How it started…
In 1997 the old Chipping Village Hall was in desperate need of a replacement and the village had to start fundraising for a new build. A family fun day was organised with lots of different events taking place all around the village including street stalls and a car boot sale. Mary Harrison BEM came up with the idea of gathering together a few classic vehicles owned by some of the locals and congregating on the Talbot Public House car park. That first year there were only a handful of exhibitors such a sports car, two vintage tractors, a stationary engine, one commercial vehicle and half a dozen old motorbikes. There were a few small stalls to accompany the vehicles such as a toy stall and a blacksmith with his anvil who offered to marry couples in exchange for a donation towards the village hall fund.
The collection proved to be quite a hit with visitors approaching Mary throughout the day asking if she would repeat the event the following year so that they could exhibit their treasured classics. Over the next 12 months Mary was inundated with potential exhibitors and it became clear that they were going to need a larger location. In 1998 they held the fair on the agricultural show site and the turn out was phenomenal. That second year they raised an incredible £10,000 which all went towards the Chipping Village Hall project. This was match funded by the National Lottery and Chipping / District Memorial Hall was opened on the 14th November 1999 by Mr. Jack Berry MBE. Since then Chipping Steam Fair has become an annual event, with the exception of cancellation due to the foot and mouth epidemic in 2001, severe flooding in 2003 and 2019 & 2020 due to COVID.
In 2004 they relocated to the current site on Green Lane which year on year attracts ever more enthusiasts. Every year the show gets better with more visitors attending; more exhibitors exhibiting and more positive feedback about the show and organisation. From July until May a large team of unpaid volunteers work extremely hard preparing for what they hope will be another successful show!