Traction Engine Driving days

Q & A

Here are some frequently asked questions that may be of help.

Do I need a special driving licence?

No - a full car driving licence and a minimum age of 21 years are sufficient.

By law a "G" Licence is required to drive the roller on the road, however an L-plate shall be on display and you will be accompanied by someone with a full licence when on the road.

Do I need to bring any specialist clothing?

No – overalls will be provided along with eye protection and a complimentary flat cap as a memento of your day. Obviously you are welcome to wear anything suitable (no shorts or flip flops) you wish and bring your own overalls but be prepared to get them and yourself dirty!

Do I need to bring food for the day?

Breakfast and mid morning refreshments will be provided. Lunch can be purchased at the local pub that we visit on our journey. Please inform us before the event of any special dietary requirements.

Are there any health issues which might preclude me from taking part in the experience day?

If you feel confident that you are able to complete the day, then we are happy to have you along. If you feel unable to stand on the footplate for long periods of time, which can be quite tiring, then you will have a covered trailer available to sit on for as long as you wish.

My assistant and I are most experienced with steam engines but we are not medically trained. Therefore you are welcome to bring along a companion and we are able to call for assistance on mobile phones. If you are happy with these conditions then you may participate but please inform us of any medical conditions which might affect your ability to enjoy the day.

What happens if the weather is poor?

If heavy rain is forecast, then I strongly suggest that we try to rearrange the date. I personally enjoy the fact that the engine has no canopy (it limits the engine noise and allows you to hear the bark of the engine and it can be far more pleasant on a hot day) but the down side is that you can end up like a drowned rat in the wrong conditions! This would potentially ruin the day for even the most enthusiastic participant.

We have waterproofs and showers are not a real problem as long as not too prolonged and heavy. We will try our very best to fit in with your schedule and choose a day which we can all enjoy.

What happens if the engine breaks down?

The “Earl of Eldon” was built in 1910 and the roller in 1922! While a fantastic piece of machinery that was built to last, there is always the possibility of some form of mechanical failure or delay. In the unlikely event of this happening and your day had to be cut short or cancelled, we will return you to the original starting point. We would obviously either reimburse you on a pro rata basis for the period of time lost on the day or rearrange another time to make up for your disappointment at no extra cost. Unfortunately we would not be in a position to cover travelling costs from your home.

Can I bring the family?

Absolutely. If they are remotely interested in “Steam” or just fancy a nice day out in the beautiful surroundings of the New Forest and don’t mind travelling at a leisurely pace through the countryside, then bring them along for free. The only restriction would be that children under 14 years be accompanied by an adult. A maximum of four is allowable but let us know numbers beforehand.

What if I can’t do it?

My daughter has been steering the engine competently since she was ten years old and driving it soon after (not on the road however!). You too will be able to become competent to a point, with practice, in a short period of time and will be supervised at every stage in a supportive manner. You will be able to do as much or as little as you feel happy with, where we feel it is safe for you to participate.

Is it dangerous?

Obviously with any driving experience there are risks and with steam engines there is the added danger smuts and burning yourself. If you pay attention to all of our points during our safety briefing, then these risks will be minimized if not eliminated. Your safety will be our primary concern and you will be fully insured as paying guests on our engine and trailer. We will of course expect your full cooperation and compliance with any instructions given.


Can I take photos and video?

As many and as much as you like while you are not driving or steering the engine and we can take some at suitable times when you are in control of the engine.