You may have seen the signs dotted around town saying that Carter’s Steam fair is in town and that they are doing a ‘Road Run’ through Maidenhead. We watched the ‘Road Run’ for the first time last year, and my kids loved it and I was keen to find out a bit more about it.
What is the Carters Steam Fair Road Run?
Once a year, the streets of Maidenhead have a totally different type of traffic on them: they get the chance to see a collection of lovingly restored vintage fairground vehicles make their way through town to the riverside and back.
The parade is part of Carters Steam Fair’s annual ‘Road Run’ which launches their weekend Steam Spectacular event at Pinkneys Green.
The Carter family are based in Maidenhead near White Waltham airfield and, for the last 40 years or so, they have been rescuing heritage fairground vehicles from all over the country and restoring them at their yard. Many of the vehicles are found in a dilapidated state, and owners Joby and Georgina Carter work with their team to make them road worthy and to repaint them in Carters livery using traditional methods. Everything on the fair, including the rides, vehicles and caravans are painted by hand in designs that are faithful to how they would have originally looked.
“Pinkneys Green is the highlight of our season and is our flagship event in our hometown of Maidenhead. We are technically a family of artists, and the fair is our canvas, we hand-paint everything using traditional methods keeping everything as you would have found it when new. The road run gives us a chance to showcase these vintage attractions so the public can all enjoy them too.” Joby Carter
Where and when is the ‘Road Run’?
The vehicle parade starts from Pinkneys Green at 10 am and travels into town towards the river and then back again. The vehicles then stop next to Pinkneys Green to get ready for the weekend’s fun. Known as their ‘Steam Spectacular’, the Pinkneys Green event is the one time in the year that Carters Steam Fair run most of the rides on steam-generated energy using the showman’s engines which makes it a fantastic sight to see.
The fair is at Pinkneys Green on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May and entrance to the fair is completely free. To go on the rides, you will need to buy tokens and you’ll find the best value deals by booking online on the Carters Steam Fair website the night before. Speaking from experience, it can be a little confusing trying to decide how many tokens you will need, but most rides are about 4 or 5 tokens and my two often like to go on the same ride over and over so it’s great to get some free rides thrown in!
Who should go?
The ‘Road Run’ is something that everyone can enjoy watching, and it’s free for all to enjoy. Just have a look at the route, find a good vantage point and give them a wave as they go past. My daughter loved hearing the trucks sound their horn and my two year old loved seeing the enormous trucks go past his buggy. It’s also a lot of fun to photograph.
“Peeping out of your front window and seeing these iconic heritage vehicles go past is great fun for all the family. We enjoy waving at the kids as we go past and love watching their reactions, especially if we sound the horn! We even have supporters and fans from all over the country come to watch us go past. ” Georgina Carter
Carter’s Steam Fair are encouraging people to share their photos of the ‘road run’ as it passes through Maidenhead for the chance to win free rides. They will select winning images via social media. More details on the Carters Steam Fair Facebook page
What do I think?
I love how this is something completely unique to Maidenhead, and the artwork on the trucks and on the fair is stunning. It’s great to see how passionate the Carter family are about preserving the vintage vehicles and keeping the traditional painting methods alive. It is definitely going to be an annual tradition in our family to go and watch it.
If you’ve enjoyed reading about this ‘Maidenhead Moment’, you might like to check out some of the others in the series:
About this blog
I write this ‘Maidenhead Mum’ blog to share my experiences of life here in Berkshire and beyond. I fit blogging into my ‘spare time’ around my day job and family life, but I love to share the beautiful things that I find to see and do. For more posts like this, you might like to follow my Maidenhead Mum page on Facebook or on Instagram as they are the most frequently updated. If you subscribe using the box below you’ll get my monthly newsletter with blog posts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.