An English ''Showman's Engine'', Quo Vadis, is set to be the star attraction at the Leeston Country Fair and Vintage Rally. Supplied photo
Two British traction engines are set to help Leeston
celebrate its 150th birthday from March 28 to March 30.
Organising committee member Sarah Crozier said the steam
engines would be the star attractions at the Country Vintage
Fair and Rally.
''They are known as `Showman's Engines' and were used to
transport and drive fairground rides to fairs across Britain
from the 1880s through to the 1930s. They are generally
painted in bright colours, along with shiny brass
She said most models had a full-length canopy and a
belt-driven dynamo to provide electricity for the rides.
One of the engines, known as Quo Vadis, previously visited
New Zealand in 2008.
The weekend's festivities will get under way with a street
parade on Friday, March 28, from 6pm. Traction engines, old
tractors, classic cars and anything else on wheels were
expected to rumble up High St, en route to the Leeston
Showgrounds, where the fair will be held.
Displays of threshing wheat with mills and chaff cutters
would bring back to life what was once a common sight in the
Leeston area, Mrs Crozier said.
Veteran, vintage and classic cars and trucks, antique
stationary engines driving water pumps, blade shearing and
shearing machines were also sure to bring back memories, she
''Vintage tractors and farm machinery are coming from all
over the South Island, many by road, with their accommodation
for the weekend being towed behind.''
A Model T Ford was also set to be assembled ''from the nuts
and bolts up''.
Horses, big and small, including minis, Clydesdales and
Arabs, would also be on display.
A large display of the distinctive Lanz Bulldog tractors and
memorabilia was being organised by local tractor enthusiasts
Gavin and Paul Millar and there would be vintage displays
throughout the weekend, Mrs Crozier said.
Entertainment would include the Natural Magic Pirates, from
New Brighton, parachute games, bouncy castles, face painting,
gig rides, bumper boats and much more.
''We have workshops to inform you on everything from planning
a home veggie garden to changing the oil in your car. Learn
how to make jam, preserve fruit and prune roses.''
To keep with the 150 years' celebration, the weekend has a
Victorian theme, so the public is encouraged to come dressed
in ''Victoriana'' and to enter a best-dressed competition,
Mrs Crozier said.
Entry to the fair is $5 adults, $2 children. For more
information, go to www.leeston.co.nz.
Anyone who can provide a Lanz tractor, photos or memorabilia
can contact (03) 324-3888. To participate in the vintage
display contact Stu Donald (03) 324-4280.
An expo was also being set up to show all that Leeston has to
offer. Any clubs and associations wanting to take part can
contact Grant Clausen on (03) 324-3227.
- by David Hill