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Festival of Steam and Transport

16 Apr 2017 - 17 Apr 2017

Thank you for coming!

Thank you for joining us at this years Festival of Steam & Transport

We hope you all have a great time celebrating Easter weekend with us. Please see our gallery below showcasing images from the two days. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon!

Our next event is Salute to the ’40s – September 16th & 17th


Live Music – We will have an array of walkabout entertainment and live music – check back soon for further details.

Cosmic Sausages This vibrant band of top street performers will wow you with their repertoire that has been collected from across the globe, with adapted songs and walkabout animation the ‘Sausages’ will bring you the ultimate party atmosphere.

The Gator Dog Snappers – An authentic New Orleans gospel-inspired six piece brass band.  From the South East of London this talented crew are committed to street music and grass roots activism.  An international form of folk music.        

Pretending People Theatre – A professional theatre company who specialise in touring performances, with everything played live on authentic acoustic instruments.  ‘Memory Lane’ is a journey of immersive storytelling and live sing-a-long music, spanning three glorious decades.  From the cheeky traditional ditties and belters of the ‘40s and ‘50s, to the vibrant beats of the swinging ‘60s.   

Justin and the Argonauts – A unique and talented four piece ensemble comprised of violin, accordion, guitar and tube, they plan an eclectic blend of Roma Funk, Tango, Classical, Balkan and Klezmer.

Little Beach – A modern folk band with a pop, swing and blues influences.  This delightful trio deliver musical tales that will make you smile or cry and choruses that invite you to sing along.

Clea Llewellyn – A rootsy soul veteran from Kent, she plays acoustic guitar & sings like her life depends on it.  With her band comprising of cajon, electric guitar and bass, armed with acoustic popular songs from her debut album, and catchy new songs from her forthcoming record, you’ll be swept up and taken on a mystical journey round the sun and back!


Vintage/Classic Cars

Hundreds of proud classic and vintage vehicle owners will travel to The Historic Dockyard at Easter to join the line ups of transport through the ages. Vehicles dating from 1890 to 1990 will be on display, for visitors to see.

Other categories of vehicles on display will be:

Hot Rods ~ Agricultural ~ Military ~ Civilian ~ Emergency Services ~ Motorcycles/Bikes ~ Kit Cars ~ Commercial ~ Steam/Industrial

This Easter weekend’s event provides a great opportunity for visitors to feel nostalgic whilst wandering through the wonderful maritime heritage site with many opportunities for the classic/vintage transport enthusiast, to marvel at the vehicles on display.

And that’s not all! ‘Motion Picture Motors’ will be on site featuring the automotive start from the BIG and small screen!  From Starsky and Hutch, to Only Fools and Horses, Mr Bean’s Mini and the Mustang Fastback and Dodge Charger from the 1968 Steve McQueen movie ‘Bullitt’ visitors will feel ‘part of the set’.

Free Funfair

Once you have bought your event ticket, you can go to the fair and ride again and again all day for no extra cost!!! ALL INCLUSIVE FUNFAIR FUN!  This funfair will deliver all the excitement and atmosphere that a visit to a traditional fair should.

Wander around a traditional Steam Funfair – ride on the iconic Gavioli Horse Carousel, Masters of Preston Chair-O-Planes, the delights of a Helter Skelter and the Funfair favourite the Ferris Wheel!  This is a real treat for the whole family and people of all ages.

Punch and Judy shows will be on throughout the weekend and why not have a go on the traditional funfair stalls; hoopla, ball in a bucket and tin can alley.

Things To Do

Call The Midwife Location Tours – Led by your very own ‘midwife’ this guided tour visits areas of the dockyard that have been used as locations for the popular television drama series ‘Call the Midwife’.  Throughout all five series, The Historic Dockyard Chatham has been transformed into 1950’s Poplar Dock many times and has had countless scenes involving the show’s stars, including Miranda Hart and Jenny Agutter, filmed across its 80 acre site.

This image may only be used for publicity purposes in connection with the broadcast of the programme as licensed by BBC Worldwide Ltd & must carry the shown copyright legend. It may not be used for any commercial purpose without a licence from the rights holder. © Neal Street Productions 2011

Giant Rope Maze – take your family and friends through a giant rope maze, try to find your way to the centre where you can ring the bell and let everyone know you have mastered the maze!  This maze has been made by our Ropemakers, on site, in the Victorian Ropery.

Board Overlord – Climb into the Driver’s Cab of Overlord, part of the Royal Engineers Collection on site, here is the opportunity for you to stand in the fully functional WW2 diesel locomotive.

Giant Hook-A-Duck – Direct our Crane Driver to ‘hook a duck’ in our special enclosure by the Wagon Stop Canteen.

Mid-Essex Newfoundland Dog Team – Come and see these huge bundles of fluff and their puppies and see them pull their Easter wagons around the Dockyard.

Board Three Historic Warships – Nowhere can you get a sense of how British maritime innovation, engineering and design broke the mould than on our three historic warships. From the moment you see them and as you walk the decks you will sense the vision, grit and hard work that created them and the courage, determination and endurance of the sailors who sailed them.

