Report on SteamFest 2013


Dear Members and Friends

Once again our small but enthusiastic group have excelled themselves with putting on a huge SteamFest.

It is without doubt the largest show we have put on with in excess of 100 stalls (thanks to stall convenor Marc Beach-Ross) and a huge increase in exhibitors including a strong contingent from the Historical Machinery Club and our wonderful new display with the Light Horse Demonstration (thanks Tim McGee for organizing this one)

Personally there were a number of highlights which I would like to share:-lighthorse

  • Firstly Carl Dicks stone crusher proved to be a great steam display – thanks to Martin Walsh, Noel Tunbridge and of course Carl Dick for co-ordinating this one. With the extra hard Nook Road rock from Mike Gibson’s (thanks Treloars and Lizard for delivering!!) property Dave Von Stieglitz’s Marshall Traction Engine was put to the test. It was great to hear the engine working hard with each load of rock that was delivered.
  • I mentioned the Lighthorse training re-enactment – this was a real crowd pleaser.
  • The North West Model Engineers put on a great display in the locomotive shed
  • Garry Weeks helped us out with preparing the draught horse ploughing paddock prior to the horses arriving and then breaking it up afterwards ready for next year.
  • The prestart 8am meetings in the big shed for volunteers have proven to be an accepted and valued opportunity to co-ordinate the days activities and to improve the event running to reduce risks around the grounds. Thanks David Toyne for assisting in this area.
  • The Howe Family – threshing, chaff cutting and straw pressing and the Tractor Pullers again put on a terrific show
  • The opening function organized by Judy and Graham MacKenzie on the Saturday afternoon again went well along with the handover of the Toll Tractor to the society.

There were so many members and friends who put in 100% effort during the weekend to make sure everything went smoothly and the assistance of those like Rob and Lyn Bennett from the Walhalla Goldfields Railway, Peter Garnham (from the Maitland SteamFest) and Ian Lovi from NSW, Ray Eisle from Hobart and many others who assisted for the weekend really filled some critical gaps on engines and displays. It certainly is a tribute to volunteerism and community to look around at what has been achieved at our 19th SteamFest. For those who didn’t make it by the way our webmistress Judy MacKenzie now has a good collection of SteamFest photos on this new SteamFest website.

Members and Friends – next year we mark the auspicious 20th SteamFest and 100th year since of railway first commenced in Sheffield. Plans are already underway to make it an extra large SteamFest and we need your help again both on the organizing committee and on the March Longweekend. So please if you are interested in assisting with the organizing make contact with me by phone on 0429 418 739 or email –

Thanks again to all who assisted and lastly I would like to thank the SteamFest Committee – Marc BeachRoss, Barb Wells, Kris Carmody, Martin Walsh, Noel Tunbridge, Dave Fisher, Nigel Beeke, and David Obrien along with key organizers who don’t attend SteamFest Meetings like Eric and Coral Howe, Terry Dooley and Peter Martin for their support during and in the lead up to the event. Our meetings were sometimes long but they were always entertaining and motivating!

I am looking forward to the 20th SteamFest  -which will be opened by the Governor of Tasmania, the honorable Peter Underwood – and by the way it was confirmed last weekend that our 21st will also be particularly special! The National Historical Machinery Association has confirmed that the biennual National Historical Machinery Rally is to be held at Quercus Park on the weekend before SteamFest 2015. There is already much interest from machinery owners in the idea of attending the National Rally and road running their equipment over 2 days to Sheffield for the 21st SteamFest. We have two big years ahead!

Chris Martin