Birkenhead Park Festival of Transport  24/25th Sept 2016

A BIRKENHEAD LIONS RUN EVENT      NOW IN ITS 9th YEAR OF RUNNING.                                                       

Exhibitors at 2013 Show Included

For this Years Show we have a wide variety of attractions, displays , live entertainment, stalls and fly pasts from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight a Spifire, Hurricane and the Lancaster Bomber on Sunday operational circumstances permiting. And also on Saturday we have the ear splitting ROAARR of the World Famous Vulcan Bomber, the only one of its type still flying anywhere in the world.

Spitfire and Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial flight.

Lancaster Bomber from the Battle of Britain Memorial flight.

Avro Vulcan Bomber XH558, the last of many, now the only one left flying anywhere in the world.Feel its mighty engines roaarr right through your body.

Thirty one years ago on 30th April 1982 Vulcan XM607 made history by making the Worlds longest Bombing mission. Flying over 8,000 miles from RAF Waddington in England to Asension island in the South Atlantic, and then on to bomb the argentinian invaded Falklands islands airfield at Port Stanley.This caused the argentinian airforce to pull its fast jets back to the safety of their mainland airbases and was the opening shot from the British Task Force in its re taking and Liberation of the Falkland island People from the argentinian invaders.Please watch the you tube clip opposite to see how they did it.This was the only time a Avro Vulcan Bomber went to war for real.

An added attraction we have for you this year to compliment our Fairground rides is a Flight Simulator. So if having watched the Spitfire,Hurricane,Lancaster or Vulcan displays you want to know a little of what it feels like to fly in a fast jet, then take a spin in the Tornado flight simulator. It will be next to the Marque by the Entertainment stage.


Back by popular demand is the H&M dog display team,maybe they could have a go at training my dog? The H&M dog display team was formed in 1984 and has become one of the most popular dog teams in the country. The team is lead by Jean Tyrell who is a member of the British Institute of Professional Dog Trainers and has been with the team since 1989.

They have performed at hundreds of shows ranging from small schools and charity events right through to large shows such as the St Helens Festival, Southport Flower Show and the Glasgow Show.

They have appeared several times on local television and live on Channel 4's Big Breakfast and It's Me Or The Dog. The team have also performed their specialist security routines at the Manchester Military Tatoo.

Their biggest accolade was being invited by the Kennel Club to perform at the world famous Crufts Dog Show, not once but 5 times.

We will also be having a Fun Dog Show in the Arena.

Classes are;

Handsomest Male:

Prettiest Bitch:

Waggiest Tail:

Most adorable Eyes:

Golden Oldie (senior dog):

The Dog the Judge Would Most Like to Take Home (behavour and temperament):

Best in Show (and Reserve) - recal of first and second placed dogs in each class.


Last year we had His Majesty's 22nd Regiment of Foot a Living History group focussing on the life and times of the ordinary British Soldier during the American Revolutionary War 1775-1783. This often overlooked period of British History saw the beginnings of what would later become known as the British Empire and the creation of a new nation, the United States of America. 

Well this year they are back but have changed sides !

We represent Company A, 19th Indiana Volunteer Regiment of the American Civil War (1861-1865). Part of the famous 'Iron Brigade' of the Federal Army of the Potomac, the unit fought at such famous battles as Fredericksburg, Antietam, and Gettysburg.
Wearing authentically reproduced uniforms and equipment of the time, our members also demonstrate how the average soldier of the 'War between the States' (which finally ended not far from Birkenhead with the surrender of the CSS Shenandoah in Liverpool in November 1865!) lived BETWEEN the battles. What he carried, what he ate and how he cooked it!

During the day we will be giving displays around the show site as well as firing our muskets, any one fancy joining up ?


Northern Forties is one of the Largest Groups on the Re-enactment circuit, with its 130 members coming from as far afield as Conway in North Wales, to Harrogate in Yorkshire, Norwich in the East, and Northamptonshire in the Midlands. Most of the events the group attends also fall within the same wide geographical area.
Unlike most other WW2 Re-enactment groups, what Northern Forties' offers is diverse. It has nearly a dozen separate teams offering a wide range of interesting displays. These include RAF pilots (106 and 609 squadrons), American pilots (53rd FS Operations), Luftwaffe fighter pilots (JG26), Luftwaffe Field Division (17 LwFD), Royal Navy, Sherwood Foresters, British Airborne, Kriegsmarine, Russian Medics, Womens Land Army, Civilian Tea Party, German nurses, American 101st, American Engineers, Civilian Period Prams, German Infantry (21st Panzers), Homeguard (and the German equivalent Volksturm), and French Resistance. They are also the only group in the country to feature a unique display of German Luftwaffe bomber crew (KG55).


