Thursford Steam Collection




Thank you to all of our guests for visiting us during our 2023 season. We’re sorry but the museum is now closed for the season. We will be reopening on Sunday 7th April with the 2024 season closing on 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.


Sunday – Wednesday

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

**Attention valued customers,

We would like to inform you that due to essential renovation and new installation work, we will be closing earlier than planned on August 16th 2023. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding during this time.

Our team is working diligently to complete these upgrades and create a better environment for you to enjoy. We understand that this may have disrupted your plans or caused disappointment, but we want to assure you that these improvements are necessary to improve the quality of our services.

Please accept our sincerest apologies for any inconvenience caused, and we look forward to serving you better in the future.

Thank you for your understanding.


Admission Prices – £8 per person,  Under 12s FREE

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 military families the following before the line about dogs please.

Half price entry 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 Defence Discount Service card.

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

Watch our video