The International Steam Pages

UK Steam Rallies 2022

Click here for the Surviving Steam Road Engine Index.

Click here for the "UK Steam Rallies" index page.

Most readers will know that GDSF 2023 will not happen and many will doubt that it can reappear in 2024. Anyone who has read this page and my reports through Summer 2022 shouldn't have been very surprised. Please read the GDSF statement on their Facebook page which in some detail if a little repetitively why the cost of putting on a show has risen so much in 2022. The same issues affect every rally, large and small, and I fear that 2023's list of rallies will be much shorter than that for 2022. When next summer comes, get out and grab every opportunity to support your local event if you think it deserves a future.

If you want to see Britain at its best visit one of the many Steam Rallies held each year. That's not my opinion, it's Yuehong's, even after nearly 10 years she still enjoys them. Although the novelty has worn off somewhat she loves to sit down and soak up the atmosphere. Of course, these days most tag on "country fair" and / or "vintage transport" to broaden the attraction and its appeal. However, given the nature of this site you will find only steam power in these pages. I had planned to introduce Yuehong to this phenomenon in 2012 but the generally wet weather and other business meant it was put off until 2013, since when we have made up for lost time. Initially not having a car of our own, we employed a little bit of cunning to get to these public transport free zones cheaply. Later we took advantage of competitive weekend hire car rates to travel further from our base in West Gloucestershire and in 2018 we took the plunge and invested in our own set of wheels, definitely a luxury given our traditional lifestyle. It meant more freedom, of course, and for me four hours less time commuting to Gloucester needed to pick up and return a hire car.

Choose the rally you are interested in which will generally take you to a further index page. Within each linked page click on a thumbnail for a larger image. Then click again to return to the previous page. Back in April 2022, I posed the question - "What will 2022 bring? Hopefully a return to near normality if the coal doesn't run out..." The 2020 rally season was a complete write off, of course, and understandably 2021 wasn't much better. In the event, I think 2022 was more than satisfactory overall, at least it rarely rained. Some of these reports were submitted by collaborator Paul Gilbey, these are acknowledged appropriately and I would like to take this opportunity to thank him publicly for his efforts.

I am pessimistic about the future. Not only is the general UK economic outlook bleak which will affect attendances for what represents discretionary spending, but steam rallies are vulnerable to 'energy issues'. It is getting increasingly difficult to source the right kind of coal and it is now frighteningly expensive; also most engines arrive at rallies on low loaders which are anything but fuel efficient. In other words, we face a 'perfect storm'. As such it was no surprise that most rallies had fewer entrants than before. For this reason, we invested time and money in visiting as many shows as we could this summer in one glorious 'last hurrah'. Ahead of any particular event, we had no idea what to expect, but afterwards I would look at the number of engines attending compared to previous visits and how many of them were new to me. To that mix, I would add a 'sparkle factor', a measure of how hard shows had tried with other attractions etc. I won't name the villains (they are not difficult to spot), but my heroes for 2022 would have to include - in alphabetical order - Masham, Netley Marsh, Shrewsbury and Welland. One effect that I did not see coming was the cull of what I would call 'traders'. Their relative absence (and the funds they would bring) this year was a major concern of organisers of all the rallies we went to, I think maybe only South Cerney bucked the trend. Another was the massive rise in the cost of providing the 'infrastructure' of rallies from security staff to such mundane objects as toilets which seem to have doubled in price, caused by supply shortages following the pandemic which had removed many players.

I shall not retire (yet), but anticipate making fewer and shorter trips from 2023. The Times They Are A-Changing...

We started visiting steam rallies in 2013.
Click here for the 2013 reports.
Click here for the 2014 reports.
Click here for the 2015 reports.
Click here for the 2016 reports.
Click here for the 2017 reports.
Click here for the 2018 reports.
Click here for the 2019 reports.
Click here for the 2021 reports.
Click here for the 2023 reports.

If your first love is 'steel on steel' or even has no wheels, then 'Working Engines' will normally be of more interest, these are the subject of our YouTube video clips. I have not attempted to distinguish between the various kinds of that group I would call 'traction engines' so 'general engines' includes 'road locomotives' and 'tractors', indeed many owners have engines have been rebuilt over the years so they have swapped categories.

I owe a vote of thanks to David Collidge whose Steam Scenes website ( is a fount of information and was invaluable in identifying engines when they were late entries or the rally programmes got it wrong... David is still out there attending rallies etc, but unfortunately the site has not been fully updated for several years; however includes discussion of recent (and future) events. I make no claim to artistic beauty in what is essentially a set of record shots. Two dedicated enthusiasts have done that in classic books, both of which are readily available at a modest price through AbeBooks or Amazon. Yuehong has sat drooling over my copies. I have added a third book which is very approachable study which covers mainly threshing and ploughing.

  • Traction Engine Album by Malcolm Ranieri (2005) - ISBN 9781861267948

  • Classic Traction Engines by Paul Stratford (2010) - ISBN 9780857040541

  • Steam on the Farm by Jonathan Brown (2008) - ISBN 9781847970527

(15th - 18th April, 2022)

Saffron Walden Crank Up
(23rd - 24th April, 2022)

Trevithick Day
(30th April, 2022) 

Abbey Hill
(29th April - 2nd May, 2022) 

East Midlands Steam and Country Show
(30th April - 2nd May, 2022)

Stotfold Mill Fair 
(7th - 8th May, 2022)


Castle Combe
(28th - 29th May, 2022)

(28th - 29th May, 2022)

(2nd - 5th June, 2022)


(11th - 12th June, 2022)

Stoke Row
(11th - 12th June, 2022)

Castle Fraser
(18th - 19th June, 2022)


(25th - 26th June, 2022)

(2nd - 3rd July, 2022) 

(2nd - 3rd July, 2022) 


(9th - 10th July, 2022)

(16th - 17th July, 2022)

(16th - 17th July, 2022)

(16th - 17th July, 2022)

(15th - 17th July, 2022)

Much Marcle
(23rd - 24th July, 2022)

Netley Marsh
(22nd - 24th July, 2022)

(29th - 31st July, 2022) 

(5th - 7th August, 2022) 

South Cerney
(5th - 7th August, 2022)

(6th - 7th August, 2022)

Astle Park
(13th - 14th August, 2022)

(14th August, 2022)

(20th - 21st August, 2022)

(27th - 28th August, 2022) 

Great Dorset
(25th - 29th August, 2022) 

(10th - 11th September, 2022) 

(16th - 18th September, 2022) 

Stotfold Mill 
Working Weekend
(8th - 9th October, 2022)

Carter's Steam Fair
(Summer 2022) 

Rob and Yuehong Dickinson