top of page

Festival of Steam and Transport returns to Ballymena

Scenes from last years Festival of Steam and Transport. (Image: Picturskew Photography)

Scenes from last years Festival of Steam and Transport. (Image: Picturskew Photography)


The fantastic Festival of Steam and Transport makes a welcome return to Ballymena this July, promising two days of fun and discovery for all ages.


Hosted by one of the longest established vintage clubs in Northern Ireland, The Traction Engine Club of Ulster organised the original gathering of Steamrollers and Steam Lorries at the Castle Grounds in Antrim in August 1968. The first rally featured seven local engines plus visitors from England and Ireland.



Over the last five decades as the club increased and the annual event grew larger, the much anticipated outing moved to the Ballee Playing Fields in Ballymena which offered greater areas of hard standing, car parking, and improved site access.


Scenes from last years Festival of Steam and Transport. (Image: Picturskew Photography)

Scenes from last years Festival of Steam and Transport. (Image: Picturskew Photography)


Now attracting many from across Ireland, this year marks 55 years of the rally and the 2023 event will take place over two days, from 12 noon to 9pm on Friday 14 July, and from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 15 July.


Big crowds are once again expected to attend and enjoy the spectacle of steam and transport from times past. The engines have been lovingly restored over months - sometimes years - of hard graft by determined enthusiasts, to their original pristine glory, with the cherished artifacts revealing the life and times of our agricultural heritage.



The Festival of Steam and Transport features a large range of attractions and activities including:


• Music

• Steam Engines

• Working Arena demonstrating traditional wood cutting, stone crushing and threshing

• Fun Farm Class Tractor Pulling

• Heavy "Leinster Anchor" Tractor Pulling

• Young Farmers Tug of War on Friday Evening

• Vintage and Classic Commercials

• Vintage and Classic Cars with this year's feature

• Stationary Engines

• Craft Marque and Trade Stands

• Food Stands

• Petting Farm

• Free Bouncy Castle Attractions for children

• Lawnmower Racing

• Irish Dancers



As well as marking the 55th Anniversary of the rally, 2023 marks a number of other milestones including:


75 years of the Citroen 2CV


Citroen 2CV

The 2CV was conceived before WW2 but was hidden from the invading Germans and not launched until the 1948 Paris Motor Show. This year it reaches the age of 75.


Northern Ireland Tin Snails will be joining in the show on Saturday with a cavalcade of 2CVs and their derivatives. In total, Citroën manufactured over 9 million of the 2CVs and its derivative models.


70 years of David Brown 25D, 30D & 50D


David Brown 25D

Introduced in 1953 the David Brown 25D, 30D & 50D are 70 years old this year.


60 years of Fordson New Performance Super Major and Super Dexta


The original Super Major was replaced in 1963, by the improved New Performance Super Major. This version was short-lived, as Fordson tractor production would be phased out in 1964. Nevertheless, the Super family of Fordson tractors are still remembered as iconic machines of their generation.


Fordson New Performance Super Major

The three-cylinder Dexta had proved so successful at filling the smaller tractor role that the Super Dexta joined it using the same engine as the Dexta, but this was bored-out to increase the power to 39.5hp; quite a bit more than the Dexta's 32hp.



Festival of Steam and Transport

Friday 14 July (12 noon - 9pm)

Saturday 15 July (10am - 5pm)


Ballee Playing Fields, Ballee Road West, Ballymena

BT42 2HS


Admission Prices:

Adults £10

Senior Citizen £7

Under 16 Free



Festival of Steam and Transport graphic

Comments


bottom of page