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Founded in 1966 by the late Harold Bonnett, the Club exists to further interest in steam cultivation – not just keeping the tackle operating – but passing on the old skills for future generations to enjoy.


The Steam Plough Club provides its members with:-

  • A quarterly journal – the Steam Plough Times
  • Technical advice
  • Working instructions for steam ploughing machinery
  • Safety guidelines for crews and event organisers
  • Engine & implement records
  • Engine classes identification
  • In-house publications & DVDs
  • The opportunity to meet like minded enthusiasts
  • Visits & meetings 

Current membership fee is £20 a year, if you pay online the cost is £21

The steam engine stands on the headland and hauls the implement to and fro by means of a wire rope. All treading and compression of the soil and sub-soil associated with horse cultivation is thereby entirely avoided and the implement is driven at a much more rapid pace, throwing up the soil to a greater depth and in a loose state enabling it to derive full benefit from the influences of the atmosphere

David Greig, September 1867

More about the Steam Plough Club

Hands On Weekend

One of the Club’s most rewarding events is a regular ‘Hands On’ Weekend providing participants the opportunity to try the plough as well as to drive engines under supervision. Complete beginners are welcome.  

The Great Challenge

The club runs an event where steam plough sets compete for the Steam Plough Challenge trophy awarded to the crews judged to have produced the best work in a set time.

The 2006 Great Challenge held near Loughborough saw thirteen working sets – thought to be the greatest gathering of ploughing engines in history!

The 2006 Great Challenge held near Loughborough saw thirteen working sets – thought at the time to be the greatest gathering of ploughing engines in history. Not only that but this record was probably just beaten at Crockey Hill during the club’s 50th-anniversary celebration when there were 28 ploughing engines in steam – thirteen pairs plus the Howard roundabout tackle; plus one on standby.     The Challenge was repeated in 2013 and 2018.


The Club AGM normally attracts 70-75 members.


The Club is affiliated with the National Traction Engine Trust and The Society of Ploughmen and is a member of the Federation of British Historical Vehicle Clubs. 

“Together we can give the steam plough engine its proper place in the history of British agricultural engineering”.