GDSF - 2022

Rick Creation & Modern Straw Haulage - 28.07.22

Visiting the GDSF site today saw the ricks being created ready for threshing in the work area and I also managed to catch the straw being hauled by modern tractor method.


Further preparations for GDSF - 26.07.22

Today I made a further visit on site to see some of the preparation for The Great Dorset Steam Fair.  The day was spent constructing the ricks and collecting the sheaves.

There was, as always, an impressive gang of workers collecting the sheaves and hauling them over the field to construct the ricks.  I did manage to get a photograph of some of the labour that have been involved in the work.  Unfortunately, a few were unavailable due to work.

These sheaves will be stacked in the ricks ready for use during the steam fair.

Mr Robin Hooper the Farmer and his Son, were also in action with a very large combine, which can devour a field of  corn, in a very short space of time.

Cutting for GDSF - 18th & 19th July 

1st and 2nd Day on Site


Today was my first day on site, to see some of the preparation for The Great Dorset Steam Fair 2022.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, The Great Dorset Steam Fair has not taken place for several years.


I had the pleasure of meeting staff & personnel on site, together with Mr Robin Hooper the Farmer and his Son, who kindly gave me permission to record the attached photographs.


The staff have started the harvest of the wheat, for use on site during the show.  Due to the very extreme heat, work in the harvest field has been starting at 04.00 and stops during the hottest part of the day.


I always like to visit site when preparations are taking place and today the stooks were being prepared for use at the show.


The corn is planted in a different field on site and the field is approximately 20 acres.  Usually approximately 23,000 sheaves of corn, cut with a binder on site, are used.  


The type of corn grown on the farm is the traditional wheat reed variety, Maris Widgeon.  Maris Widgeon is a heritage variety of wheat that has traditionally been used for thatching in the UK.  This variety was developed in 1964 by the Plant Breeding Institute in Cambridgeshire. The 'Maris' in the name, was derived from Maris Lane, the address of PBI headquarters in Trumpington, Cambridge.  It produces a tall, strong stemmed straw without the use of artificial fertilisers, which makes it popular with thatchers and straw craftsmen.  It is also popular with artisan bread bakers and specialist organic millers.


Austin and his Grandson Joe are normally on the tractor and binder, however, due to a previous appointment Austin was not available, therefore, Joe manned the tractor and Tim took over on the binder.


There was, as always, an impressive gang of workers stooking the sheaves.  These will be stacked in the ricks ready for use during the steam fair.


Having being born on a farm and having done very similar things with my Father during the years, it was like going back in time for me.  I am sure farm workers were a different breed in those days, as they toiled to get in the harvest with the machinery they had, which at the time was a major break through in technology.


On my 2nd day on site, I managed to capture the sun rising over the stooks.

If you have any queries or wish to purchase a photograph, please contact me:


+44 7831237759


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  • Eleanor firmstone (Thursday, January 23 20 09:20 am GMT)

    Hi, do you have any information on the steam roller ru7342. We now own the roller and wondered what year this was taken.
    Thanks Eleanor

  • Sarah Mitchell (Wednesday, September 11 19 10:31 pm BST)

    Hi there is a wonderful picture you took of a dear friend of mine on his journey to the gdsf this year. It is in the western daily press dated 22/08/19 Carl Brown roading the Marshall to gdsf. I cannot locate this picture on any website to purchase and was hoping i could purchase through yourself many thanks Sarah

  • John Baines (Friday, April 05 19 03:45 pm BST)

    Have you any photogaphs of James & Crockerills yard in Durrington? Their MD Peter Barber owned the Burrell Scenic Road loco 'Prince of Wales@ and other engines including Burrell roller 'Daffodil'

  • Zoe Read (Saturday, March 02 19 07:08 pm GMT)

    I see you already have dates for this one but I wondered if you would consider adding Purbeck Rally to your event list?
    9th -11th August
    worgret road, wareham, dorset, BH20 6AB
    Raising funds for Forest Holme Hospice Charity & other local causes.

  • Andrew Gray (Wednesday, February 20 19 07:55 pm GMT)

    Is that Mr Dimmer and the train made at Durrington Sec Modern, I started there 1963 and left 1968. Mr Dimmer (Regg) was such a great teacher. Wonderful set of images to treasure. p.s we met today at the Boscombe Down Tornado fly past.

  • Jamie (Saturday, September 01 18 01:39 am BST)


    I am Jamie. One of the coalomen from last weeks steam fair. I know you mentioned taking lots of photos of us and it would be lovely to see them. Please get back to me when you can with prices ect i will most certainly purchase a few! In the meantime i will admire wgat you have on your page here already, hope you enjoyed the show! Speak soon


  • Don Russell (Friday, August 17 18 08:51 am BST)

    Hullo, found your site when looking for GDSF info. I was wondering if you had any information regarding engines travelling to the GDSF. I read engines will be raising money for cancer on there journey but I cannot find any info regarding route and timings.Thanks

  • Brian Moore (Saturday, August 04 18 12:40 pm BST)

    Thanks David: Brian

  • Peter Freeman (Thursday, May 10 18 09:56 pm BST)

    Fantastic site, easy to read and great pics! Keep up the good work.

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