The first ever steam event was held at the Beach Boulevard, Aberdeen in 1969 – it was just a small gathering on a Sunday afternoon. Following this the Bon Accord Steam Engine Club was formed by the late Bill Barrack, Dodd Sim, Jim Coutts and Associates. The first official rally was held at the Bridge of Don, Aberdeen in 1970 at the site of the now Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.
Since those early days the Club’s annual Steam Fair has been held at various locations around Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, but in 2004 the Club joined forces with the National Trust for Scotland to stage an all new event at, what was hoped would become a long term location, Castle Fraser Aberdeenshire.
The event, now called the Bon Accord Steam Fair at Castle Fraser, is usually held on the 3rd weekend of June and is going from strength to strength. In 2006 it attracted 29 steam engines, over 100 tractors and about the same number of Stationery Engines. By 2015, the 45th anniversary, numbers had grown with some 45 steam engines, over 100 tractors, two typical fairground rides, numerous smaller engines, entertainment and a wide range of stalls attending. The 2020 Golden Jubilee celebrating 50 years of the Club’s history has been postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19.
Now boasting over 400 exhibits are more than 3000 visitors over two days, the Castle Fraser Steam and Vintage Fair has become the largest of it’s kind in Scotland.
Read below for a brief summary of the Bon Accord Steam Engine Club and a potted history of the club and its evolution.
History of Heavy Transport – the way it was
Steam haulage and transport was the accepted way of moving large volumes and heavy goods for many years up until the end of World War II. Steam began to lose favour as the Internal Combustion engine came into prominence.
Unfortunately many steam engines were scrapped at the end of their working lives. Thankfully, a few were lucky enough to be preserved and survive today as the magnificent machines that can be seen by enthusiasts around the country at vintage rallies most weekends during the summer months.
Launching First Ever Rally in N.E. Scotland
The Bon Accord Steam Engine Club (BASEC) was initially founded by the late Bill Barrack, Dod Sim, Jim Coutts and associates following a small steam event in 1969. Following which the first ever rally was held at the Bridge of Don Aberdeen 1970, right. (currently the location of the Aberdeen Conference Centre).
More and more of these magnificent machines were ending up on the scrap heap, so the objective was to recruit like-minded people interested in maintaining interest in all types of self-propelled steam engines and vehicles. Working together to preserve them, a part of our history, for future generations. The Club also supports any moves to preserve portable and stationary steam engines.
For more information on the club’s current committee or to contact any of the members, you can click here to find out more.
Bon Accord Steam Fair
Since those early days the Club’s annual Steam Fair has been held at various locations around Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. In 2004 the Club joined forces with the National Trust for Scotland to stage an all-new event at, what was hoped would become a long-term location, Castle Fraser Aberdeenshire.
Our annual event is now called the Bon Accord Steam Fair at Castle Fraser. We welcome more and more visitors every year and in 2020 were due to celebrate the Golden Jubilee exhibiting over 50 Steam Engines, however due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the Club had to postpone this momentous weekend. Instead there will be a bigger and better belated Golden Jubilee celebration in June 2021.
For more information on our Steam Fair visit the Bon Accord Steam Fair page here.