Picture the scene, an array of brightly coloured race cars with large numbers and traditional sign writing, classic body styles such as Ford Pop’s, Austin’s, Fiat Topolino’s and even a few early Mini’s. Drivers in white overalls stand and chat while mechanics tinker away on immaculate old motors or changing skinny steel wheels. In the distance, the sound of vintage side valve engines being revved to extremes fills the air and echos across the rolling English countryside. All around us, iconic old names such as Castrol, NGK, Ferodo or Tip Top are visible just about everywhere, and there is a definite feeling of nostalgia in the air. So where are we ….  The Goodwood  Revival? Silverstone Classic? or maybe the Oulton Park Gold Cup? Well not quite, this is Northampton Stadium, just one of the many venues to host a meeting of  the Heritage Stock Car Association, a group of enthusiastic classic racers who are doing their bit to preserve an often overlooked branch of British Motor Sport history.


Advertised as the ‘Thrill of the Century’’, Stock Car Racing arrived in Britain in 1954 via an Australian circus promoter named Digger Pugh. Always flamboyant, and a natural showman, Mr Pugh had witnessed similar events in his down under homeland and while on tour in America and then France, where races were held in Paris. Digger suspected that this spectacle would catch on in Britain, and he was correct as Stock Car Racing was literally an overnight success. The first meeting was at New Cross Stadium in London on Good Friday, and from there it soon blossomed into an unprecedented national mania. Within weeks there were over eighty tracks operating all around the country from Plymouth to Glasgow and Liverpool to Newcastle. These were inner city stadiums that would usually host Greyhound racing or Speedway which was a staple diet of entertainment in 1950’s austerity Britain. The sight of these brightly coloured cars crashing and banging into one another under floodlights on an oval dirt track was great fun, and far removed from the elite circuit racing of Goodwood, Brands Hatch  or Aintree. Meetings were held seven nights a week, with many drivers earning a good living from their new found barnstorming life style. In the wake of WW2 there was an abundance of affordable ex forces British and U.S. cars which meant the average ‘man in the street’ could quite easily have a go. Sell out crowds, sponsors and plenty of media interest led to massive financial reward which was considered unthinkable in the post war era. Even good old Pathe’ News filmed a few events that were shown in hundreds of Britain’s 1950’s Picture Palaces. With support from respected motor sports journalists like Peter Arnold or BBC commentators John Bolster and Raymond Baxter (equivalent to the ‘Top Gear’ team of the day), the sport was riding on the crest of a wave. All good things must eventually come to an end however, and with the advent of TV, cinema, coffee bars and other forms of affordable family entertainment, the bubble finally burst after just a few action packed years.

These days Stock Car racing has continued to enjoy and maintain a huge following throughout the intervening six decades, and 2014 actually sees the sports diamond jubilee season. Public awareness and popularity has been boosted recently with the screening of BBC’s ‘Gears & Tears’ docu – soap series which, along with regular satellite TV coverage has brought many fans old and new flooding back to the tracks.                               

Over the years many different forms of stock car have evolved from those early days, and as with most forms of motorsport, oval racing has gradually become a costly hobby. Often confused with Bangers by the general public, stock cars could not be more different; custom built cars, expensive racing engines, adjustable suspension, electronic trackers and competition tyres are all standard fayre in the modern era. Despite these hi tech developments however, the sport has never forgotton it’s roots, and the Heritage Stock Car Association was formed as an exhibition class primarily to show the modern fans how their beloved sport had originated.  The robust nature of contact oval racing has left very few original cars around – when they were finished with they would usually be ‘cannibalised’ for spares with the remainder going off to the scrap man! After some sterling efforts by Heritage founders and ex racers Keith Barber and Roy Clark, several original cars were still in existence, and enough were sourced to put on display at the 1998 World Championships.  Just as it was back in 1954, from this one event there was an instant surge of interest in the sports history and restorations or replica builds were underway in garages throughout the UK.


Today there are in excess of eighty registered drivers and twenty five scheduled events at tracks all over Britain from March to November. The cars are divided into classes that represent three eras of racing; Senior or F1 stock cars are big, heavy, fast and noisy machines with old truck or box section chassis housing large American ‘Flathead’ or V8 engines. This is a wide ranging class with some cars dating back to the formative 1950’s years, alongside other more contemporary machines from the late 80’s. Strict safety measures are in place both on and off the track to ensure that the cars are equally gridded and contact is kept to a minimum. The Junior or ‘F2’ division is a similar concept, but cars are much smaller and lighter, powered almost exclusively by the trusty Ford 100e motor. (That’s the one found under the bonnet of old favourites like the cherished Ford Popular, Prefect or Anglia that your Dad used to drive!). These cars all feature modified steel bodies from production cars, making them recognisable to the layman - hence the origin of the term ’’stock’’ car.


