Cumbria Crack

Six-year Talisman project returns from debut at Shrewsbury Rally for its first showcase in Cumbria

In steam for the first time in Cumbria at Old Hall Farm on weekend of 21st & 22nd September
The Talisman at Old Hall Farm Bouth

It’s been six years in the making and Alex Sharphouse’s project to build a Talisman Fowler B6 Road Locomotive from scratch is now complete and finally got its first day in the spotlight at the Shrewsbury Steam Rally on August Bank Holiday weekend. Now, it has returned to Cumbria for its first day in steam at Old Hall Farm, Bouth this September!

The project, in partnership with Morris Lubricants and to mark their 150th anniversary, has seen Alex and his team including friends, Jack and Roger Dibnah, (sons of the late, great Fred Dibnah) various traditional businesses and craftsman across the country, and a helping hand from Morris brand Ambassador, Guy Martin, work tirelessly to bring the ‘King of the Road’ back to life.

Alex Sharphouse and the Talisman

Alex’s dream back in 2013 was to build a new steam engine form scratch and he set about buying the name John Fowler (Leeds) ltd which was one of a few main companies who built steam engines in the late 1800s through to 1920. They became famous for their steam road locomotives which included the B6 type. Talisman was originally built by John Fowler & Co (Leeds) ltd in 1926 for Norman E Box of Manchester.

Alex then found and bought a full set of Victorian drawings and began the process of building a replica engine. Having started the project, by sheer chance and fortuitous luck Alex discovered the existence of the remains of Talisman which had been in storage since 1970’s. Having purchased these valuable remains the project moved from a new build to a restoration project, incorporating some original pieces from the boiler.

As the Talisman now returns to Old Hall Farm for its very first day in steam, it will also continue to work with Morris Lubricants to promote their business, with selected appearances throughout the country. All the public are welcome to the farm on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd September – a chance for steam enthusiasts to see this magnificent road locomotive in steam for the very first time and admire this huge achievement – the last time one of these engines was built was way back in 1931. Other visiting steam engines will join in on the event for a christening party. Open from 10am to 5pm on both days. Farm entry price applies – Adult £8.25, children ££5.75, (children under 3 free!). Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) £28. Seniors £6.50. 20% discount for local residents with proof of address (within 40 mins drive time).

For more information about Old Hall Farm visit the website Telephone 01229 861993 or visit Facebook @oldhallfarmbouth.

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