Mary Webb Anniversary

Our 2017 Rally will feature a joint exhibition with the Mary Webb Society, about the Shropshire poet and authoress, Mary Webb. Not just to commemorate the 90th anniversary of her death, but also the centenary of the publication of her book: Gone to Earth.

Foster Engine 'Matilda'
Photo of Matilda by Malcolm Ranieri

We love all things about the heritage of our wonderful county here in Shropshire, and if it’s got any kind of link with steam in any way what so ever then so much the better. So it’s great that when Mary Webb’s ‘Gone to Earth’ was later made in to a film it featured a Foster steam traction engine named Matilda. The engine was originally owned by Shaws of Farley, and currently owned by Richard Wilcox.

Scenes from the 1950 film, which was set in 1897, included various locations around south Shropshire. Many locals were included as extras too, some even having speaking parts. One scene in particular showed the traction engine taking the actress Jennifer Jones to a “Shropshire County Fair” set at Eyton Races.

If anyone can help with any information about Mary Webb or the film and the use of Matilda, then please make contact with our Society Archivist, Mike Llewellyn via our Enquiries Page. Also, if people would like to dress up in period costume then that would be truly fantastic.

1986 Sentinel Road Run

We’ve also unearthed some 30 year old footage of the 1986 Sentinel run from the Shrewsbury Sentinel Works back to Bishop’s Castle, the rally venue at the time. This is raw camera footage with original sound most of which has never been seen before.

DVDs Will Be On Sale

Also on sale will be the 100th Sentinel Anniversary DVD that has just been released in time for the rally, as well as DVDs of the “Gone to Earth” film. There will be a separate marquee next to the Society tent to show extracts of the DVDs including “Gone to Earth”, presented by Flicks in the Sticks.