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24 September 2014

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The Great Dorset Steam Fair
The Great Dorset Steam Fair

The Great Dorset Steam Fair

The annual mammoth gathering of steam engines and vintage machinery took place in the fields around Tarrant Hinton near Blandford at the weekend.

This is the 37th year the show has taken place, a mecca for steam enthusiasts from around the country. This year 200 working steam engines  were show, along with 100 fairground organs, together with around 2,000 other working exhibits around the 600 acre site - making it one of the biggest events of its kind in Europe.

The air around Tarrent Hinton was thick with coal smoke and the site echoed to the sounds of steam whistles, horns and organs,  with engine owners  proudly showing off their machines of all shapes, sizes and purposes.  Tens of thousands of enthusiasts braved the traffic congestion though North Dorset to enjoy the show in scorching sunshine.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair
The Great Dorset Steam Fair

This year there was even vintage roadworks on the site - with the road-building machines of yesterday put to work to construct a road on the festival site.

Locomotive lovers headed back to the 1940's to see giant engines like Burrell's 'Lord Kitchener' or the McLaren 'Boadicea' in the Heavy Haulage Ring.

Alternatively there was the colour and music of the fairground engines in the Showman's Ring where over 50 showman’s engines generate the light and power for the old carousels and swingboats to operate - add to that 100 merry organs playing, the largest of which were fronted by stage shows where traditional 'Can Can' dancing girls perform!

The Great Dorset Steam Fair
The Great Dorset Steam Fair

There was also steam-powered ploughing, threshing and woodsawing as well as displays by working heavy horses, veteran and classic cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles and bikes of all sorts, along with rural displays of activities like thatching and cider making.

The crowds also enjoyed the five music stages with everything from local pipe bands to morris dancers, country and western and folk musicians. 

The success of the festival has led to controversial plans for a second music-based event for next year's May Bank Holiday.

last updated: 05/09/05
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What did you think of this year's Great Dorset Steam Fair?
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i love it so much its cool man i hop it is the same next time

ive been going everyone since i was a baby it my highlight of the year and i love it

Paul Ayres
15th visit for my wife & I.Real Ale bar going further down hill. Bring back the 100+ales that were on offer 3 years ago! Dont repeat the extra cost concerts but keep everything else

darren hodd
i think that it was brilliant.and i hope it is the same next year. staying for a week next year so even better.

Andreas und Dani from Germany
It is fantastic, It was my 4rd time there and sure not the last.The best in the world.

natalie rose
I was 6 months old when i first went to the steam fair,i am now 16 and still love going.Its the highlight of my year


Joanne Nutley
Great fun. lots to see & do. Will go again

very smoky fun noiusey

Alan Perkins
Absolutely Brilliant keep it up.An education for all .

Mr. Peacock from Holland
We did visit the fair in the year 2004. It was great. 3 days was not enouhg to sea everything. Next year we wil come back.

Ashleigh Hiscock
I think it was brilliant the best because it had scrapheap challange, and me and my granperants love going there every year, and loved it every time we went but it was even better when it got dark, the lights from the fair and the engines was fantastic!!

i loved it i got to c me mate Alex Fox again(Wall of Death) lyl babes

colin bailey
the greatest show on earth fantastic

joey jiordison
the new lighthouse slip was fantastic i think mike rule owns it the paintwork was magnifecent

terence wright
what a fantaistic day out ,every thing for the steam enthusiast in one place

i loved the fair and my sisster to

John M Wood
My uncle and I spent 12 hours on the site. It was fantastic. I was recovering from a prolapshed disc and he had a heart problem, but we managed to see most of the attractions and will back next year, hopfully much fitter.

John M Wood
My uncle and I spent 12 hours on the site. It was fantastic. I was recovering from a prolapshed disc and he had a heart problem, but we managed to see most of the attractions and will back next year, hopfully much fitter.

jody thomas
thought it was brilliant, walking down from the carpark on the hill we saw the fair and were reminded of Madmax and the thunder dome, amazing place, steeped in tradition and history, and nothing beats walking around after a visit to the cider tent, and seeing weathered craftsmen pottering along in dirty overalls driving some kind of steam contraption, it is another world! respect to Fred Dibnah!

Annie Lister
I go down Blandford every year my Grandad Takes His old Commercial vehiclesDown there,he has an A60,TK and a MINOR i have onl been there 2 times but it was still a great experience! i highly reccomend it to the people who havn't been there before! god bless you all ANIE LISTER eye

Lawrence Curley
Absolutely fantastic

reg,shery&aline johnson
2005 was our ,first time as exhibitors we done the ferreting display on the road building display during dinner break . we would love to come again in 2006 the event is incredible nothing can compare to it . we live in easdt anglia and the distance travelled pales into insignificance to be part of such an event . thanks to the organisers

I went for the whole time with a model and i think it was the best one yet.

james parker
i loved going to the show i have seen thing that some people will never see, when i tell my mates at school they can not even imagine what i have seen, thank you to all the people that make the show so good, see you next year.

