48th Great Dorset Steam Fair 2016

Stand

It is Often mud or dust at the Great Dorset but this year just enough rain to lay the dust – perfect!! We arrived on Monday 22nd August a couple of days before the show and were met by Society member Sue Hart who with her husband Andrew were keen to help set up the display. The day before the show starts is usually reserved to scour the huge area of auto jumble stalls in search of horse brasses to be rescued.

There is an element of competition amongst those present to see who can boast the

best find and this year Sue Hart was streets ahead with a box of goodies containing a fine strap of old brasses plus several loose ones purchased at the show auction held on the second day of the show off site near by all for the price of £50. The show opened on Thursday 25th August a week earlier this year ending on bank holiday Monday 29th, which brought in larger than ever crowds. To say the show caters for every taste would be an understatement, because as well as a multitude of working steam engines of every type beavering away at various tasks, collections or displays of every type of vintage equipment from blowlamps to buses are there to be seen. The show ground is spread over 650 acres with 25,000 people living on site before the public come in.

This article relates to this year’s heavy horse section of the show organised by section leader Neen Macey ably assisted by her daughter Erica Macey-Bracken. Our NHBS display was perfectly placed on the main avenue looking on to the Sid Wallace heavy horse ring next to John Parker’s Swingletree horses and the Royal Mail Coach which is always admired by many. As usual many visitors came to have a look at us and we were very pleased to welcome Di Hanson, if you take a close look at her necklace you will observe it is miniature horse brasses with earrings to match!! A goodly number of society members also came in and these days often bring brasses or pictures to gather an opinion from the “Arthur Negus” of the horse brass world Peter Ferguson with occasional cautious interference from me!!!

Left, is society member John Smith a regular attender of the show and one of our special characters always willing to support our cause by purchasing a pair of whatever special NHBS brasses are being sold. This year of course we have two on offer to help raise funds to support the award presentation scheme. This year’s specials are the Queen’s 90th birthday brass and more recently the magnificent sun burst 40thanniversary brass both available through Mary Fletcher. A full range of society publications were available at the show. My Wiltshire display is growing in number mainly nosebands from all over the county but I can now boast four farmer face pieces and a bridle with the noseband attached. They started the show in sparkling condition but the drizzle we had on the Sunday soon took the brightness from them. After a good polish they will be on display again at the Ipsden meeting Saturday 1st October 2016.

Above; Winner of the decorated harness class Charlote Webb with Silver 2016

And below: winner of the traditional harness class Malcolm Scurrell’s Flo.

The heavy horse competition day was Sunday the fourth day of the show in cold damp conditions not conducive to decorated harness but entries were up on last year from one to three but the traditional harness class was down to a disappointing three from eleven last year.

The winner of the decorated harness was Charlotte Webb with Silver, in 2nd place came Erica Macey-Bracken with Jim, and 3rd Gawain Holmes with John B. I was again given the privilege of presenting the prizes in this class. The traditional harness class was won by Malcolm Scurrell with Flo, Alan Langford with Monty 2nd, and Karl Harvey with Harveys George came 3rd The NHB supported both classes with an award brass and rosette.