Over the past few years our Christmas gift for all our friends and supporters has been a humorous adventure and song often featuring the engines and staff from Steam Traction World. Our very own character (we’ve called Dave) has been the performer for the previous two Christmases with a star-studded singing parody last year. This year, due to the sad and devastating news we all received, Dave doesn’t feel like singing anymore and, perhaps like all of us at the moment, heads off to find some answers. It’s a film none of us wanted to make.
With the commemorations of the centenary of the end of the Great War, there is a gravestone for Private James Amos Hughes (No. 46669) of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry in our local cemetery. James was killed on 11th November, 1918. Armistice Day, he was 22. There is no good day to die but perhaps if James had survived one more day, he could have lived for many more years.
Steve Baldock died one day before his 63rd Birthday. That wasn’t a good day. Perhaps if he could have lived for a couple more days, or to Christmas or the new year, or…
Steve recently said to me “Growing old isn’t very nice.” Steve wasn’t old he? He was a fantastic man – knowledgeable, clever, often very funny and ultimately very brave.
Diagnosed in the beginning of 2017 with the later stages of Prostate Cancer, Steve was able to spend some quality time for himself before treatment and the pokes and prods from all the specialists was to begin and travelled, visited friends and enjoyed life with the full knowledge of the dark days that were to shortly follow. Steve was able to enjoy the 10th Anniversary of Steam Traction World at the Banbury rally and to visit Great Dorset for their 50th Anniversary this year. He enjoyed both shows immensely. Steve was suffering in his last few weeks and the void he now leaves with his family, friends and colleagues is now helped a little with the knowledge he is suffering no longer. May he rest in peace.
Steam was Steve’s passion and we wish to continue his work. No doubt, Steam Traction World is a lesser place without Steve but it has galvanised the staff to ensure the company flourishes in memory of one of it’s founders. To work harder, to supply a higher quality, to send our your kits sooner, for you, both our loyal and future customers, to build a better engine, that will in turn be a fitting tribute to Steve. We look forward to seeing these engines continue to steam and win awards all across the showgrounds for many years to come.
In memory of Steve, a donation page has been set up here: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SamanthaBaldock
All monies raised will be split equally between Macmillan Cancer Support and Prostate Cancer UK.
We wish you a Merry Christmas. Spend time with your family and friends this year and remember those that can no longer be with you.