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The Great Dorset Steam Fair Roundup

PUBLISHED: 13:27 03 September 2012 | UPDATED: 21:49 20 February 2013

Michael Oliver's Plinth

Michael Oliver's Plinth

Despite a wet and muddy start to the show, the Great Dorset Steam Fair saw around 200,000 visitors this year as expected.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair Roundup


2nd September 2012 Despite a wet and muddy start to the show, the Great Dorset Steam Fair saw around 200,000 visitors this year as expected. With so many events falling prey to bad weather this year, organisers say this figure is a huge achievement in team work and cooperation and they would like to thank all 2012 visitors for bearing with them during muddy times.
On the first few nights of the show, Great Dorset Steam Fair staff worked at night with steam rollers to ensure the ground was as safe as possible for visitors the next day. Extra gates were opened to relocate vehicles to safer ground, and stewards were working to maximum capacity to assist visitors and ensure their safety.
From Thursday afternoon, conditions improved significantly and the site saw bright sunshine and temperatures of up to 22 degrees. This turnaround encouraged over 50,000 visitors on Friday and approximately 60,000 visitors on Saturday.

Michael Oliver

In memory of Great Dorset Steam Fair Founder Michael Oliver, the folk marquee was renamed the Michael Oliver Marquee this year . Visitors commented that the marquees central location has made it an appropriate landmark in his memory.
Another new addition to this years event was a stone plinth kindly carved by Robin Hooper in Michael Olivers memory, which was placed in the hedge towards the top of the steam ploughing hill as a permanent memorial to the founder.
Michael Olivers Son and Managing Director Martin Oliver says: The plinth is in a wonderful location overlooking the whole showground and Dad would have approved wholeheartedly. Its now nearly three years since he passed away and we all miss him so much. He has left a tremendous legacy in establishing the Great Dorset Steam Fair as arguably the worlds leading steam and preservation event.

Steamy Facts



  • Annually the Great Dorset Steam Fair goes through ten miles of electric cable, 200 tonnes of coal and 550 barrels of beer!

  • Over 200,000 visitors attend each year from the UK and all over the world.

  • This year there will be over 90 acts performing on five stages across the site.

  • There are over 170 acres allocated for pre-paid public camping that will accommodate a staggering 5,000 individual units (caravans and tents etc.) At the busiest time of Steam Fair week there will be between 15,000 and 20,000 show visitors camping on site.

  • Over 60 Showman's Engines with their gleaming, twisted, brass will generate the light and power for the old roundabouts and swing-boats.

  • Over 100 cars, nearly 400 commercial vehicles, over 140 motorcycle exhibits, over 100 military machines, over 250 vintage tractors and over 100 horticultural tractors will be on display this year.

  • Ten large corn ricks will be threshed at this years show and a dozen saw benches will feature in the wood sawing area.


About Great Dorset Steam Fair
The Great Dorset Steam Fair will take place from Wednesday 29th August to Sunday 2nd September in Tarrant Hinton. The spectacle covers an enormous showground, at over 600 acres being one of Europe's largest outdoor event locations along with Glastonbury Festival. It is now widely recognized as "THE" National Heritage Show as well as being regarded as the leading show of its type in the World. For more information visit http://www.gdsf.co.uk/.

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