Thursford Steam Collection

THURSFORD STEAM ENGINE COLLECTION

SUNDAY 7TH APRIL – WEDNESDAY 4TH SEPTEMBER 2024

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 and watch silent movies.

Please note fairground rides are subject to availability and are charged extra. They are not included in the admission price.

Our Gondola is currently going through extensive restoration and as a result it may not be in operation on the day you are coming. Please call the office before travelling to avoid disappointment.  

Lunch in the Cafe and shop in our ‘Olde Worlde’ shopping village.

BOOK A STEAM TOUR

A new addition to 2024’s lineup is the introduction of a Steam Tour, which will offer an enriched, informative experience, led by a steam enthusiast, who will share their extensive knowledge of the engines of yesteryear.

The tour will offer the opportunity to see original showman engine, Victory be steamed up, with guests invited to see into the tender. Victory underwent a huge restoration project in 2023, bringing the famous engine back into steam after almost 40 years dormant.

The day will finish with a trailer ride, pulled by Victory, and includes a special showman’s tea, with a savoury alternative to the much-loved afternoon tea.

PLEASE NOTE THE MUSEUM IS OPEN 7TH APRIL – 4TH SEPTEMBER

Sunday – Wednesday

11:00am – 4:00pm last admission to the museum is 3:00pm

Admission Prices – £9 per person,  Under 12s FREE

Rides – £3 per person, per ride for the Carousel and Gondola

A Group is 25+ visitors – please email [email protected] for further information.

Entry for individuals is payable on the day in the Stable shop.

 

Armed Forces Covenant

Thursford Enterprises are signatories of the Armed Forces Covenant, as such we offer regulars, reservists, veterans and their immediate families:

Half price entry (£4.50 per person) to the Thursford Museum for the service person and their family (U12s enter FOC) 

Eligibility: Museum tickets are payable on the day at the Museum, on presentation of the Armed Forces Defence discount card.

We are sorry, but no discounts are available for tour packages e.g. Steam Tour  and our annual Gala Day.

 

As much as we love dogs, sadly only assistance dogs are allowed on site at all times.

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.

Marvel at the Music

Unfortunately the Gebrs Decap and the Mortier are currently not playable due to restoration, as part of the Thursford Collection’s ongoing restoration programme. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. 

 

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 fueled his passion for creating the Thursford Collection. The amazing sounds of the fairground organs had a particularly magical effect. It’s 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!

Climb On-board!

There is an additional charge of £3 per ride, per person.

When you walk into the Thursford Fairground Collection, the colour, the lights, the movement, the music and all the magnificent machinery on display makes it hard to know where to look first! The two large fairground rides are inevitably very popular with our visitors who seek to experience the delight of riding on these magnificent machines! Our ‘1896 Savages 3-abreast set of Gallopers’ is a truly wonderful fairground ride for all the family to enjoy. Meanwhile, our very special Venetian Gondola Switchback Ride is true to its’ name! As ‘switchback’ suggests, the rider is taken over two hills and dips down into the following valleys whilst sitting in richly carved cars shaped like Venetian Gondolas. We also have a small hand cranked carousel perfect for children!

The Mighty Wurlitzer Show
The Mighty Wurlitzer is the centrepiece of the Collection! There are two half hour shows with our resident organist, Robert Wolfe, performing 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.

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