownership of his brother. With a growing family getting involved as apprentices and his enjoyment of the hobby, Matt approached the committee in 2011 to help out and joined in 2012.
Peter Charles Committee Member
Peter Charles - Committee Member Peter has been involved with Steam for many years and can usually be found driving the low loaders and looking after Garrett Showman's "Little Billy". Peter joined the committee in 2005.
Nicky Moore Committee Member
Nicky Moore - Committee Member Nicky has been a member for many years, joining the committee in 2005. Her other interests include vintage fairground rides and equipment. She can usually be found in the booking in office at the Annual Rally each September. Nicky has also served on the Committee of the Friends of the Charles Burrell Museum and works as a Day Nursery Manager.
Graham Morrow Committee Member
Graham Morrow - Committee Member My interest in all things farming comes from my grandfather, who had two farms, one in Letchworth and one in Rushden. My earliest memory of steam was being taken to a Roxon rally at the age of about 8. I have had two tractors, a small 3-wheeled Gunsmith and a Fordson Super Major. I joined the Club in 2003 and have enjoyed helping set up the rally over the last few years, and wanted to become more involved with the Club, so I became a Committee Member in 2010. I have also helped on various engines over the past years. My son Edward shares my interest in steam and became a Steam Apprentice at the age of 5.
Alec Parrish Committee Member
Alec Parrish – Committee Member Alec has been indirectly involved with the Society since 1972, joining as a member in 2003 and becoming a Committee member in 2005. Alec’s family own two of the seven remaining Fowell Traction engines that were built in nearby St. Ives, around the turn of the last century. Alec exhibits a Fowler Challenger Crawler, which he bought back into the family. It was bought new by his Grandfather in 1959.
Phil Piggott Committee Member
Phil Piggott - Committee Member Phil has been involved with steam for many years through his sons and their engines and can regularly be seen helping out or steering. He has been a committee member for many years now.
Chris Pumfrey Committee Member
Chris Pumfrey - Committee Member Chris has grown up with steam, his family having worked engines commercially for threshing and other farm duties. They still own Ruston Proctor "Success" which has been with the family since new and is rallied regularly. Chris enjoys helping with the family's engine, and member Keith Honour's Burrell Showman's "Margaret". He also has an interest in vintage tractors. Chris is involved with the Haddenham Steam rally and is on the Committee of the East Anglian Traction Engine Society. He is a farm worker by trade. Chris joined the Committee in 2006.
Peter Wheeler Committee Member
Peter Wheeler - Committee Member Peter has been a member of the Society for many years, joining the Committee in 2006. His interest started as a child with anything mechanical and vintage! Pete has a collection of vintage tractors, crawlers and threshing machinery that he has rallied since the 1970's and his current project is a 1941 Ruston Bucyrus 10RB Dragline. Peter enjoys ploughing with his tractors when he's not threshing and his son Mark is also very involved with the hobby. Peter is a 100% believer that the machines were restore were built to work and not just look pretty.
Old Warden Park 14th, 15th& 16th Sept 2012 PW Steam Wagon Spectacular
Old Warden Park 16th, 17th& 17th Sept 2011 PW Special theme the 1963 film "The Iron Maiden"
Old Warden Park 18th & 19th Sept 2010 PW
Old Warden Park 19th & 20th Sept 2009 PW Special Display of Crane Engines
Old Warden Park 13th & 14th Sept 2008 PW
Old Warden Park 15th & 16th Sept 2007 PW Fowell & Co. Reunion
Old Warden Park 15th 16th & 17th Sept 2006 PW 50th Anniversary, Made in Bedfordshire
Old Warden Park 17th & 18th Sept 2005 PW Former John Crawley Engines
Old Warden Park 18th & 19th Sept 2004 PW
Old Warden Park 14th & 15th Sept 2002 PW
Old Warden Park 13th & 14th Sept 2003 PW 6" Scale Miniature, Spectacular
Old Warden Park 15th & 16th Sept 2001 PW Steam Fire Engine Spectacular
Old Warden Park 16th & 17th Sept 2000 PW Clayton & Shuttleworth Millennium Special
Old Warden Park 18th & 19th Sept 1999 PW
Old Warden Park 19th & 20th Sept 1998 PW
Old Warden Park 13th & 14th Sept 1997 PW
Old Warden Park 14th & 15th Sept 1996 PW
Shefford 16th & 17th Sept 1995 PW
Wren Park 17th & 18th Sept 1994 PW
Roxton Park 18th & 19th Sept 1993 PW
Roxton Park 19th & 20th Sept 1992 PW
Roxton Park 14th & 15th Sept 1991 PW
Roxton Park 15th & 16th Sept 1990 PW
Roxton Park 16th & 17th Sept 1989 PW
Roxton Park 17th & 18th Sept 1988 PW
Roxton Park 19th & 20th Sept 1987 PW
Roxton Park 13th & 14th Sept 1986 PW
Roxton Park 14th & 15th Sept 1985 PW
Roxton Park 15th & 16th Sept 1984 PW
Roxton Park 17th & 18th Sept 1983 PW
Roxton Park 18th & 19th Sept 1982 PW
Roxton Park 19th & 20th Sept 1981 PW
Roxton Park 13th & 14th Sept 1980 FH
Roxton Park 15th & 16th Sept 1979 FH
Roxton Park 16th & 17th Sept 1978 FH
Roxton Park 17th & 18th Sept 1977 FH
Roxton Park 18th & 19th Sept 1976 CP
Roxton Park 13th & 14th Sept 1975 CN
Roxton Park 14th & 15th Sept 1974 CN
Roxton Park 15th & 16th Sept 1973 CN
Roxton Park 16th & 17th Sept 1972 CN
Roxton Park 18th & 19th Sept 1971 CN
Roxton Park 19th & 20th Sept 1970 CN
Roxton Park 20th & 21st Sept 1969 CN
Houghton Conquest 21st &22nd Sept 1968 CN
Woburn Park 6th & 7th May 1967 JC
Woburn Park 30th & 31st July 1966 JC
Woburn Park 31st July & 1st August 1965 JC
Woburn Park 1st & 2nd August 1964 JC
**Bletsoe 3rd & 4th August 1963 JC
No Rally in 1962 as Filming of "Iron Maiden" in July
Woburn Park 5th & 6th August 1961 JC
Woburn Park 6th & 7th August 1960 JC
No Rally in 1959
Woburn Park Monday 4th August 1958 JC
*Woburn Park Monday 5th August 1957 JC
*Organised by the National Traction Engine Club in conjunction with BSEPS
**Organised by BSEPS and the Bedfordshire Agricultural Society
JC John Crawley organised 9 events
CN Cyril Norman organised 8 events
CP Celia Pentlow organised 1 event
FH Fred Harris organised 4 events
PW Paul Worbey has organised 32 events
All with the assistance of ever changing rally committees and their commitment.