Dorset

In pictures: Great Dorset Steam Fair 2016

Great Dorset Steam Fair 2016 Image copyright PA

Thousands of steam enthusiasts have descended on Dorset for the annual Great Dorset Steam Fair.

The five-day event, held every year since 1969, attracts up to 200,000 visitors.

As well as steam-powered engines and machinery, the event features stunt displays, vintage vehicles and a countryside arena, showcasing gundogs, falconry and prize sheep.

Tribute acts and original bands also perform at an evening music festival.

Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA

The showground at Tarrant Hinton, near Blandford. covers 600 acres and hosts 1,000 trade stands as well as 2,000 exhibitors and their families.

Up to 5,000 caravans and tents also pitch up at the public campsites, meaning that some 25,000 people can be living on the site at any one time.

To cope with the huge numbers, organisers hire about 600 portable toilets and have to dispose of about 76,000 gallons of effluent.

Also, two miles of water piping is laid and more than 4,500,000 litres of water are used each year. About 2,100,000 litres are used by the steam engines alone.

Each year 200 tonnes of coal are used, 30 generators are hired and 500 barrels of beer are quaffed.

Image copyright PA
Image copyright PA

The fair was founded by Michael Oliver, who died in 2009, and is now run by his son, Martin.

Over the years it has been held at Stourpain Bushes, nearby Everley Hill until it moved to its permanent home in Tarrant Hinton.

Planning regulations mean organisers are not allowed to begin site preparations until two weeks before the fair and they have 10 days to clear the site and return it to a working farm.

Image copyright PA

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