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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.

Organisers say Great Dorset Fair was a huge success

A vintage car on its way to the Steam Fair Credit: ITV News West Country

Organisers of the Great Dorset Steam Fair say it was a huge success despite a muddy start. Visitors praised a special World War One exhibit recreating life in the trenches. Rain at the start of last week caused boggy conditions. But the ground dried up by the weekend and sunshine help bring in the crowds.

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Conditions improving at Great Dorset Steam Fair

The muddy scene at the Great Dorset Steam Fair yesterday Credit: ITV News West Country

The organisers of the Great Dorset Steam Fair say that conditions are still very muddy but are improving this morning. Yesterday many visitors to the fair were stranded for hours waiting to be towed through the mud.

The car parks for day visitors are mostly dry and running as normal, but pre-paid camping vehicles may face delays due to the ground conditions in gates 3 and 4.

– Great Dorset Steam Fair statement

Steam Fair fields become muddy quagmire

The wet weather has proved a challenge for people going to one of the West Country's biggest events.

The Great Dorset Steam Fair got underway today as heavy rain turned fields into a quagmire.

Traffic queued for up to four hours to get on to the site near Blandford Forum.

Organisers had earlier appealed for extra tractors to help tow vehicles through muddy fields.

Our Dorset correspondent Duncan Sleightholme has spent the day there:

Mud mayhem at the Great Dorset Steam Fair

A vintage car on its way to the Steam Fair. Credit: ITV News West Country

Wet weather has proved a challenge for people going to The Great Dorset Steam Fair.

Many exhibitors were forced to sleep overnight in their cars when they couldn't get to the muddy camping fields.

There have been queues of over 4 hours to get into the car parks, as visitors head to the site despite the mud.

There have been long queues trying to get into the muddy car parks. Credit: ITV News West Country
Our satellite truck has been stuck in the long queues! Credit: ITV News West Country

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Long queues for Dorset steam fair

So near and yet so far - the destination is in site for people queuing for the Great Dorset Steam Fair Credit: ITV News

There are long queues for people trying to get on site at the Great Dorset Steam Fair.

The event at Tarrant Hinton near Blandford starts tomorrow but heavy showers have made it difficult for vehicles trying to get on and move around the site today.

Stuck in the queue for the Great Dorset Steam Fair - those waiting hope they'll get there before it opens tomorrow Credit: ITV News

Great Dorset Steam Fair appeals for help in the mud

The Great Dorset Steam Fair is due to start tomorrow (Wednesday) Credit: ITV News

Organisers of The Great Dorset Steam Fair at Tarrant Hinton near Blandford say it is still on for tomorrow, despite the bad weather.

Exhibitors and campers are arriving at the site and the fair is appealing for owners of 4x4s and Landrovers to help out in the mud.

We are currently experiencing adverse weather conditions at the Great Dorset Steam Fair and would welcome any assistance from any local Tractors and Drivers.

– Great Dorset Steam Fair

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.