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Great Dorset Steam Fair

Great Dorset Steam Fair

It is always around this time of year we begin preparing to attend the annual Great Dorset Steam Fair, a show we have been attending as a company since 2006. I remember my first experience as a young 14-year-old girl eager to earn some extra pocket money. I still remember arriving and seeing the chaos around me with vehicles trudging through the mud and fairground rides being erected around me. In tow, I had with me all my electrical appliances, chargers, hairdryers, and straighteners. To my surprise, we had no electricity and I wondered what a week of living without these would be. I hoped that the pocket money I would earn had better be worth it.

We had a couple of tables, tablecloths and our product laid out in no order. Our location was not great, many could not find us, so the days were long and slow, and every customer was a luxury. The evening time was my favourite, I enjoyed experimenting with all the food options and spent time with my Dad. The organ music and the fairground atmosphere were enthralling. I saw all the Showman’s Engines lined up, fully working with the owners polishing them with pride. The array of lights was breath-taking and something that I will never forget. We saw something special in the show and we were eager to make it work.


Image : Our Marquee with our Caravans and Vans behind

At 19, I joined Oxford Diecast after leaving school and so the Steam Fair became an annual event. I spent the next few years learning from my father, who is still my inspiration and idol to this day. I watched the ideas flow from his mind of ways to entice people into our brand with his knowledge, expertise, and enthusiasm. We moved to a better location and built a stand to display our product efficiently.

Image : The first time we saw the new stand that had been created for the show - still used to date! 


Image : The stand complete with all our product! A step up from tables!

In 2010 we released our first official Great Dorset Steam Fair Model – the Bedford TK Fairground Organ. I watched his pride as he rushed over to see the real thing with our model in his hand. Little did we know that 10 years later, the Great Dorset Steam Fair Official model would become a must for many. The interest grew over the years and visitors were eager to get to us on the first day to ensure they managed to get one. We take great pride knowing that this little bit of memorabilia, that may sit in a cabinet or a shelf somewhere, could remind those of the wonderful time they enjoyed at the Steam Fair.

It also became a tradition that our good friend Ken would help us each year, giving out the first signed model and supported by Gill who would dish out freshly baked Cornish pasties during set up.

Bedford TK Music Organ


Bedford TK Music Organ


We are understanding, but disappointed that the show cannot take place this year. It is not just a show for us, but a time to reflect, speak to customers and enjoy ourselves. It is also a chance for us as a family to spend time together in our little caravan we perch up behind our marquee, while listening to the booming music from the beer tents.

Image : Eloise and Taff at Great Dorset Steam Fair 2018


Image : Taff enjoying his Cider!

Image : Eloise introduces her son, Zyan, to the Show - he is earning some pocket money, but Mum doesn't pay well enough! 

Image : Zyan and Gramps enjoying some Down Time dancing to the music!


We are hopeful for the return of the show in 2024. But for now, to celebrate the memories, here is a special treat for you.

Enjoy £5 off your order when shopping the Oxford Showtime Range using the code DORSET5.

Code Valid until 31/08/2023! One Use Per Customer.

You can find the qualifying models on these links Dorset Models and the Showtime Range

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Keith Shearman - August 27, 2023

Hopefully we we see you all again next year and have a good chin wag/talk and get me some good bargains and have a great time as well you all take care now and we will talk again soon gdsf here we come bye for now

Gregor Bolwell - August 21, 2023

hope to see you next year

Steve Tomlinson - August 14, 2023

Shame the Bedford TK Fairground Organ is out of stock. Still…

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