Traction Engine Club of Ulster Ltd

Traction Engine Club of Ulster Ltd


Annual Steam Rally 19th & 20th July 2024

Dates & Times

Friday 19th July From 12noon until 9pm
Saturday 20th July From 10am until 5pm

Entrance Fees

Adults £10

Senior Citizen/Concession £8

Under 16 Free

Dogs on leads with responsible owners are welcome, please clean up after your dog

Special Features on Saturday

Ford Anglia, Prefect, Popular and Mondeo

The Ford Anglia celebrates a number of significant milestones this year.
The E04A launched in 1939 is 85 years old
The E494A launched in 1949 is 75 years old
The 100E launched in 1953 is 71 years old
The 105E launched in 1959 is 65 years old (as seen in Harry Potter)

The Ford Prefect was an upmarket version of the Anglia and Popular
The E93A launched in 1938 is 86 years old
The E493A launched in 1949 is 75 years old 
The 100E launched in 1953 is 71 years old
The 107E launched in 1959 is 65 years old

The Ford Populars were based on the outgoing Anglia models
The 103E launched in 1953 is 71 years old 
The 100E launched in 19559 is 65 years old
Popular then became the base trim level of the Ford Escort MkII

The Ford Mondeo is 32 years old

Introduced in Nov 1992 it was launched in 1993 replacing the Sierra which had previously replaced the Cortina.  The Mondeo was Ford's First World Car. 

Schedule of Events

The rally will be openly welcome the public between the following times. Friday 19th from 12noon til late and Saturday 20th from 10.00am to 5.00pm. An admission fee of £10 per adult will be collected on entry. Children under 16 will be free. 

Many diverse items will be on offer this year along with our normal demonstrations of traditional heritage activities, such as wood sawing, shingle cutting, wood turning, corn thrashing, and blacksmithing to name but a few. These will be performed by enthusiasts keen to preserve those bygone practices and will be enhanced with nostalgic displays of vintage steam and agricultural machines and other vehicles dating back to the late 1800’s.

Separate safe viewing areas  have been allocated where the public can observe  stationary engines at work, as well as tractors graced with rare implements. Various Car and Commercial lorries Clubs will be in attendance and thereby extended appeal to many. 

As visitors to the rally please feel free to speak to any of our volunteers and if you would like any assistance or additional information they will be only too willing to help. 

Again this year TECU will be providing free on site supervised bouncy castles to cater for the smallest children up to those of teenage years. There will also be separate play areas, animal petting farms, and giant rabbit displays etc.

Leisurely steam engine rides are planned around the perimeter of the site by request. 

Alternatively for those more inspired by pulling power, noise and dirt traction the Club will be supported with the Leinster Anchor competition traction sleigh pulling team on both days with prizes for winners of the respective categories. 

The mesmerising speed of the lawnmower racers will also be with us however other commitments dictate that they will only be available on the Saturday. 

For our more sedate visitors who would just like to relax and wile away an afternoon they might like to visit the music stand where Downshire Brass will be blessing us with some alternative parkland style music, interspersed with traditional Irish Dancing reels and hornpipes performed by the Seven Towers Dancing Troupe. 

A Steam organ will also playing at various intervals and our resident host Kenny will be introducing various attractions and other talents with time afforded to Phoenix Radio broadcast slot.

Furthermore as always there will be opportunities to visit our craft sale displays in the marquee and the outdoor trade stands with a plethora of options.  A range of food, coffee and or drinks can be purchased on site under the normal arrangements

In order to further broaden the appeal of our event this year beyond normal confines, we are inviting participating Steam Engines and other vehicles to take part in the Vintage Country comes to Modern Ballymena Town parade set for Friday 19th evening to commence at 6.30 pm sharp. Each agricultural vehicle will where possible be asked to attach some very rare implements to keep spectators guessing as to their previous use. 

By necessity Steam Engines will only progress as far as Wakehurst Road where they will remain on display for a short time while drivers enjoy tea and coffee kindly provided by Nadine’s Cafe. 

In due course they will then progress back to the rally in tandem with the returning larger cavalcade. 

Once back on the rally site everyone will be welcome to enjoy some food and light entertainment in the marquee and the opportunity to win some prizes as donated by locals in aid of our designated charities. 

For those wanting to avail of accommodation please be advised that there will be some limited facilities for caravans and possibly campers at a cost (for non exhibitors) of £25 per site, however please bear in mind that regular exhibitors have first priority in the event of any excessive demand. 

The Committee is looking forward to strong support again for our 2024 rally and the continued benefit to our local charities. In order that visitors may fully enjoy their time with us over the two days in accordance with their individual preferences the following schedule has been established. 

Proposed Timetable of Special Events for Ballymena Steam Rally

Friday 19th

  • 12:00 Noon.   Official Rally Opening and Medley of Tunes by Steam Organ to greet visitors on arrival
  • 12. 30 to 9.00 Competition Tractor Pulling ( All day event)
  • 12.30 to 1.30. Traditional Wood Cutting TECU saw. (Working Arena)
  • 1.30 to 2.30  Traditional Corn thrashing.  (Working Arena)
  • 2:30 to 3.30 Cutting Roofing Shingles the traditional way. (Working Arena)
  • 3.30 to 4.30 How to forge a tradition poker for modern wood burner stove  (Item to be made available for ballot evening event)
  • 4.30 to 5.30 Traditional wood turning. Making a garden rake. ( as above finished item available for ballot)
  • 5:30 to 6.30 preparation for Vintage Country comes to Modern Ballymena Run
  • 6.30 to 9:00 Evening  Completion of Vehicle run
  • 9:00 to late Evening bash with refreshments, entertainment and charity ballot. 
  • All day ongoing events ie Competition Tractor pulling, Stationary engine running exhibits. Working Steam engines , various trade and, craft stands,  Animal displays, bouncy castles music etc. Feel free to walk around and get up close to the various and individual exhibits and speak with volunteers. 

Special Events Saturday 20th. 

  • 10.00 to 11.00 Medley of Tunes by Steam organ to greet visitors on arrival
  • 11.00 to 12.00. Parade of Spark Plug Vehicles (Main Arena)
  • Commence class 1 of tractor pulling heats
  • Commence category 1 of lawnmower racing  heats
  • 12.00 to 12.30 Irish Dancing Celebration by Seven Towers Dancing School (part 1)
  • Broadcasting commences Phoenix Radio Station
  • 12.30 to 1.30  Downshire Brass - Music in the Park (part1)
  • Traditional wood cutting TECU saw
  • Corn thrashing Demo (Working Arena)
  • How to forge a tradition poker for modern wood burner stove
  • 1.30 to 2:30 Irish Dancing Celebration by Seven Towers Dancing School Part 2
  • Cutting Roofing Shingles the traditional way. (Working Arena)
  • Parade of Anniversary Ford 100 range tractors 1964 onwards (Main Arena)
  • 2:30 to 3:30  Downshire Brass - Music in the Park (Part 2)
  • Traditional wood turning. Making a garden rake
  • Parade of guest Ford Anglia vehicles (Main Arena)
  • 3.30 to 4.30    Finals of Tractor Pulling Classes
  • Finals of lawnmower racing Classes
  • 4.30 to 5.00   Presentation of trophies to winning competitors 
  • Grand Parade and presentation of plaques
  • 5.00 onwards Safe journey home and best wishes for another successful rally in 2025
Ford 100 Series

Ford 100 Series

Ford 100 Tractor Series

This year our special tractor feature is the Ford 100 Series

David Heatley updated 16/03/2020