All the steam engines in Victoria’s Torton Tales are based on real life traction engines, especially Victoria herself. The stories are written by Wendy Wakelin, who, with her husband Lloyd, own the real Victoria, who was bought, brand new, by Lloyd’s great, great Grandfather, Mr. Seward, back in 1886.
The real Victoria now spends her summers going to fetes and steam rally events where she likes nothing more than meeting boys and girls who want to know more about steam engines.
Wendy Wakelin grew up in the small market town of Petersfield in Hampshire, England. From a very early age, actually, from about 6 weeks old, Wendy started going to Steam and Vintage shows and rallies across the South of England. Her father, David Rose, had a collection of old British Motorcycles and Petrol and Paraffin stationary engines which the family would exhibit at the shows and rallies. She has always been surrounded by old machinery.
It was at these events that Wendy saw and admired the steam Traction Engines on display and as she grew up she always thought how wonderful it would be to own a Traction Engine!
Fast forward to her mid teens and the beginning of her relationship with her now husband, Lloyd Wakelin. Lloyd’s family, on his mother’s side, were well known to Wendy’s parents as the family who used to own the steam engines in Petersfield. It was Lloyd’s great, great grandfather, Walter Seward, who had started a Threshing and Haulage business back in 1886 with the purchase of a Marshall Agricultural Traction Engine. At its peak the business had 13 engines. The business finally shutdown in 1970 with the passing of Walter’s son James, and the last three remaining Traction Engines and the Victorian Workshop were sold off.
In 1996 Wendy and Lloyd met the original engine Walter Seward bought back in 1886 to start his business. The engine was called “Victoria, Empress of India”. They stayed in contact with the owners, Peter and Shirley Fagg, and would try to attend the same shows a few times a year and have the chance to go on “Victoria”.
Then in 2002 “Victoria” was for sale and Wendy and Lloyd decided they wanted her back in the family once more, so an offer was made and the purchase completed. It was now that Wendy’s two sons, Jack and Harry were smitten by the steam engine bug. A bit like Wendy, they were both fairly young when they were introduced to the world of steam shows and rallies, and they loved the freedom.
It was a few months after buying “Victoria” that Wendy wrote the first two stories about the engine and these were regularly read to Jack and Harry, who thoroughly enjoyed them.
The years passed, the boys grew up and the stories got put in a box in a cupboard. Then late in 2015, Lloyd happened upon the stories and it was decided it was time to let other boys and girls enjoy them as much as Jack and Harry had. That was the beginning of “Victoria’s Torton Tales”.
Enjoy the Fun and Adventures with Victoria The Traction Engine and friends from “Victoria’s Torton Tales”
Victoria lives with Mr. Seward and his other traction engines in the small, little known town of Torton, nestled in the hills of the South Downs somewhere near the market town of Petersfield.
She has two large back wheels and two smaller wheels at the front, three brass bands around her boiler and a tall, elegant, black chimney with a gleaming brass top.
Victoria is a very hard working engine and enjoys having fun too. While puffing through the villages and towns, she likes to see how many people jump when she gives a quick “Peep, peep!” on her whistle.