Thursford CollectionA fabulous day out for all the familyOpens Sunday 16th April 2017
Come and see the world’s largest collection of steam engines and organs, hear Robert Wolfe one of the world's leading theatre organists play the mighty Wurlitzer at 12.30pm and 2pm daily, ride on fairground carousels and the gondola, enjoy "Back Stage Tours" and watch silent movies.
Please note fairground rides & the behind the scene tour are subject to availability and are charged extras. They are not included in the admission price.
Lunch in the barn
and shop in our ‘olde worlde’ shopping village
. All this and our fantastic play area
has plenty to delight children of all ages.
The Collection is open from Sunday 16th April 2017 11.00 am - 4.00pm until Thursday 21st September 2017.
Last entry into the museum 3.00pm.
We are closed on Fridays & Saturdays.
Admission prices – read more
Excludes Special Event Dates.
For group visits please call the booking office
Back Stage Tours available Monday - Thursday at 1.00pm - £3.50 per person (Subject to availability, minimum of four people and excluding Bank Holidays).
Please note our vintage rides are subject to availability and are a charged extra at £2 per person, rides are not included in the museum admission price.
No dogs permitted except Guide Dogs.
Please note we do not supply wheelchairs for our events.
Magnificent Steam Machines
Come and explore the country’s finest collection of steam traction engines and get up close and personal with these magnificent machines of yesteryear.
Steam power on the land, the roads, and eventually on the fairground did not have a very long life. From the middle of the last century until the First World War it enjoyed its heyday, developing superlative engineering skills and techniques which are still admired today.
But by the 1920’s, steam was faltering before the challenge of diesel and petrol engines. By the 1940s steam vehicles were heading in their thousands to scrap yards.
Mechanical Organs – read more
Marvel at the Music
In 1904, when the founder of Thursford Collection, George. T.H. Cushing MBE was born, the visiting fair was an irresistible draw to every village across the land.
George was taken to the fair when he was just eight years old which filled him with sights and sounds he was never able to forget, and ultimately his passion for creating the Thursford Collection.
It was the amazing sounds of the fairground organs that had a particularly magical effect. It’s just the same effect we see on visitors to Thursford today when they see and hear the wonderful sound of George’s amazing collection of fairground organs.
Fairground Rides – read more
Many things compete for attention when, for the very first time, you walk into the Thursford Fairground Collection – the colour, the lights, the movement, the music and all the magnificent machines on display.
The two large fairground rides inevitably draw our visitors to them to experience the delight of riding on these magnificent machines, also a small hand cranked carousel for children.
Everyone loves the magic of the carousel and our 1896 Savages 3-abreast set of Gallopers is a truly magnificent fairground ride for all the family to enjoy. Just as special is our Venetian Gondola Switchback Ride. Called a gondola because the richly carved cars are shaped like Venetian Gondolas, and it is a switchback in that, during its roundabout whirl, it climbs two hills and dips down into the following valleys.
The Mighty Wurlitzer Show
The Mighty Wurlitzer is the centrepiece of the Collection and there are two half hour shows with our resident organist, Robert Wolfe, open each day during the Summer Season at 12.30pm and 2.00pm.
In the days of silent movies, when there was no soundtrack on film, the atmosphere was created "on the spot" by the pianist improvising a mosaic of mood music. In due course the pianist was replaced by the more chic, up market cinema organist, and the cinema organ par excellence was undoubtedly the Mighty Wurlitzer.