8th May 2018 – The Great Dorset Steam Fair has confirmed the star attraction at this year’s milestone 50th anniversary event will be the biggest gathering of steam engines ever on the planet. The special ‘500 at 50’ special will be an official Guinness World Record attempt.

500 steam engines from across the globe will be getting steam up and making their way to Dorset to be part of the assembly, including some from New Zealand, Canada, The Netherlands, Ireland, and hundreds from across the United Kingdom. The ‘500 at 50’ section, in association with Westons Cider “Old Rosie,” will include all makes and models along with many engines and owners who have supported the show over the past 49 years.

Visitors will be able to behold everything from familiar well-travelled engines to museum hidden gems, barn finds, never before seen ‘in-preservation’ engines, the biggest, the smallest, engines from the first show, engines from specialist shows, unusual and unique exhibits… the list goes on.

Great Dorset Steam Fair Managing Director Martin Oliver said: “We are so excited to be celebrating 50 years and the ‘500 at 50’ display will be a sight to behold! This will be the largest gathering of steam engines yet and I love the idea that a container ship of steam engines will be making its way across The Atlantic to get to us. Every section is in merriment mode this year and we look forward to our visitors experiencing the best that their favourite section has to offer. Come and celebrate 50 years of outstanding entertainment with us and be a part of an historical landmark event.”

“When my late Dad started this event as a small informal gathering of engines on a village green, nobody could have imagined that 50 years later it would be the biggest event of its kind in the world. We have all really enjoyed taking trips down memory lane in putting this anniversary event together, and it has been emotional remembering all the characters that have helped us along the way to this landmark. We sadly lost Dad back in 2009 and I know he would be thrilled that the show has reached this glorious 50 year milestone. We have so much planned across the entire showground; we want to celebrate in style across the whole event and make him proud.”

Amongst those making the annual pilgrimage to Tarrant Hinton will be Guy Martin’s 30-tonne replica WW1 tank, Deborah II, which currently resides at Norfolk Tank Museum. The motorcycle racer and mechanic spent five months making an exact replica of the British Mark IV tank for a Channel 4 show, and visitors will be able to see it as part of the WW1 Special Display.

An additional date for the diary is 11th August 2018 when a “Homecoming” road run parade will go from Bovington through Blandford Town Centre to the Great Dorset Steam Fair site at Tarrant Hinton to commemorate the Centenary of the end of World War One, and to mark the final year of the WW1 Special Display at the show. A previous road run parade took place to mark the Centenary of the beginning of World War One and the opening of the WW1 Special Display back in 2014. More details will be announced as they are confirmed.

GDSF’s Live Music Festival will be the biggest yet with over 100 acts performing on six stages over the five days. The Wurzels will be back by popular demand along with some of the UK’s hottest tribute acts. The Stunt Arena will be action packed with the familiar favourite Big Pete’s Monster Truck Display Team, and Paul Swift’s Britalian Job and Xtreme Stunt Team will be making their debut.

A Mecca for steam enthusiasts, the Great Dorset Steam Fair is the world’s largest heritage and cultural event showcasing Britain’s national industrial, agricultural and leisure history. Visitors from all over the world make their way to Dorset every year to soak up the unique festival atmosphere, as well as many local families and groups.

The 50th anniversary special will take place from 23rd until 27th August 2018, and we are expecting a record-breaking event with around 250,000 visitors expected over the bank holiday weekend.

To order tickets, please click here.