The International Steam Pages

The Great Dorset Steam Fair (23rd - 27th August 2018)

This is one of a series of pages I have uploaded to illustrate facets of the steam rallies we have attended in the UK. Click here for the 2018 introduction and overall index.

The 50th GDSF was my first, it's something I had deliberately postponed as there was a real risk that eating Black Forest Gateaux for 3 or 4 days non-stop might put me off it for ever. In the event, the show was marvellous, it seems the organisers got their 500 engines (there are around 500 listed here, I've not covered steam cars and all but one of the steam locomotives) but they were so obsessed with this that they took their eye off the ball as far as the basics like traffic management, car parks, entry arrangements and the toilets were concerned. Joe Public will get his revenge in 2019, read what he has been saying here if like me you don't stoop to using Facebook or Twitter:

I have had a lot of help from others in compiling this report, in particular Paul Gilbey, Rod Smith, Paul Sweatman, David Bosworth and Neil Edwards have made good my photographic deficiencies, their contributions are acknowledged on the pages concerned. Necessarily, many of the pictures are well below the standard I would hope to achieve for a typical show, but the circumstances were unique and unlikely to be repeated in my lifetime. The way the show operated with engines sheeted overnight and then constantly coming and going to the playpen, we will have missed some, if you spot an omission, especially if you can provide a picture, just email me at the address at the bottom of every page. Similarly there will be errors and I hope readers will help get these rapidly corrected.

What has come out in my consultations is that while the number of engines attending was most impressive, even more impressive was the fact that a significant proportion were those not normally seen in public in the UK. Indeed, there were over 30 engines from Ireland and smaller numbers from New Zealand and continental Europe, but there were many engines based in the UK making rare appearances, you can see see how many were 'not seen before' for me by a lack of links in the right hand columns. Others have reported a similar experience, the numbers depending on their personal history. We owe a big vote of thanks to both organisers and owners for setting this up.

I have now (8th October 2018) uploaded a page which lists those engines in the programme (excluding the scrap yard) which I have still been unable to confirm as present or absent.

Choose the section you are interested in and within that, click on a thumbnail for a larger image. Then click again to return to the page.

David Collidge's Steam Scenes website ( is a fount of information and was a great help in compiling these pages.

Showman's Engines Steam Wagons Steam Rollers Ploughing Engines Portable Engines
Road Locomotives Steam Tractors General Purpose The Scrap Yard Other Engines

Rob and Yuehong  Dickinson