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28 October 2014

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Outdoor Events

The Great Dorset Steam Fair
The Great Dorset Steam Fair

Great Dorset Steam Fair

Preparations for the 38th annual gathering of steam engines and vintage machinery are gathering momentum. The fair, which takes place at Tarrant Hinton near Blandford, is one of the biggest events of its kind in Europe.

The event, which will take place from Wednesday 30th August to Sunday 3rd September, attracts over 200,000 visitors from across the U.K and abroad.

The aim of the Great Dorset Steam Fair is to give the public an insight into country life when steam power was in its heyday at the turn of the 20th century.

A celebration of steam!
A celebration of steam!

Each year probably the largest collection of steam and vintage equipment to be seen anywhere in the world assembles on fields around Tarrant Hinton near Blandford to take visitors on a giant trip of nostalgia into the days of yesteryear.

200 working steam engines and 100 fairground organs will be on display at the show together with around 2000 other working exhibits.

One of the highlights of the event is the old time steam Funfair.  Annually, over 50 Showman’s engines with their gleaming, twisted brass, generate the light and power for the old roundabouts and swingboats to operate - a spectacle, especially at night!  To add to the excitement several of the large fair organs are fronted by stage shows where traditional Can Can dancing girls perform.

The event attracts over 200,000 people
The event attracts over 200,000 people

Heavy haulage engines will demonstrate their awesome power by heaving vast loads of granite or machinery on trailers up steep inclines.  The noisy action is accompanied by the sight of swirling dustclouds, belching smoke and flying sparks.

Steam power threshing, steam ploughing, steam woodsawing and steam road rolling are other popular demonstrations at the fair.

As well as the steam engines and organs, vintage tractors, vintage cars and motorcycles and army vehicles will also be on parade. 

The Great Dorset Steam Fair
The Great Dorset Steam Fair

Crafts people, from Thatchers to cider makers, will be on hand to show off the tricks of their trade in three large craft marquees.

15 acres of the site will be devoted to trade stands including an autojumble section.

Large entertainment tents will feature everything from 36 piece Brass Bands to groups such as The Merseybeats.  The Real Ale Festival tent hopes to have up to 25 traditional ales for this year's show.

Wednesday 30th August to Sunday 3rd September
Southdown, Tarrant Hinton, Blandford
Open from 11 am daily (gates open 9 am)
More info: 01258 860361

last updated: 17/03/06
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