Play Areas – Indoor and two outdoor play areas give little Dockyard visitors a chance to let off some steam of their own.

RNLI – Say Hello to the RNLI Team, come and find them in No. 4 Slip or at the RNLI Roadshow on site for the following activities:

  • Crew Kit Challenge – Race against the clock to get dressed to save lives at sea.
  • Meet the Lifeguards – Learn about beach safety and try out some of their kit.
  • Stay SAFE – learn how to be safe near the water this summer.

Steampunk Village

Back due to popular demand are the Steampunks with their unusual Neo-Victorian costumes and steam powered wacky gadgets.  The ‘Steampunk Village’ will provide a colourful and imaginative world with local group ‘Great Kentspectations’ offering Steampunk workshops, live music, entertainment, fairies, photo opportunities, have-a-go activities, fashion, accessories, gadgets cosplay and books.

Steampunk Music from: Victor and the Bully, Mandi Harkett, Moth and Scarlet Butterfly

Steam & Trains


Some of the South East’s finest Steam Traction Engines and Road Rollers will be on display, they will move around the Dockyard streets filling the air with the distinctive smell of burning coal and steam.  There will be working exhibits all weekend, so you will see how these Monsters of Steam were used in their glory days – and still used today!


Hear these stunning examples of transport/industrial history steam-whistle throughout the day. Do not miss the finale parade it really is a spectacle to see. Speak to our expert ‘Steamies’ and capture your selfie photographs by the exhibits.


This weekend, the Dockyard trains will be running along the entire site plus they will travel in a special enclosure, where visitors can watch the trains move their engines and pull their wagons, alongside the river.  It is a perfect opportunity for ‘Thomas’ fans or train enthusiasts to get ‘up close’ pictures of these impressive exhibits in all their splendour!

See the engineers working in The Railway Workshop based in the centre of the site. This workshop is still used to maintain and house these magnificent steam and diesel locomotives by the ‘Dockyard Steam Society’ (

See the following locomotives: ‘Ajax’ (1941), ‘Rochester Castle’ (1955) and ‘Overlord’ (1941) – these are fully operational.

‘Invicta’ (1946), ‘Achilles’ (1912) and ‘Thalia’ (1954) are maintained and stored on site for visitors to see.

Why not, ‘Board Overlord’, part of the Royal Engineers Collection on site, here is the opportunity for you to stand in the driver’s cab of this fully functional WW2 diesel locomotive.

Plus we have a number of fully operational and preserved Steam Cranes on site.

Food & Drink

Take your pick with food and drink on site.

Enjoy Dockyard sit down offers; an Easter Carvery in Commissioner’s House, Traditional Fish & Chips or Pie and Mash in the Mess Deck or Hot Pies and Door Step Sandwiches in the Wagon Stop Canteen.

To book the Easter Cavery in Advance please email our Hospitality team –

There will be a number of themed catering units on site, buy a pint or two from a Red London Bus Bar, a cup of Barista coffee from a vintage Citroen H Van or a gourmet burger from a Silver Slipstream Caravan.  With so much choice on site this is definitely food for thought.

Festival Traders

Find the perfect Easter gift as you find an array of festival traders across the site – everything from transport models to wooden instruments and even goodies from the weird and wonderful world of Steampunk.

Take Part & Contact

To become an Event Sponsor, please email:

To exhibit your vintage or classic car (Years 1890 – 1990), –

Thank you for your applications we are now at capacity for the event – please try again next year!  If you wish to register your details for 2018 please send your name/address/telephone number via email to:

To be one of our Festival Traders, please email:

To be one of our themed Caterers, please email:

To perform at the event, please email:

For all other Festival of Steam and Transport enquiries, please email:

To make a Group Booking please call the Group Sales Executive on: 01634 823815


Social Hub

To become one of our Event Bloggers or a Media Supporter, please email:

The extra details.......

  • Holders of 12 month tickets for The Historic Dockyard are not able to purchase tickets on-line as ID will be requested.  Please purchase in advance by telephone (01634 823826) or in-person.  Alternatively purchase on the day of your visit and bring your 12 month ticket or receipt with you.  12 month ticket holders may purchase a two day ticket at 2x their one day ticket price.  The one day prices for 12 month ticket holders are as follows:
Adult £9.50
Concession £8.50
Child £7.00
Family (2 Adults & 2 Children or 1 Adult & 3 Children) £27.50
Additional Family Child (bought in conjunction with Family ticket) £6.00
  • Group prices are available for groups of 15 or more. Contact Group Sales on 01634 823815 or
  • Visitors registered as ’Disabled’ wishing to obtain tickets for themselves and Carers should contact our Front of House Ticket Team at or on 01634 823800
  • *Telephone and in-person purchases are only available during normal Historic Dockyard opening times.

*Please note that all images are used for illustrative purposes only and act as a guide to the content of the event. Information correct at time of printing. The organiser, Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, reserves the right to change the programme or cancel activities without notice. 

What's On

What's on