The International Steam Pages

UK Steam Rallies 2023

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 did not happen and many will doubt that it can reappear in 2024. Anyone who has read the 2022 version of 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 explains why the cost of putting on a show rose so much in 2022. The same issues affect every rally, large and small, and I feared that 2023's list of rallies might turn out to be much shorter than that for 2022, but in the end that was not the case. 

For some 10 years I have been visiting and reporting on UK steam rallies with Yuehong. We've had a ball but like others in this game, we've found the novelty has been wearing off; we've done just about all the major rallies, often multiple times, and the number of engines appearing for the first time has naturally steadily reduced as the pool of active engines is necessarily limited. Now, post pandemic and with a national and personal financial crisis, it's time to scale back. Earlier this year I wrote that "I anticipate making fewer and shorter trips from 2023, in particular we expect to eliminate virtually all 'paid for' weekends away from home". With unrelenting inflation, like many pensioners we are faced with difficult decisions and while a steam rally represents exceptional value, the transport costs soon add up...

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. As before many of these reports were submitted by collaborator Paul Gilbey, this year he has been joined by Rod Smith. these are acknowledged appropriately and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them publicly for their efforts. For all the reasons I gave in my 2022 introduction, I am still pessimistic about the future particularly as I think the UK economy is defying gravity. However, by September 2023, I had to say that the season has gone rather better than I feared although the fine weather gods were on holiday in much of July and August.

Pre-pandemic, my 'Top Three Rallies' would have been GDSF, Old Warden and Lincoln. That's not true any more, GDSF is taking a 'holiday' and the other two have been downsized. By common consent, Welland, Weeting and Shrewsbury are now the top runners. 

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 2022 reports.

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 quite a few 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

(7th - 10th April, 2023)

Saffron Walden Crank Up
(15th - 16th April, 2023)

Abbey Hill
(28th April - 1st May, 2023)

East Midlands
(29th April - 1st May, 2023)

Stotfold Mill Fair
(13th - 14th May, 2023)

Castle Combe
(20th - 21st May, 2023)

(27th - 29th May, 2023)

Vernon Collection Auction
(2nd - 3rd June, 2023)

Herts Steam and Country Show
(3rd - 4th June, 2023)

Hollycombe Steam in the Country
(2nd - 4th June, 2023)

Stoke Row
(10th - 11th June, 2023)

(24th - 25th June, 2023)

(24th - 25th June, 2023)

(1st - 2nd July, 2023)

(1st - 2nd July, 2023)

(14th - 16th July, 2023)

(28th - 30th July, 2023)

South Cerney
(4th - 6th August, 2023)

(19th - 20th August, 2023)

(19th - 20th August, 2023)

Fawley Hill
(25th - 28th August, 2023)

(27th - 28th August, 2023)

(27th - 28th August, 2023)

(9th - 10th September, 2023)

(9th - 10th September, 2023) 

(15th - 17th September, 2023) 

Stotfold Mill 
Working Weekend
(7th - 8th October, 2023)

Klondyke Mill
Steam Party
(14th - 15th October, 2023)

H. J. Pugh Auction
(27th - 28th October, 2023)

Kemball Collection

Rob and Yuehong Dickinson