The West of England Steam Engine Society 65th Anniversary Rally has been CANCELLED for 2020 - please see information on home page.

Welcome to the West of England Steam Engine Society, and our event:

Cornish Steam & Country Fair

Stithians Showground, Truro, Cornwall TR3 7DP

Cornish Steam & Country Fair

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The Cornish Steam & Country Fair is an event organised by WESES Ltd on behalf of the West of England Steam Engine Society. The show is very much a family event. As well as Steam Engines, Fun Fair, Vintage Vehicles, Model and Craft displays, there is everything to entertain all the family around the show.

Our 2020 show promises to be the best yet as it aims to build on previous year's events. From bouncy castles to vintage wood sawing, trade stands to heavy horse working demonstrations there is something for everyone.

Admission gates open to the public at 9am on all 3 days, with a wide variety of ring events and displays around the showground continuously from 10am through to 5pm.

Some of the things you will see:


Cornish Steam & Country Fair sees the coming together of some 40 full size steam engines from all parts of the country. There are stunning showman’s engines with their gleaming twisted brass, road rollers, ploughing engines, heavy haulage engines and agricultural engines.

These magnificent machines were made for a purpose and this is THE show in the South West to see them alive and working as they were meant to be.

The all-weather roads of the showground are the perfect place to see and hear the haulage engines doing what they were built to do.

The working area is the place to head to see the agricultural and portable engines excel in the work that they were designed for, sawing wood, driving a threshing box or crushing stone for the road rollers to use in the nearby road making demonstration.

If you fancy a rest from walking around the many attractions at the show, the steam section is also the place to go to head off around the showground on one of our purpose built trailers, towed by a selection of steam engines. What better way to tour the showground than behind a full size steam engine.

Fun Fair

The old time fun fair is the place to see the gleaming showman’s engines in all their glory, not only looking stunning but earning their keep generating the electricity for the many traditional fairground rides in attendance just as they did 100 years ago.

Vintage Vehicles

If it is vintage, has wheels and travels along the ground you can pretty much guarantee that it will be represented somewhere at the Cornish Steam & Country Fair. Vintage cars and motorcycles have always been well represented at the show and this year is no exception.

Cars that range from the earliest and most basic family motor vehicles to the grandest limousines are on display in the car section. Motorcycles from the modest scooter through to a methanol burning, 1000cc sidecar grasstrack racer can be viewed and seen parading down the roads of the showground.

The commercial vehicle display contains an eclectic mix of the smallest delivery van to the largest specialist haulage vehicles used on Britain’s roads over the last 50 years, many of them still displaying their owner’s names from the history of Cornwall and beyond.

There is an interesting display at the show of stationary engines. These iconic machines can be seen demonstrating the uses that they were intended, driving items such as water pumps, corn mills and saw benches – although the countless number of tasks these engines were used for over the years around the world defies belief.


Tractors are always well represented at the show and this year will be no exception. Come along and see the wide variety of tractors on display.

Fairground Organs

The event normally has in the region of 10 local organs placed around the show ground, so you will often hear organ music playing from the time you enter the pay gate, and then in every corner. We often have a number of Dutch Street Organs and Fairground Organs, even a Dance Organ. A number of the older Street Organs date from the early 1900’s. Most of them play traditional music via punched books, then some of the later models, still playing as traditional wind instruments are controlled by a midi system, (a modern synthesizer). Please ask the owners for details of their instruments, they will love to tell you how they have rebuilt their organ, added extras etc. Please stop a while and take in the atmosphere and enjoy the music.

Miniature Steam

There are also miniature steam engines in attendance. Most engines you will see have been built by their owner, using drawings developed from a full size equivalent. The ability of these scale engines is often underestimated, carrying out similar tasks to their larger counterparts. They can pull a considerable weight, often demonstrated in the ring with a car, plough fields and power saw benches with scale implements. Some will be giving free rides to the show visitors this year, both adults and children. These engines are a great way to see close up how a steam engine works.

Craft and Model Display

We will once again this year have a large Craft and Model display housed in one large marquee. Come and have a look around at the meticulously crafted models on display and the wonderful selection of crafts.

Rural Area

The Rural Ring

As one enters the showground a busy rural area covers around three acres of ground and the attention is drawn to a grand line up of vintage vehicles, bygones, rural crafts working and an action packed rural ring where a steady stream of entertainment is shared with displays and activities centred around family entertainment and continues throughout the three days.

Here in the rural ring a shepherd and son work their ever popular sheepdogs and are seen in action rounding up ducks. The Countryside Hawking support us each year with a spectacular flying display of birds of prey with a professional falconer. Children have the opportunity to enter the ring and gain a firsthand experience to join in with both of these fascinating displays.

The dog agility never fails to draw a large crowd of spectators who can watch some professional competitors in competition mode fight it out for a first second and third place in various classes.

A real crowd drawer is the mini ponies versus dog agility. Ponies and their owners pair up with some of the dog agility competitors to form very different teams. With the dogs bursting with energy and the ponies having to be kept calm these teams fight it out with one another to gain their respective places over jumps through hoops even down to the ponies having to dribble a ball.

Added to these entertaining activities the steam cars and Austin seven cars make an appearance and invite the public to have a ride in a vintage vehicle.

A team of riders display their talents with an intrical musical ride. Hours of time is put into this display choreographing their every move for all to see.

As well as this taste of the ring entertainment the Cloggers dance to their music around the showground throughout the Sunday and a fiddle group play traditional tunes throughout Saturday. Dotted around the rural area are fairground organs and Cornish food stalls.

Bygone Section

The Bygone Section has been part of our Rally for a great number of years and is always very popular with numerous interesting displays of bygone collectables. The displays are a vast attraction and are situated around the Rural Working Ring. Here, each year, you will be able to view a very fascinating and varied array of implements and equipment from the past which exhibitors have collected. These displays along with the rural working circle the rural ring to make a day well worth a visit.

Rural Working Crafts

For the tenth year running the rally offers an opportunity for spectators to view some extremely ancient traditions in the Rural Working Section. Some of these include hurdle making lace making, wood turning, a basket weaver, thatching, corn dolly crafts, hedging, forge working and much more. Examples of these almost forgotten crafts will come to life once again at this year’s rally and spectators will be able to encounter what life used to be in times gone by. Amongst these can be viewed a display of living vans which the public are welcome to look inside.

Family, Food & Fun

The Cornish Steam & Country Fair is all about families and you will find something for everyone around the show.

Around the showground you will find a wide and varied range of food outlets including the Real Ale tent, serving a selection of fine local beers. There is also in close proximity to the Steam Engines the LTC Bar & Restaurant Marquee. Here you will find a selection of quality beers and drinks as well as excellent food on all days and nights of the show.

There are over 20 different catering units scattered around the Show Ground, the main Catering Village is centred around the Real Ale Bar opposite the flag poles in the middle field. This village will cater for most needs, then there is a smaller group of units near the Model & Craft tent, and yet another opposite the Main Parade Ring. All other fields have various catering units offering a wide variety of choice, including Fish & Chips. The very large Main Evening Entertainment Marquee includes a large Bar & Restaurant running all day until late. You will also find Kelly’s Ice Cream and a number of sweet units throughout the site for those with a sweet tooth.

Entertainment is provided throughout the show.

If you have still got time to spare, there is a vast array of Trade Stands to enjoy at your heart’s content!

Heavy Horses

The heavy horse section is always a delight to see. Come and watch the horses pulling corn into the working section. The farriers will be making horse shoes and there will be live shoeing demonstrations throughout the event. Along with static implements and heavy horse harnesses to see there will be lots of activity in the heavy horse section.