At the declaration of war in 1939, some
showmen's engines were standing idle in the showmen's yards, with
only about 80 still in service on the fairgrounds.
Scrap dealers were eagerly targeting showmen, so the end for many
engines was to be cut, then melted down to provide recycled metals
for the War effort. When the 'Phoney War' ended in 1940 and the real
hostilities began, the showmen's engines were suddenly in the
spotlight as Government requests went out for them to help with war
This book records those families who parted with their engines to
aid the work of 'National Importance' and help Britain in its hour
of need. So, when you see an engine that has survived the work of
building airfields, threshing, timber haulage and demolition,
remember, from giving pleasure for pennies on the fairground, they
went on to help preserve something that is priceless: our freedom.