Anderton & Rowlands
Scammell Showtracs

Dragon and Gladiator Paignton 2000 
(photo by Arthur Dyke click on his name to visit his carnival web site)
The Scammell Showtrac is one of the few vehicles ever built new for showmen and in any great quantity.  Between 1946 and 1948 a total of 18 were built to differing levels of finish.  Though there are many look-a-likes the showtrac is the only one with the showtrac badge on the front and a wider cab which is how you can tell an original from a self build.  The showtrac could be supplied with rear body, winch and dynamo with the ballast block underneath.

Anderton & Rowlands purchased no less than four of these vehicles over the years between 1946 - 1948.  It is said that George DeVey parked one of the new showtracs in Edwards yard at Swindon, and overnight and the Edwards family spent the night measuring and detailing all the fittings and produced their own self built showtrac examples themselves.

Today of the four A&R showtracs all four still survive, three are still owned by the firm and one still works the gaffs today.

GLADIATOR : In August 1946 A&R took posession of their first showtrac.  It is fitting that as the first, and therefore oldest A&R showtrac that it still works the grounds in Devon and Cornwall with George DeVeys No.2 section.  Gladiator was showtrac number 11 from the Scammell fleet, and has a registration plate number of DCO212 and an A&R fleet number of 4. 

When purchased she worked with the Autodrome and moved onto the number two section dodgems later on.  Probably one of the most famous showmens haulage photo's is of Gladiator pulling the two trucks that carried the cars and other parts of the No.2 dodgem.

 (Photo by Paul "Doughnut" Andrew).

In 1981 the No.2 dodgem loads moved onto a purpose built 8 wheeler and the original car truck.  The ERF 8 wheeler "Arkroyal" was bulit in the yard at Bristol by John Allen and I can say I was part of that  creation as I lived in the yard that winter and helped John when he needed a "goffa". 

The showtrac then moved onto to pull the newly aquired skyrider that Simon and George DeVey purchased from Codonas.  Here she is navigating a tight gate with the trooper load, Simon like me had just turned 18 in that year.(Photo by Paul "Doughnut" Andrew).

Later when the Skyrider was pulled by an ERF arctic unit the showtrac would be seen pulling Simon DeVEy's living wagon with Kelvin James trailer on the back.  It was this load that had a runaway on the way to Braunton (i think) and the load decended a hill very fast when the the brakes failed. 

It drove straight over the roundabout at the bottom of the hill and started to climb the hill opposite until the momentum stopped and it started to roll backwards.  The load snaked backwards and Kelvins trailer acted as the brake as it hit the wall and the load came to a standstill. (Photo by Paul "Doughnut" Andrew).

Roger Austin took the scammell and gave it a complete overhaul however she has retired and can be seen at Dingles Steam Museum.

Gladiator at Dingles 2003.

Gladiator at TORQUAY 2004.

DRAGON : Later in August 1946 the sister to Gladiator arrived.  Dragon joined the No.1 section and began work with Nelson DeVey on the Orton and Spooner Ark.  She was number 12 of the 18 showtracs and had a registration plate number of DCO265 and fleet number of 5.

(photo by Arthur Dyke click on his name to visit his carnival web site)

Like Gladiator she was a full spec showtrac with winch and generator.  She worked with the Ark loads for many years until the Ark was put onto an 8 wheeler Atkinson around 1974 and the centre was put on an extended 4 wheel truck.

Over the years she appeared in many colours

Dragon crossing the top of Telegraph hill 1981

Dragon became a familiar site pulling the plant truck followed by Nelson DeVey's wagon and the juvenile train on the back.  In the winter of 1979/80 the showtrac had its body work refurbished and travelled the 1980 season with no paintwork on her.  In the winter of 80/81 she was decorated in the classic deep maroon and lettered in gold leaf .

The advent of Colin DeVey marrying Vicky Symonds in the winter of 81/82 meant that Colin had to tow two living wagons and the showtrac was retired to be replaced by the 6 wheel ERF tractor "Lord Nelson".  I never drove the scammell on but I did drive "Lord Nelson" many times with one and two wagons on the back.  It was a lovely lorry to drive, the gears would just fall into place.

Dragon is still owned by Colin DeVey but is stored at Dingles Steam Museum she can often be seen at Paignton Regatta where she joins Gladiator beside the Organ on the green.

Dragon standing back to back with Gladiator at Dingles Steam Museum 2003

 Dragon standing on show at Torquay 2004

JOHN BULL : In September 1947 A&R took deliver of their third showtrac which went to work with the No.1 section dodgems of Ernie DeVey.  John Bull was the 16th showtrac built by Scammell and had a registration plate number of JYA962 and a fleet number of 6.

(John Bull towing the No1. Dodgem loads c.70's photo by Richard Adams)

John Bull did not have a winch but did have the generator in the back.  She worked until the mid 80's with the number one section dodgems.  As she has never been refitted she is probably the most original in terms of original body work.

John Bull would often be seen pulling the huge heavy car truck of the number one section dodgems (here at Tiverton 83).  The car truck was retired when Ernie DeVey jr had a purpose built body put on an 8 wheeler ERF in the 80's.  The car truck is still in the yard in Bristol today.  In 2002 John Bull was rescued from the undergrowth at the yard in Bristol and will hopefully get refurbished and will one day join Gladiator and Dragon.

 John Bull generating at Bridgewater next to the Ark 1981 (Photo M Smith)


John Bull at Dingles 2007

THE SHOWMAN : In July 1948 A&R took deliver of their fourth showtrac it was the 17th showtrac built with a registration number of JFJ367 and fleet number 7.  The showman was sold to Deakins and later into presevation.  She is fully preserved and back in full A&R colours.

Scammell "The Showman" now in preservation.

THE LION : Although not a true showtrac I thought I would include some pictures of Scammell JHA736.  This Scammell was given to Colin DeVey for his 21st Birthday present. 

Scammell Lion with Dragon at Exeter on the Quay in the early 70'.  The fuel tank states that it is owned by C DeVey.

The Scammell travelled with the disco ark until the mid 70's when the Ark was moved onto an Eight Wheeler and enlarged centre truck.  The Scammell was sold to Bob Phipps who at that time travelled an Octopus.  Bob did a complete rebuild of the Scammell during his ownership.

Scammell Lion during rebuild stages.

With the advent of cheap ERF's in the mid 80's the Scammell went into preservation and can still be seen at rallies and shows.  In 1990 the Scammell returned to the regattas for a celebration pull on to Paignton Green.

Scammell Lion pulling Simon DeVeys arcade waiting to leave the car park at Goodrington
DEMETRIUS : Although not a showtrac but a highwayman I thought I would include some pictures of Scammell Demetrius 786UVK.  This Scammell belonged to George DeVey and worked with the number 2 dodgems.  She always carried the huge concrete balast block on her back. She was retired in 1981 when George put all the track on to the 8 wheeler ERF "ArkRoyal".
Scammell DEMETRIUS at Barnstable

Scammell DEMETRIUS at Budleigh 1983
Scammell DEMETRIUS at Torquay 2004 (now in preservation)

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