So if you ever see an advertisement for a Heritage Stock Car race, why not go along and have a look? It’s a unique form of British motor sport with close action on the track, and a warm welcome in the pits for everyone from the ardent expert to the casual on looker. Families are always particularly welcome and children are usually allowed a sit in the cars for photos or just a few moments dreaming …. this applies to Mums and Dad’s too! Away from the race track and with the current national craze for all things Retro, the cars often exhibit at other events such as classic car shows, vintage gatherings, nostalgia fairs or steam rallies. Heritage cars have been requested at all sorts of events as diverse as a shop opening, television ad’s, magazine photo shoots, a country house wedding and even a children’s party! The proud owners and race teams are always more than happy to show off their machines, have a chat, sign autographs or just share the memories. Oh, and most importantly …. put plenty of smiles on faces!


For more information please visit: or



New for this year is the award winning Roberts Bakery Brass Band.

The Roberts Bakery Band was formed from Middlewich Town Band after securing sponsorship from the Northwich based company in 1980. The band has worn their sponsor's name with pride ever since and is extremely grateful for their continued support.

The band's love is its concerts and over the years has forged a reputation as one of the most entertaining concert bands in the United Kingdom with a well-balanced repertoire of classical, traditional and 'pop' music. In doing so the band has helped raise thousands of pounds for charities such as Macmillan Cancer Support, The Royal Air Force Association and St. Luke's Hospice.

Over the last decade this reputation has spread overseas and the band has completed tours to Belgium, Malta, the Netherlands and France. The band has also represented Great Britain at the European Blasmusikfestival in Germany on no less than eleven occasions, a wind band festival that sees the band perform to audiences well in excess of six thousand people and appear on national German television.

The band is currently brimming with young talent from across the region, with Championship level and British Open winning experience in key positions.

After an incredible 40 years under the direction of Colin Cranson, a record unheard of in the brass band world, Roberts Bakery Band were delighted to appoint Simon Stonehouse to the position of Musical Director in April 2013.

Contest Record

The Roberts Bakery Band has had considerable success in the contest arena. In 1976 the band become Fourth Section Champions of the North West Area (as Middlewich Town Band), on this occasion led by a famous brass banding name, Rex Mortimer. Four years later the band were Area Champions again, this time in the Second Section. Upon securing the sponsorship of Roberts Bakery, their meteoric rise to the top level of banding under Colin Cranson was well underway.

The greatest honour that the band has had to date was placing 2nd in the prestigious Grand Shield contest in 1982. That day at Belle Vue in Manchester many observers felt that Colin had led the band to a historic victory only for the very last band to play, Brodsworth Colliery, to pip them to the title. 1982 also saw the band compete in the Championship Section for the first time in its history - an amazing feat considering that the band had been languishing in Fourth Section obscurity just six years previously.

Roberts Bakery Band would remain at the top level for a decade, until 1992, but soon bounced back by qualifying for the Second Section National Finals in 1994 and regaining Championship Section status from 1997 to 2000.

In recent years the band were double 'Best Non-Championship Section Band' winners at the Delph Whit Friday Contest in 2006 and 2007, before becoming First Section Champions of the North West Area in 2008. The band went on to spend two rewarding years in the Championship Section, before repeating the feat of winning the First Section at the North West Area in 2011.

City of Chester Brass Band is also New for this Years Show.

Originating back in the early 1850's the band was formed from money left over from a fund established by the 'Ladies of Chester', to buy a present for Queen Victoria. The money was donated to the Blue Coat School Foundation, and so the Blue Coat Band came about. With a likely formation date of 1853, the band celebrated its 150th Birthday in 2003!

Today the band proudly carries the City name and is totally self-supporting as a registered charity, with its own band room in Bedward Row. In 1997, the band was successful in obtaining a Lottery Grant that enabled the purchase of new instruments and widen the public access to the band and brass band music and the formation of our now thriving Training Band. Currently, rehearsals are held on Monday and Wednesday nights from 8:0pm in the band room. Experienced players are always welcome to come and join us for a 'blow'.

2002 saw The City of Chester Band, under the leadership of Derek Mitchell, promoted to the 3rd section in contest banding. Derek retired in 2004, handing the baton over to Philip Mottershead (pictured right). The current contest band now contains several "graduates" from the Training Band. Unfortunately the band dropped back to the 4th section following the 2009 regional competition - but is fighting hard for promotion in 2013. In addition to contesting, both bands have a challenging playing schedule, performing separately and together at a range of functions throughout the year. Village fetes, City parades including St Georges Day, The Lord Mayor's Parade and Remembrance Sunday, weddings, charity events and a host of seasonal celebrations. You can also catch them playing in and around the City centre and of course on The Groves bandstand by the river.

