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Great Sensory Dorset Steam Fair

Chichester Copywriter went to the Great Dorset Steam Fair and was faced with an overwhelming sensory experience of sight, sound, smell and taste brought by mechanical marvels of all shapes and sizes.

Although usually inspired by nature, these manmade beauties brought such a treasure-chest of onomatopoeic words to our West Sussex copywriter’s mind that she couldn’t help reaching for pen and paper and getting all poetic…

A throng of people filled with pleasure at engines turned by steam.

The chime and lasting thrum from ornate old organs makes knees bob,

Tunes from the traditional to the new, fill the air with a joyous haze.

Buzzing from fairground rides, and blaring loud speakers strike the abdomen.

Continuous trail of vehicles, tractor pulling trailer and steam engine pulling tank;

Wheels are sizeable, small, sturdy and slight. A peek at those complicated mechanics.

Deep, dark coal to steam to drizzle, bodies beaming through the smog;

Clunk and hiss, thwack and go, chug-a-chug-a-chug-a-chug.

Traction engines of every shade, shape and size parade the show ring.

Steam power pumps the water, grinds the corn and cools the milk;

Many heavy vehicles churn and plough the fields afresh,

Mighty wheels go round where as rollers just flatten the earth down.

Men and children reveal white grins through coal blackened faces,

Each engine is adored, has a soul, whether named Salty or Pocket Rocket.

Sincere service vehicles, agricultural giants, hobby trains and fairground rides;

Steam has its place, in both work and play, past and present.

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See all the photographs that inspired this poem at:

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