2017 Flier

Traction Engine Club of Ulster Celebrates 50 Years

Ulster Festival of Steam & Transport

14th-15th July at Ballee Playing Fields, Ballymena



The Traction Engine Club of Ulster is one of the longest established vintage clubs in Northern Ireland organising the first gathering of Traction Engines, Steamrollers and Steam Lorries at the Castle Grounds in Antrim. 

The Traction Engine Club of Ulster are preparing to Celebrate their Golden Anniversary. Now a Steam Rally is much more than a demonstration of Steam Threshing, it is a day for the whole family.

World’s Most Powerful Motorsport ~ Competitive Tractor Pulling! 

This year, for the first time, the rally will include competitive tractor pulling. These high powered highly modified tractors draw enthusiasts from across the country to watch them drag sleds mounted with huge weights down a racetrack, spewing smoke and lifting their front ends as drivers try to pull increasingly heavy loads down the strip, injecting fuel additives into the gigantic engines.



Tractor Dancing is another big attraction. Debuting last year, formation driving to music proved to be a big hit. 


Celebrating “100 Years of Ford” the rally will have a great selection of Ford Tractors on display and many other non Ford tractors too.

Vintage and classic cars, commercials and motorcycles along with stationary engines will also be on display among the many other attractions.

There will be a funfair and pedal tractors in a sandpit for the children, A good Craft Tent and Trade Stands.

Displays of corn threshing, sawing and stone crushing by traditional ways are always very popular  and will be driven by steam and by vintage tractors.

Guest Commentator, Peter Love will entertain and amaze you with his knowledge and enthusiasm for all things vintage.

Of course a steam Rally would not be Complete without Steam Traction Engines and Steam Rollers. Engines from the length of Ireland will be attending along with a number of model engines which are working miniature replicas of the full size machines.


Work has begun to prepare the ground at Ballee for a bigger and better rally, but where did it all begin?

Harold Condell must be credited as the man who started it off. Arriving from Stradbally, Ireland, where a Society had already been formed, Harold brought his Ransomes threshing set with him to his farm at Ballywindland, near Ballymoney. 

In 1966 Harold put on an old time threshing demonstration at his farm. The event had been give previous publicity over the radio, arousing tremendous interest. Present were steam enthusiasts, photographers, press men and perhaps more important engine owners. Across the province were a small band of men who had not been prepared to dispatch with their faithful work-horses to the "knackers yard". 

That little demo had brought to all present a deep sense of nostalgia. As one enthusiast said : "I never thought I would love to see a steam engine threshing again." It was indeed sheer magic to all those engine lovers to sample again the atmosphere of an old time threshing scene, to scent again the hot oil and the billowing reek. 

The next year following another successful demonstration at Ballywindland, the Society was formed in the Midland Hotel, Belfast on a Saturday evening in September 1967. There were twelve members present on that occasion and the rest is history…

Created by David Heatley updated 02/08/2017