Steam on the Dock 2018 reveals Star Attraction
Ready for another May weekend, packed with free family fun?
The popular Steam on the Dock event at Albert Dock Liverpool has confirmed a new star attraction with Fred Dibnah’s legendary ‘Betsy’ traction engine set to feature. Fred’s sons, Jack and Roger, will be accompanying the engine for one of the UK’s only inner-city steam rallies.
Fred and Betsy shot to fame following a series of BBC documentaries which inspired a new generation of steam enthusiasts. Betsy, a 1912 Aveling and Porter traction engine which Fred restored in his steam-powered garden workshop over the space of 25 years, is sure to pull in the crowds for what is a guaranteed weekend of free, family fun!
Powering into the Dock on 12th-13th May 2018, Steam on the Dock showcases a whole host of authentic steam engines, both land and water-based, from dinky miniatures to huge, towering lorries.
See these shiny, grand machines of the industrial age up close and in full steam, speak to their friendly and devoted owners who’ve spent years restoring and caring for them, find out how they tick, and simply soak in the atmosphere of this lively celebration on Liverpool’s iconic waterfront.
What’s new for this year?
We’re giving visitors a free ticket to ride on a miniature steam railway! Be thrilled by the showman’s engines – colossal machines and guaranteed show-stoppers at any steam rally. Blink and you’ll miss the speedy Steam Bregazzi Buggy – a nifty, hand-made steam machine, which will be speeding around the Dock delivering coal to her bigger relatives.
There’ll also be music and spectacle from the steam fairground organ, the hilarious One Man Band and Phoebe, Formby Brass band and Mr Bernard with his Victorian circus skills showcase. From juggling peacock feathers to stilt walking – be prepared to be amazed! Also keep an eye out for The Curious Contrivance – trundling along with its wings flapping, pistons pumping and the inevitable sounds of gas propulsion.
And make sure to stick around for the Steam Showcase (1pm and 3pm both days) and witness these monster machines thunder around the Dock under full steam. It is here that visitors will have the unique opportunity to experience Albert Dock as it was as a working, industrial dock in the 19th century. This is a camera moment not to miss!
Mersey Maritime Museum will be hosting all sorts of exciting activities during the event from making your own ‘Lion Locomotive’ in a craft workshop to being entertained by the hilarious ‘Three Funnels’. The Steam Food Court will also tempt your taste buds with the Smoky BBQ steam train – a temporary addition to Albert Dock’s eclectic mix of restaurants and eateries.
We’re also delighted to welcome back some firm favourites from previous years. The beautiful and incredibly powerful Daniel “Danny” Adamson is back and will again be throwing open her recently restored grand decks for visitors to explore. Steam tug Kerne – a stunning, Titanic-era steamship – also returns. Built in 1912, Kerne has a long history with Liverpool, and is now the last remaining Naval, coal-fired steamship to have seen service in two world wars, still in operation today.