March 2013 saw the band post its most succesful placing in the North West Brass Band Championships by winning the 4th section. This was a fantatstic achievement by the band, due mainly to the excellent reading of the music by our MD, Phil Mottershead. Following the contest Phil 'hung up his baton' to spend more time with Jane, his wife at their holiday home in Cumbria.

As a result of Phil's 'retirement' Malcolm Peach has been appointed as the Band's new Musical Director. As a Music Teacher by profession, Malcolm brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to the band. We are very much looking forwards to working closely with Malcolm over the coming months.

Although no longer known as The Blue Coat Band, the link with the past is maintained through their distinctive blue uniform. The jacket also carries the famous Eastgate Clock, recognisable around the world as a symbol of Chester. A heritage the band is proud to represent, over 150 years after they first made music in Chester!

Band members come from all walks of life, and the age range runs from 8 to 80! Not all have played since childhood; several current senior band players only took up brass playing as adults. Critical to the success of any band is the support from non-playing members and parents. The band is a real family with a regular series of social events.

A brass band comprises 25 players, plus percussionists. When you watch the band play, see if you can spot the following instruments: Soprano Cornet, Repiano Cornet, Solo Cornets, 2nd and 3rd Cornets, Flugel Horn, Tenor Horns, Baritones, Euphoniums, Trombones, Basses!


This Year we will have at our Show Nine Traction Engines, Four Miniture Traction Engines, Three Steam Powered Fairground Organs and Prince the 150 Year Old Steam Locomotive from the Ffestiniog Railway which is open for passenger rides.

Foremost Traction Engine

Foremost has returned to our Show after a four year absence while undergoing a full restoration project. Please click here to go to her own page to read more on her fascinating transformation.

Sentinel Steam Waggon.

Our Sentinel Waggon (always spelt Waggon with a double g) was built in 1924 by Sentinel of Shrewsbury for Hodgsons Brewery of Kingston upon Thames. When new she was a full length waggon on solid tyres, an interesting fact is that she cost £628.00 and the windscreens were an optional extra of £25.00, as were the electric headlights. Hodgsons paid for the lights but not the windscreens, shows how much they thought of the staff! In approximately 1930 she was bought by Simonds Hunt & Montgomery of Liverpool who used her as a waggon around the Liverpool area. We believe they were then bought by Billingtons who are still a family firm run from Liverpool. The waggon was put to work in their subsidiary company of Criddle and co and she was converted to a tractor by Bucanans of Braisnose Street Liverpool in 1933 as were many Sentinels of the time. She remained at work with Criddle until 1963 towing trailers from the docks to there mill on Great Homer Street.Criddle had three Sentinel tractors at this time one is under restoration in stoke on Trent and the other is in the Museum of Liverpool life. Mr John Billington sold the Waggon to the Wedgwood family in 1963 and the driver and fireman went to work that day specially to light her up for the last time and say good bye. In 1965 she was bought from the Wedgwoods by my father, grandfather and Mr N. Harrop. She has remained in our family ever since. She has since been named Maggie May a name thought up by my mum who said like the lady from the famous song she gives pleasure and takes money. We are always pleased to talk to people about Maggie or hear there storys of her or any waggons of Liverpool. Also if anyone has any memorabilia relating to Sentinel waggons from Liverpool and Criddle ones in particular photos, badges, magazine or newspaper articals etc we would love to see it. Some people will maybe remember the Waggon taking part in the 1996? 60th Liverpool Tunnel anniversary run in which we took part towing the museums tractor which was one of the best days we ever had with her.


Prince – a 150 year-old survivor.

Prince is the world’s oldest working Narrow Gauge Steam Locomotive.

George England ran a factory in East London where some of the world's first Narrow Gauge Steam Locomotives were built. The first two of a batch of four were delivered to the Ffestiniog Railway in North Wales in 1863, making it the first public Narrow Gauge Railway in the World to introduce Steam Engines.

This was despite warnings from Railway luminaries such as Robert Stephenson that steam power could never work successfully on a two foot (570mm) gauge railway !

But the Ffestiniog Rsilway proved the ‘experts’ wrong and, perhaps most remarkably, 150 years later, four of the original engines survive, two of them in regular use.

The first four engines were named The Princess, Mountaineer, The Prince and Palmerston and cost £1,000 each. They were followed in 1867 by Welsh Pony and Little Giant, two slightly larger versions of the same design costing £3/10/4d more than their smaller siblings.

One hundred and fifty years later, both Prince and Palmerston are in full working order on the railway for which they were built – another unique claim for the remarkable Ffestiniog Railway. The company has recently announced that a third, Welsh Pony, is also to be restored to steam.

Princess, the first of these great little survivors, has been restored to museum exhibit condition and is currently undertaking a tour of the U.K. and Ireland, having visited Paddington Station in London and Dublin's Heuston Station.