National Steam Rally

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National Steam Rally
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GenreSteam-powered vehicles and machinery
VenueStradbally Hall
Location(s)Stradbally, Ireland
Inaugurated26th December 1965 (26th December 1965)
FounderIrish Steam Preservation Society
Previous event5th August 2019
Next event2nd August 2021
Area60 acres (0.24 km2)

The National Steam Rally is the premier event in the Irish vintage scene calendar and is organised by the Irish Steam Preservation Society. It is held over three days of the Irish August Bank Holiday weekend annually on the Stradbally Hall estate in Stradbally, Co. Laois.


A group of Laois-based enthusiasts visited the Lowton Park rally in Lancashire England to see how a rally was run in the summer of 1965 after meeting at a threshing held at Harold Condell's farm in 1964. A small gathering of engines was held at the market house in Stradbally on St Stephen's day 1965 and thus with this being regarded as a success it was decided upon by the newly formed society to hold a larger rally in the grounds of Stradbally hall on the August Bank holiday weekend the following year.

St. Stephens Day 1965 Rally

Engines present at the event were:

Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies Traction engine No.43033 of 1935 Owned by H. Condell of Stradbally

Burrell Traction Engine No.3296 of 1911 Owned by H. Condell of Stradbally

Ransomes Sims & Jefferies Traction Engine No.42032 of 1931 Owned by B. O'Gorman of Naas

Ransomes Sims & Jefferies Traction Engine No. 43014 of 1931 Owned by Colonel C. Kidd of Ballickmoyler Co. Laois

Aveling & Porter Steam Roller No. 10617 of 1923 Owned by National Transport Museum of Ireland

Mann's Patent Steam Cart and Wagon Company steam cart No.1216 of 1917 Owned by the Irish Steam Preservation Society

Early Years

The rally was spearheaded under the guidance of Colonel Charles S. Kidd in the early days of the society. He was in regular contact with early preservationists in the UK and had invited them over for rallies in the late 60's.


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