Thousands of people flocked to Sheffield in Tasmania’s northwest to see whirring engines of the state’s industrial past brought back to life at the annual SteamFest. Source: ABC News
This event showcases the machines that built the region’s early roads and harvested its farms carefully restored.
On show this year was an 1897 Hornsby-Ackroyd oil tractor, the oldest tractor in the world. There were only three ever built, one is owned by Tasmanian Eric Howe.
“One other still survives, it’s in England and the other one was lost in history,” he said.
“When we bought it we think that it hadn’t run for about 96 years. It was in the same family for three generations.”
It is on the market with a price tag of over $1 million — so 2016 could mark its final SteamFest appearance.
Dozens of other pieces of machinery kept spectators entertained, including the Martin Family steam roller, which this year challenged younger crowd members to a game of tug of war.
Organiser Chris Martin said the event was in its 22nd year and crowds were growing.
“It’s about keeping the steam era and the practices of the steam era alive and we’re proud to be doing it here in Sheffield,” he said.
“Last year we had a 30% increase on our previous best year and that took us to about 8000 people, this year the crowd’s looking even better than that “