Aveling & Porter Ltd were formed in 1850, becoming a public company in 1895, then a private company in 1919. It acquired the assets of Barford & Perkins in 1932, which had been formed in 1840. The name changed to Aveling-Barford in1934 and the business was transferred from Rochester to Grantham. Aveling & Porter were pioneers in the early development of the traction engine. [This engine may in fact be the Lucy May which is numbered 11997]. Laura was of a design almost certainly intended for export since it has a full-length awning and the Belpaire firebox is a larger size to enable wood (rather than coal) to be burned. It has two cylinders for easy attention and a solid flywheel since earlier models with spoked flywheels were said to frighten the horses! The wheels are made of cast steel and not built up as in earlier models. This was widely used when the wheels were intended to carry rubber tyres, a system later used for early motor lorry wheels. Laura started life hauling a brewery wagon in Maidstone, Kent before the County Council brought her to haul tar spraying machinery.