Weary of a life of enforced domesticity curling out of kettles and hissing from ironed shirts, steam attempted to run away from home, but was trapped in the train it hopped in and forced to drive it. Steam ahead with today’s Groupon at The Great Dorset Steam Fair 2011.• £6.50 for two adult evening tickets (£16 value)
• £19 for a family day ticket for two adults and two children (£45 value)
From its historical setting in the village of Tarrant Hinton, found nestled in the beautiful Dorset countryside, the fair is 600 acres of national heritage show, providing everything from fear-inducing funfair rides to giant machines from Britain’s engineering past. While the steam-driven behemoths of a bygone era are brought out of retirement to get back to work, old carousels and swing boats in the steam-powered funfair also prove they are not past their prime. Visitors wander amongst classic cars, bikes and military vehicles to stumble happily across a country craft stall or a spread of cheeses and local cider. Those who fancy donning a disguise as a butterfly or a desert island can have their faces painted, ready to provide a colourful crowd for the evening’s entertainment of a spread of bands, music ranging from rock to jazz and hopping from blues to reggae.
Groupon day trippers can plan a family day at the fair for two adults and two children, with gates opening at 8am, or pop down after 5pm with evening tickets for two adults. Go-karts and trampolines as well as a huge funfair will keep kids catered for, while the monster truck display and the Royal Signals motorcycle display should keep petrol heads happy amongst the many steam-powered attractions. Evening entertainment takes the shape of four stages featuring band after band, meandering from rock to country to jazz, plying the crowd with past and present classics as well as original tunes, and also boasting a brass band and a choir.
The Great Dorset Steam Fair boasts a respectable 2,362 fans on Facebook, although it has yet to receive any reviews.