Goring man’s vintage traction engine

Michael with the engine, accompanied by a band outside the Sussex Hotel
Michael with the engine, accompanied by a band outside the Sussex Hotel

It was a lifelong interest in historic vehicles that led a Goring man to seize upon the “once-in-a-lifetime” chance to buy his own traction engine.

Michael Webber, of Brooklyn Avenue, has been interested in restoring old vehicles since he was 14.

So when he got the chance to buy his own traction engine, he seized upon the moment to have his own piece of history.

The 1920s engine had not been driven since the early 1950s, at which time it was used for haulage duties by Henry Lillywhite, who owned the Manor Road Garage in East Preston.

Since buying the vehicle, which can be worth as much as a house, historic vehicles expert Michael has been renovating it to return it back to its former glory.

The 54-year-old said: “When the chance came up to buy it, I realised it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“Since then, I’ve been renovating it. On the whole, the engine is in extremely good condition with little more than adjustments and routine jobs to keep it going.”

The full story appears in this week’s Worthing and Lancing Heralds, out from Thursday, November 1.