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Online Catalogue last updated 2nd of November 2021


The Great Dorset Steam Fair by Paul Stratford

cover photo

Throughout the summer months on most weekends around the country there are numerous traction engine rallies, ranging from small local gatherings, charity events and rural fayres with just a couple of local engines to three-day rallies with up to one hundred traction engines from all parts of the country attending.

But there is one event which eclipses them all - the Great Dorset Steam Fair. This is held annually over five days on 600 acres of farmland at Tarrant Hinton in Dorset in the week following the August Bank holiday weekend.

The Fair was the brainchild in 1968 of local farmer Michael Oliver and museum owner Ted Hines. Between them they brought together a small group of steam and vintage machinery enthusiasts for a small gathering on a patch of land adjacent to the museum with the aim of having a collection to raise money for a cancer charity.

Since then the event has grown to be the largest and most prestigious of its kind worldwide. Organised primarily by the Oliver family, founder Michael Oliver was awarded the MBE in 2004 but sadly passed away in 2009 leaving son Martin to take over the onerous task of running the Great Dorset Steam Fair.

This unique album which was shot over a period of years from 1989 to the present day, captures in over 140 captivating and nostalgic images the excitement and intensity that makes the Great Dorset Steam Fair a totally unique and much loved event.

Paul Stratford was born and has lived his whole life in Warwickshire. From an early age he has always had an interest in steam railways, which began with the Stratford and Midland Junction Railway, which ran close to his home village. Latterly he has travelled extensively both in the UK and Worldwide photographing working steam railways before turning his attentions to not only photographing, but also restoring and driving traction engines. After becoming a volunteer in the steam locomotive department at the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway he has subsequently qualified as a fireman and now has ambitions to become a driver. His previous books for Halsgrove, Classic Traction Engines and Traction Engines: Preservation and Power have both been widely acclaimed.

Code No. 015889, 144 pages, ISBN 9780857041623, $37.00

This item is listed under the following subjects:

Traction Engine  
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