I travelled from Bucks all the way down to Dorset fair for the first time and I will definately be doing it again next year(06), but, hopefully will be able to stay for the week next time. The fair is great because it appeals to all ages from the Steam engines, to the trade stands, the great live music tents, the fair ground and the Werzles!!!

i live in blandford and i really do not enjoy the fair the thing which spoils it the most is the trafic which means a normal 15 min drive can take up to an hour!!!

Jan Brouwer, The Netherlands
My third time at the Great Dorset Steam Fair; this year I have been there for three days and it was: Absolutely fabulous !

Tom Hunt/George Conio
We are the lads on the engine in picture 13 we had a great time this year. We were up there for six days and enjoyed every minute of it and met new people can't wait for next years event.

i thought it was great but the rides were quite exspensive

Pieter Groenendyk Leiden Holland
Visited the GDSF this year for the first time, didn't know what to expect. It was fabulous, well organized and too much for one day. I certainly will visit this event again in the future, my compliments to the organisation.

George Hill
its amazing to host such a show hopefully exibiting again next year with our foden but we dont know yet

Grace Armson
The great Dorset Steam fair is absolulty brilliant i have been going with my family and friends from a very young age and i just didnt want to go home!

Gillian Bodycomb
Our friends and i have a pitch with our Newfoundland dogs,Talking to the public all week is wonderful. People come back to see us every year,and we have made many friends.Can't wait for next year.

Brilliant as ever - stayed for 3 days and was very sad to leave

Alex Udall
hellu i igre

darren white

Jacky Dowding
Fantastic as usual! Great to catch up with old friends Ive made at the GDSF over the years. The weather was fantastic for another year running, who could wish for a nicer, freindlier place to go for a day out, few days camping or a weeks holiday?

Henry Edwards
Another great year!! Superb show and very lucky with the weather, long may it continue. I have now been to over 10 GDSF's over the years and each one seems better than the last!

I came all the way from London and would recommend this fair. Fantastic things to look at and a wonderful atmosphere. One of Dorsets treasure and may it continue for a long long time.

Holly Whitehead
Had as much fun as I always do there but disappointed by the low choice of Real Ale. Will still be coming next year though!

Fantastic show. Only went to see the wonderful STATE OF QUO but thoroughly enjoyed all the attractions. Be back next year especially if the afore mentioned band are playing.

Carol M
I think it was bigger than ever but the traffic situation is terrible, something should be done to help with the ever growing traffic for these couple of weeks. It makes it a nightmare for locals needing to travel to Salisbury.

Walter Collyer
This certainly lives up to the Title Great Dorset Steam Fair. This is my 12th year of attending and I think it was the best one yet. The whole showground was well laid out with plenty of room to look and watch at what was going on. Commentary from all concerned kept us well informed and entertained. I would like to offer my thanks and best wishes to the organisers and helpers for a splendid show.

Anil Nayar-Stoke on trent
First time visitor,what a fantastic event! Satisfies every steam enthusiasts dream. Shall be returning next year!

Jim Colllyer
Brilliant! 5th year in a row that we have been to it and it gets better every year!! It's so nice to see everything working the way it should be and not stuck in museums.....Definitely going again next year.

De Kok Dirk
This will be de 2de year too visit Dorset. Our club from Belgium was soo pleased in 2004.We where overwelded that we come back to see it again

Paul Whitehead
Just got back from Rudgwick Steam Festival so could not make the Great Dorset this year !!

holly b
my dad and the some of the rest of our crew are on their way down from aberdeen with our burrell showmans engine! i just wish i could have got more time off work!

lottie maddox
i have been going to dorset steam fair for 13 years this year and i am 15 years old, my dad loves his truck and landrovers and and i think that goin to the show each year tops off a summer holiday perfectly, i'd reccommend it to anyone old, or young, just have a look!

Nick Hirst
I love Great Dorset as it shows just how amazing it was in the loden days for transport as my grandad take his to steam engines their. Also nearly 2,000 stalls to buy stuff off is great and the food mmmm.. The views are fantastic and now i go yearly since i can remember!

vicki rogers
i love the steam fair its brilliant we are taking my dads ferguson tractor up which will be great i hope the weather will be nice for the week its brilliant my thank you for the organisers for putting on this unique show

Mr Elliott Stevens
I think the steam fair is the best thing to bring the old to the new, there should be more of it. Yes i am going this year to see if my grandads old steam roller is there. the roller was called heilan lassey but i think it is called genivieve now.

Holly W
I have been every year since I was tiny (I'm 23 now) and am doing the whole hog this year by camping too. I love seeing the heavy horses ploughing and the crafts. So bring on the real ale tent!


vicki rogers
the ateam fair is great i have been going there since i was 7 years old and its great to camp for the week its brilliant

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