One of the lesser known parts of Hollycombe is its Listed Woodland Gardens. These are located below the Fairground and provide a quiet place for visitors to walk and enjoy a bit of tranquility away from the buzz and excitement of the Steam Fair. The next couple of weeks are the best time to see the Gardens as the Azaleas and Rhododendrons are in bloom and the numerous trees still show the colours of their young leaves before the fulll summer sets in. At the opposite end of the grounds, the 400 yard long Azalea Walk is alight with colour and smells as the hundreds of Azalea Mollis Hybrids are in flower. Hurry, though, as the flowers don't last very long!
The sun shone on the weekend of 12th & 13th May – the first time in many weeks! – for the annual 'Steam in Miniature' gathering at Hollycombe. Only open to the public on the Sunday, the day included a line up of many of the engines outside Hollycombe's visitor centre, and close to the Allen ploughing engine which was on display ot the public for the first time since being repainted. All Hollycombe's road engines were in steam as well, making this a truly 'steamy weekend'. A gathering of classic Riley cars added to the attractions on the Sunday.
Tuesday 8th May saw the unique 1913-built John Allen & Sons (Oxford) Ltd Ploughing Engine No. 67 emerge from Hollycombe's paint shop for a successful steam test after a complete repaint by Trustee Richard Hooker and team over the past few months.
Allens were originally agents for the major ploughing engine manufacturer John Fowler of Leeds, but later modified Fowler engines and built a few of their own. This engine is the only survivor of the make.
Latest news is that the new centre pole for the Razzle Dazzle will soon be back at Hollycombe and the process of installation and then building up the ride can begin.
We are really looking forward to having the ride back after 18 months out of service and with luck it will be up and running during June. However, this will depend on a lot of hard work by our engineers and volunteers. Fancy joining us? We always need new volunteers and this could be a great way to start!