The International Steam Pages


UK Steam Rallies 2024

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 now it will not reappear in 2024 (noted 18th November 2023) and is unlikely to ever return. 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 deals with problems they would have faced to operate and just break even. 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. However, Lincoln has since passed into history. best of luck for those running rallies in 2024, in particular Old Warden which has returned to base 


For more than 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. 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, last year he was 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. I have to say that the 2023 season went 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, it seems that GDSF and Lincoln are now history and by common consent, Welland, Weeting and Shrewsbury are now the front runners. Old Warden took a break, downsized and relocated (to Turvey) but will be back at its traditional home in 2024 but the pandemic and high inflation will make kick starting it again a severe challenge. 

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.
Click here for the 2023 reports.

I owe a vote of thanks to David Collidge whose Steam Scenes website (http://www.steamscenes.org.uk/) 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 www.tractiontalkforum.com 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

Saffron Walden Crank Up
(27th - 28th April, 2024)

Stotfold Mill Steam Fair
(11th - 12th May 2024)
Fawley Hill Vintage Transport Festival
(17th - 19th May 2024)
Castle Combe Steam Rally
(18th - 19th May 2024)
Abergavenny Steam Rally
(26th - 27th May 2024)
Eastnor Castle Steam and Vintage
(26th - 27th May 2024)

Hollycombe Steam Rally
(1st - 2nd June, 2024)

Herts Steam and Country Show
(1st - 2nd June, 2024)

Marsworth Steam Rally
(16th June 2024)

Banbury
(29th - 30th June, 2024)

Hollowell
(6th - 7th July, 2024)


Rob and Yuehong Dickinson

Email: webmaster@internationalsteam.co.uk