Thursford Steam Collection

THURSFORD STEAM ENGINE COLLECTION

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.

Enjoy lunch in the Barn Café and shop in our ‘Olde Worlde’ shopping village.

The Steam Museum is open for the 2024 season from Sunday 7th April – Wednesday 4th September. 

 

Opening days are Sunday – Wednesday (we are closed Thursday- Saturday)

 

Opening times are 11:00am – 4:00pm (last admission to the museum is 3:00pm)

 

Please note that our Tea & Tour and Steam Tour events need to be pre-booked and only operate when the museum is open between April and September.

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

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

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

 

Rides (Charged as an extra to admission) – £3 per person, per ride for the Carousel and Gondola

 

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

 

Carers – An essential carer is eligible for a carers ticket (one carer per full paying person), subject to availability. These are payable on the day and there is no need to pre-book tickets.

 

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) 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.

 

 

Group Bookings

  • A group booking consists of 25+ paying tickets.
  • Groups that arrive before 1pm, can qualify for the party rate to attend the museum. (Half price entry)
  • We do not require a deposit for group entrance, hospitality packages or tours.
  • Two weeks before a visit, groups must confirm if they are attending and provide us with final numbers.
  • Payment for entrance, tours and hospitality packages are due for payment one week before a group visit. An invoice will be sent via email following the confirmation of final numbers.
  • In the event that a group cancels their visit, any money already paid would be non-refundable.

 

Museum

  • We cannot guarantee songs played by Robert Wolfe on the day, customers can make requests before each show in the Stable shop.
  • On occasion, unexpected repairs and maintenance may need to be carried out on the Gondola, Gallopers and/or organs. This means we cannot guarantee that our rides or organs will be running. We strive to conduct all ongoing maintenance out of our Summer opening times, there would only be a disruption in the case of an unexpected, emergency repair. Please see the website ahead of your trip so that you are aware of any changes to the museum.

 

Barn Café

  • If customers are purchasing their own food individually from the barn café, please note there may be queues and wait times during busy periods as all food is made to order.
  • We recommend groups pre-ordering food from the barn as this reduces wait times for their customers. They can decide the time they wish their food to be served from. Please note, depending on the number of orders, there may be a longer serving window to get all the food out. Please note groups below 25 visitors cannot pre-order food from the Barn Café.
  • If a group is only able to pay on the day for pre-ordered food, we require that any food pre-ordered but not consumed on the day will still need to be paid for.

 

Hospitality Packages

Upon request, we can add the following to your museum visit for a more enhanced experience. Please note these are subject to availability.

    • A backstage tour
    • Catering Packages for up to 150 customers, (please note, there is a 50 customer maximum for Afternoon/Steam Teas.)
    • Private dining area
    • Linen Hire
    • Pre-paid ride tokens

 

Please contact [email protected] to book a group visit, hospitality package or if you require further information. 

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

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!

Please note our rides are vintage fairground rides therefore we cannot guarantee they will be in operation for your visit,  please call the office before travelling to avoid disappointment. 

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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