The International Steam Pages


UK Steam Rallies 2017

Click here for the Surviving Steam Road Engine Index.

 Click here for the "UK Steam Rallies" index page.


If you want to see Britain at its best visit one of the many Steam Rallies held each year. That's not my opinion, it's Yuehong's, she can't get enough of them at the moment although I am sure the novelty will wear off. Of course, these days they all tag on "country fair" and / or "vintage transport" to broaden the attraction and its appeal. However, given the nature of this site you will find only steam power in these pages. I had planned to introduce Yuehong to this phenomenon in 2012 but the generally wet weather and other business meant it was put off until 2013, since when we have made up for lost time. Initially not having a car of our own, we employed a little bit of cunning to get to these public transport free zones cheaply. Later we took advantage of competitive weekend hire car rates to travel further from our base in West Gloucestershire. Choose the rally you are interested in which will generally take you to a further index page. Within each linked page click on a thumbnail for a larger image. Then click again to return to the previous page. We did fewer visits in 2015 compared to 2014, we have plucked most of the low hanging fruit and apart from our local events, we journeyed out fewer times but a little further than before. We expected 2016 to show a similar pattern to 2015, but the weather has been good, car hire prices very reasonable, (especially as frequent customers we have had two free weekends) and the final tally was slightly more. As for 2017, I am not yet sure whether I will have the energy to continue such an intensive programme, early signs are that car hire prices will be significantly .higher.

We started visiting steam rallies in 2013.
Click here for the 2013 reports.
Click here for the 2014 reports.
Click here for the 2015 reports.
Click here for the 2016 reports.

If your first love is 'steel on steel' or even has no wheels, then 'Working Engines' will normally be of more interest, these are the subject of our YouTube video clips (there will be regular editions until September 2017). I have not attempted to distinguish between the various kinds of that group I would call 'traction engines' so 'general engines' includes 'road locomotives' and 'tractors', indeed many owners have engines have been rebuilt over the years so they have swapped categories.

I owe a vote of thanks to David Collidge whose Steam Scenes website (http://www.steamscenes.org.uk/) is a fount of information and was invaluable in identifying engines when they were late entries or the rally programmes got it wrong... David is still out there attending rallies etc, but unfortunately the site has not been fully updated for a couple of years although recent pictures are there if you look hard; however www.tractiontalkforum.com includes discussion of recent (and future) events. I make no claim to artistic beauty in what is essentially a set of record shots. Two dedicated enthusiasts have done that in classic books, both of which are readily available at a modest price through AbeBooks or Amazon. Yuehong has sat drooling over my copies. I have added a third book which is very approachable study which covers mainly threshing and ploughing.

  • Traction Engine Album by Malcolm Ranieri (2005) ISBN 9781861267948

  • Classic Traction Engines by Paul Stratford (2010) - ISBN 9780857040541

  • Steam on the Farm by Jonathan Brown (2008) - ISBN 9781847970527

Great North Steam Fair
(April 6th - 9th, 2017)

Trevithick Day
(April 29th 2017) 

Chipping Steam Fair
(May 27th - 29th 2017) 

Wiltshire Steam Rally
(June 10th - 11th 2017) 

Belper Steam Event
(June 10th - 11th 2017) 


Rob and Yuehong  Dickinson

Email: webmaster@internationalsteam.co.uk