Unknown Visitors . . . . To Great Friends

By Staff
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Photos this page show Ekdahl's engine shed
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The Smith's Bamford engines-2 HP
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The Smith's Bamford engines 2 HP
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John and Joan Dupre's Rumely OilPull.

Hill 45 Mooreland Avenue

Leominster, Massachusetts 01453. How often do you place an ad in
Gas Engine Magazine selling back issues and get a telephone call
from England???

Well I did, but they didn’t want to buy back issues. Being
from Leominster, England, they wanted to come to Leominster,
Massachusetts to see the area and engines. Our answer-‘Great,
come on over!’ That’s how a week visit with Carol and
Arthur Smith of Leominster, England and Dana and Diane Hill of
Leominster, Massachusetts started.

Now where do you take engine people to see engines when the show
season has not yet started ? Well, first we started with our own
collection, which took them on a tour of our house, cellar, garage
and backyard. Then early on Saturday morning we started out for New
Hampshire. Our first stop was to see maple syrup being boiled in
Mason, New Hampshire at Parker’s Maple Sugar House. Next, it
was on to Manchester, New Hampshire for a visit with Carlton, Elroy
and Louis Ekdahl where for over three hours a grand tour of their
engine shed and workshop was given. Here the Smiths had an
opportunity to see everything from a player piano, to gas engines,
to steam engines, to a model T Ford. Oh yes, even a collection of
blowtorches, which Arthur also collects. Learning of his
collection, Carlton handed one of the torches to Arthur and said,
‘Here, take this back to England with you.’ I would like to
have seen him trying to explain what it was to the airport
security!

After our visit with the Ekdahls, we bid farewell and proceeded
north to Boscowan, New Hampshire. Here we attended the Granite
State Gas and Steam Engine Association’s annual meeting and
banquet. Much to their surprise, our English friends were invited
by Bruce Townsend to sit at the head table. After the meeting and
supper, movies and slides of past shows were shown. With the
conclusion of a very nice day at hand, all of us, guests and some
friends started home. But wait-we learned that they didn’t have
Dunkin’ Donuts in England, and they couldn’t go back to
England without visiting such a fine establishment! So we, the
Smiths, and three other vehicles with engine people made a side
trip into Concord, New Hampshire to a Dunkin’ Donuts Shop. At
10:00 p.m. with video camera in hand, all 11 of us paid Dunkin’
Donuts a visit for coffee and what else… a donut. Now Dunkin’
Donuts will be in England, if only on video.

The next day started out with a trip to Lunenburg, Massachusetts
for a visit with John and Joan Dupre to see their tractors. When we
pulled into their yard, John was out front with his Oil Pull
tractor. The first words out of his mouth to our English friends
were, ‘Get on it and drive it.’ Talk about a kid in a candy
store! Arthur could not believe what he was hearing. After driving
the Oil Pull, we went out back to John’s barn, and there stood,
running, a restored Massey Harris 4-wheel drive, a John Deere, an
English Fordson and a McCormick Deering. The second words out of
John’s mouth, ‘Take your pick and have fun. . .’ With
that invitation, we each took one for a ride around John’s back
lot and field. Needless to say, a fun afternoon was had.

After we bid John and Joan a farewell, we were on our way again.
Our next stop was Louise Eisner’s in Leominster to show Arthur
and Carol the collection of model engines made by her late husband,
Brad Eisner.

While the Smiths were here in Leominster, they also visited the
Historical Society, Leominster City Hall (where they had a visit
with the Mayor), and the fire station, where they were given pins
and patches. Oh yes, Carol and Arthur also got roped into being
guests at our daughter Aliceson’s fourth grade class at Johnny
Appleseed School.

After five days of great friendship, the Smiths headed back to
Leominster, England with a suitcase full of New England engine show
plaques, buttons and other memorabilia, and of course, a blowtorch.
The Smiths’ collection of engines in England include a 2? HP
Bamford, 2 HP Bamford (restored by Carol herself), a 6 HP Ruston
and Hornsby, 2 HP Domestic, ? HP Waterloo Boy and a Perkins
model.

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Preserving the History of Internal Combustion Engines