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 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
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 and in 2020 it was to due be to be held at the Museum of English Rural Life, Reading on 4th April, it was postponed.
The Steam Plough Club provides its members with:-
A quarterly journal – the Steam Plough Times
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
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”.
Look for the Club Tent at the Great Dorset Steam Fair!
Current membership fee is £20 a year, if you pay online the cost is £21