He had a steam engine on wheels which was drawn by horses from farm to farm thrashing corn etc.
The water wheel at Langaton Mill was out of action due to frost and snow, where people had their wheat ground to flour, so his engine was needed to drive the mill.
James Lucas moved from Morwenstow to Southlands, Bridgerule around 1882. Also in August 1882 he recorded his journey and stay at Gainsborough to see the traction engine and thrasher being made at the 'Marshall Factory'. He was purchasing to contract in the Bridgerule area farms.
Submitted by Alan Short
I got up at 5am. Started for Bridgerule. Wind S.E. Moon circled at 7am. It began to snow. Cleared away about 12pm. Wind blowed too strong to work the machine.
Strong wind S.E. Snowing all the day. There was a funeral at Bridgerule but the herse had to return again owing to the drifts of snow and we were snow bound. Lodging at Mr Bailys.
Snowing all the day with very strong wind.
A beautiful bright morning. They was obliged to take the corpse from Bridgerule to Whitstone with a cart drawn by the three horses and a hundred men shoveling away the snow sometimes in the road and sometimes across fields. We had one mishap by overturning the cart but was soon righted again without any serious damage. Mills snowed up. Squire Mucklow got nearly a hundred men clearing away the snow to get our engine to Langaton Mills.
Very sharp frost. Men of all trades turned out to clear the road for the engine. They had to cut through several places ten feet deep. 4 o'clock the road was clear. They came with seven horses and ten men for the engine. Got there about 7 o'clock.
Very sharp frost again. We started the mill about 8 o'clock and worked till midday. It was rather amusing to see so many scores of people coming in all directions with their griste to their back and telling what difficulties they had coming through the snow across hedges and ditches. It was like a market all day and several had to be sent away with only a few pounds of flour.
Sunday a beautiful bright morning but came cloudy and a little snow again in the evening. I was very homely because I had not got my best clothes. Just went out around to see the ornamental snow.
Very sharp frost again. We began to work at 1am and worked till twelve at night. We had some scores of visitors again today.
A long day of it again today. Going to have four hours sleep tonight while they dress the mill stones.
Started this morning at 6 and worked till half past eleven. Visitors as usual. I counted as many as ten horses there at a time. A little sleet at one.
A beautiful change in the weather. Very warm with thick rain. We had to fix up wind sheets to keep the rain from the belts. Not so many visitors today. Left work early this evening. Jacked up in readyness to take the engine away.
Thick misty rain. Very warm and we have got four horses to take away the engine. We got across one field and then got set. Was obliged to get more horses but the fields being so soft after the frost we were obliged to take the road. Now the road is full of snow. I have the men clearing the road. 4 o'clock the road is clear. Five o'clock we have got the engine to Newcott. This have been a hard days fighting.
Heavy rain. Cannot do anything with the machine today. After breakfast I go to Squire Mucklow to ask him if he will help me pay the men for clearing the road yesterday. He kindly said he will pay all the men. Now I proceed to my home at Rectory (Morwenstow) to spend Sunday and a pretty bother I have got to get through the snow first. I got into a bar of snow and the horse bolts throws his harness. Mr Hallen gives me a rope to fasten it up again. I got as far as Milton (Morwenstow). A bar of snow again. Obliged to leave the trap here and ride home a hackney horse. The people seem so glad to see me back again as if I had been off in some foreign land.