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Now in its 38th year, the Great Dorset Steam Fair is probably the greatest steam event in the British Isles, if not in the whole of Europe. For those interested in steam and all things mechanical, the great Dorset has become what Glastonbury is to rock fangs and the Isle of Man TT Races is for motorcycle enthusiasts, a major event in their calendar and something not to be missed. The fair, which takes place every year on the five days from the Wednesday after the august bank holiday, today occupies a 600 acre site at a place called south down, near Blandford Forum. There can be as many as 30,000 exhibitors and workers staying on site before a visitor comes through the gate making this briefly one of the largest habitations in Dorset. For the duration of the fair, the site has its own police station, fire brigade and medical centre! The Great Dorset steam fair offers a wide range of attractions which appeal to a great variety of tastes and interests. These range from vintage tractors and commercial road vehicles to heavy horses. On site is a large craft fair and one of the biggest fairgrounds in the country. In addition, many musical tastes are catered for and there is a real ale festival. Whilst the event incorporates many other shows and attractions such as these at its heart is the great array of steam powered vehicles which have always formed the centrepiece of the fair and which are portrayed in this book. Paul Appleton, who has been attending the Great Dorset Steam Fair in various capacities for the last 20 or so years, has brought together a collection of superb colour photos featuring a wonderful cross-section of class steam scenes taken at the show over the years. This book concentrates on the steam aspects of the fair depicting traction engines, steam lorries and cars. The traction engines are seen demonstrating the tasks that these mighty machines used to perform routinely such as ploughing, sawing, threshing and stone crushing. For anyone with even a passing interest in steam power and for those who have enjoyed a visit to the great Dorset steam fair over the years, this book is a visual delight which will bring back many pleasant memories of this greatest of steam attractions.
- Colour Plates