Heralding from a time when steam was king, where columns of black smoke could be seen soaring into the South Canterbury sky, hard work meant long hours of sweet and toil, burns and blisters were a badge of honour and not a complaint, the South Canterbury Traction Engine &Transport Museum foundation was put down by a group of people who had witnessed the golden age of steam as well as the birth of the NZ road transport industry.
Founded in 1968 by folk who had worked amongst the famous threshing teams of South Canterbury, these men and woman had one objective, to preserve steam equipment and to foster an interest in the mighty traction engine, a machine that single handily changed farming and road transport for ever, reducing the burden on both man and beast by introducing a mechanical means of providing power and traction that once was supplied by bullock and horse.
Originally called the South Canterbury Traction Engine & Vintage Steam Club, the Club has evolved into a Museum, just as the tractor and truck replaced the traction engine in its important roll in our districts development we now see a strong focus in our group upon the machines that supper seeded steam. Continuing with the tradition of encouraging an interest in steam our scope has widened considerably and now includes enthusiasts of early farm and industrial machinery as well as road transport vehicles.
Visitors to the Museum will find a vast complex of buildings containing Vintage tractors, old machinery, stationary engines and one of the best collections of lawn mowers to be found locally, of course you will also see traction engines, steam engines, boilers and early harvesting equipment, our Classic Truck Museum will impress the most avid truck enthusiast, this display showcases some 30 immaculately restored trucks and includes memorabilia from local transport companies, this ever changing display offers something different to see with every visit.
We encourage all those with an interest in history to become involved in our organisation, you need not own machinery, just an interest entitles you to become evolved.
We offer the chance to learn how to fire a traction engine, or gain the necessary experience for those wishing to sit for their heritage steam boiler certificate. We encourage or members to become experienced with operating old machinery such as tractors and harvesting equipment such as binders threshing mills and chaff cutters.
You can also become part of the restoration team preserving various pieces of machinery in our large workshop, we regularly organise public displays and rallies and take part in local parades and community events with machinery, trucks and traction engines.
Our monthly meetings keep members informed of goings on and our newsletter Tractioncorp gives readers the opportunity to remain up to date with what is taking place about the Museum and further afield .
So there really are only two things left to ask, why have I not visited yet? And why am I not a member?.