Chance to operate traction engine

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The opportunity to operate a traction engine is one of the many activities on offer at the Southland Steam Engine Club open weekend.
It will be held this weekend at the former dairy factory site in Brydone.
Organisers are giving people the chance to drive or steer a 1900s steam traction engine.
Club chairman Geoff Henderson said the club was encouraging visitors to get up on the big beasts of burden to see how they were operated.
There was a certain amount of skill required to operate a traction engine, he said.
The club owned two traction engines, had one that needed to be restored and was the custodian to another.
Some individual members also owned traction engines, he said.
“There should be eight or nine there in the weekend.”
In the early days traction engines had a variety of uses, he said.
Those tasks included threshing, chaff cutting and winching tree stumps.
Also on display would be a 1925 Aveling and Porter steam roller, he said.
“2017 marks 150 years since the steam roller was invented by Aveling.”
The club had more than 60 members but was keen to attract more, he said.
The attractions during the weekend will include:
Chaff cutting and a wooden mill run by a steam engine.
A Cochran boiler will be running stationary steam engines.
The Stationary Engine Club will bring along exhibits.
If you have always wanted to experience operating a traction engine, there will be a chance.