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New date for Great Dorset Steam Fair

Numbers dropped at the Great Dorset Steam Fair in 2015 due to a crackdown on children being taken out of school Credit: PA

The Great Dorset Steam Fair has had to change its dates for 2016 to stop it clashing with the new school year. It will now take place at the showground at Tarrant Hinton over the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The harsh reality of the situation is that school term dates are now a major issue for the GDSF and this year’s show has conclusively proved that the show will be financially unsustainable if we continue to clash on a regular basis with the start of the new school year.

Thousands of families were “prevented” from attending the 2015 event and anyone who was at the GDSF would have seen a noticeable absence of children and families on site, particularly on the first three days (Wednesday, Thursday & Friday). This cannot happen again.

– MARTIN OLIVER, MANAGING DIRECTOR
Organisers say the Great Dorset Steam Fair would be financially unsustainable if it stayed at the same time Credit: PA

To find out more about the decision and this year's plans for the event, from THURSDAY 25th AUGUST TO MONDAY 29th AUGUST 2016 inclusive, click here.

'It's like being in the playground': Engines everywhere for Dorset steam fair

Credit: ITV West Country

Steam engines from far and wide are arriving for the annual Great Dorset Steam Fair which starts today.

After last year's mud bath, which saw dozens of cars towed free, a network of roads has been built on the site to stop bad weather disrupting the event.

One engine has travelled miles under its own steam to get to the venue.

Steam enthusiast Rob Wing let us in on what makes it fun.

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Roads to be built on the Great Dorset Steam Fair site to stop bad weather wreaking havoc

A network of roads is to be built on the site of the Great Dorset Steam Fair to stop bad weather disrupting the event.

A network of roads will be built for the Great Dorset Steam Fair to stop bad weather disrupting the event Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Last year, tractors were brought in to tow vehicles and there were long queues for the site at Tarrant Hinton near Blandford Forum. Some displays had to be cancelled. Organisers are planning to change the layout and are applying for permission for more than three miles of permanent roads.

Dorset steam rollers attempt to crush world record

Steam rollers ready for action. Credit: Ellie Newbury

Organisers at the Great Dorset Steam Fair will today attempt to beat the world record for the greatest number of steam rollers in a parade formation over a set course. Around 110 steam rollers will participate, travelling on a brand new road created in the road-making section at the event.

The current record is also held by the Great Dorset Steam Fair; a total of 32 vintage steam rollers passed over a length of new road on 31 August 2003, exactly 10 years ago.

Thousands expected for Great Dorset Steam Fair

Just one of the hundreds of exhibits at last year's show Credit: ITV News West Country

The Great Dorset Steam Fair gets underway this morning. Last year's event was disrupted by heavy rain with some displays cancelled but the forecast is good for today.

Up to 200,000 people are expected over the next five days at the event at Tarrant Hinton near Blandford Forum.

It's one of the largest steam fairs in Europe with hundreds of vintage vehicles, including more than 250 tractors.

'Prepare for warm weather' at Dorset Steam Fair

Great Dorset Steam Fair. Credit: ITV News West Country

Organisers of the Great Dorset Steam Fair that starts on Wednesday have urged visitors to prepare for warm weather.

There are already 5,000 caravans and tents on the site with an expected 15,000 more to be set up over the next few days.

Visitors have been advised to take sun cream, sun hats and plenty of water.

The event runs from Wednesday to Sunday at Tarrant Hinton in Blandford Forum.

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