The Fawley Hill Steam Fair – Henley on Thames May 2016

Full steam ahead  (click here for more pictures if you have time!)

On Sunday we took our very first visit to the Fawley Hill Steam Festival.

The weather had improved, and the traffic up Benhams Lane to the McAlpine’s home and venue was moving very slowly.  Fortunately I was not driving, but in a courtesy bus. The driver was very patient, because it took about twenty minutes to get to the rain soaked car park.

There was a fair operating – and this is the first thing that we saw. It was Howard’s Steam Fair.

From their website:

Howards Imperial Funfair is a family run Party Equipment Hire business based in Derbyshire, England. We specialise in providing vintage fairground rides for any occasion, including Celebration Parties, Corporate Events, wedding receptions, carnivals and private functions.

Travelling throughout Great Britain and into Europe for Festivals, Carnivals and Celebrations, Howard Bros have been acquiring an impressive collection of fairground rides for many years and can document the entire history of many of their attractions from their original owners to present day.

The Steam Gallopers Carousel Ride (Howards Imperial Roundabout) is the recent addition, purchased in 2005.
This is a steam carousel, dating back to 1886, has been painstakingly restored and has been complimented with a Limonaire 54 key organ.

The Merry go round now travels to shows around Great Britain and when stood alongside the Howard Brothers Fowler Showmans road locomotive ‘Renown’ it provides a great example of steam power.
Renown Traction Engine, completed on May 8th 1920, was the first steam engine to be fitted with a Thompson and Walton Feast Crane.
This Fowler Showmans Engine has had a very eventful life, suffering many disasters but has survived through enthusiasts devotion and a complete rebuild in recent years.

Atlantic Star Carnival Wheel (Ferris Wheel) and children’s Austin Car Ride are also major attractions in Howard’s Fairground Rides party equipment hire collection.

Now follows the Fawley Hill Steam Fair running order from their site, interspersed by pictures I took on the day.

Carolyn Grace’s Spitfire, Peter Vacher’s Hurricane: now owned by James Brown


Tiger Nine, two Triplanes and a few WW1 planes – these were not there when we visited

The Red Devils will drop in these were not there when we visited

BALLOONS: HOT AIR OF COURSE:  We hope to have a “flight” of them each evening…

these were not there when we visited

JACOB’s AMAZING CAMELS: racing! N.B.:   If you would like to be a jockey – call us please  these were not there when we visited

THERESE AND TEMUJIN: LADY CHICHESTER’S  adorable pet camels who just LOVE talking to people





A lot of people are hoping that we will have 80 Traction Engines: who knows, we might have more?

Steam Rollers  and Miniatures

A steam roller braved it into the arena, in spite of the fact that the soil was very wet following rain during the first two days of the festival

In the end three steam vehicles and an old motorbike were in the arena


   We also enjoyed looking at the old phonograph and record players and models – the railway village was made by taking pictures of the real thing, scaling them down and printing them off, and adhering the images to cardboard.


Heavy Horses and their equipment: tearing round the arena with fire engines or giving sedate trips on wagons,  

They  were not in the arena when we saw them but resting by their horse boxes            




early Tractors and other Agricultural machinery – possibly some “early farmers” ?


Sawing wood with an old tractor powering the operation

The Steam Bus – of course



Vintage Buses and Commercial Vehicles

Veteran, Vintage and Classic cars – and possibly a few rather special younger cars:

Veteran and Vintage Bicycles and Motor Bikes – and some more modern but interesting bikes and Bicycles too!




Ancient lawn mowers and some ancient gardeners: and plants for them to buy.


Boats: steam of course, but also just some very beautiful old boats to stroke (all on trailers I’m afraid.) BUT: amphibious cars!

A huge display of old Military vehicles, a Tank! Commercial Vehicles, Old caravans

We will have at least two visiting Steam Locos – to run on our mile of standard gauge track or just in the yard a 5″ gauge track with locos you can drive

One loco in action – two sets of videos

Old fire engines (whose owners have offered to keep steam engines watered for the weekend) and possibly the oldest Steam-powered, horse-drawn fire engine: working!



We also saw wood sawing by steam, in action and many other things pictured here








Our very own over 60s Handibus was there as well, not sure if it was part of the display or had brought some people to the festival.




The catering area


Entertainment by a band in the food marquee


I wonder why Lovibonds or even Brakspear didn’t have their beers there?

Another military plane which flew.





To play this post out a Steel orchestra playing a delightful tune on kettle drums


Author: wirelesswaffle

A radio enthusiast from the UK - but also includes humour and comments on a wide variety of subjects including music and photos. A hobby site

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