In 1997, dilapidated Chipping Village Hall desperately need of replacement and the village had started a fund-raising effort to kickstart the new build.
A family fun day was hastily organised, taking place at venues around the village, including street stalls and a car boot sale. A few vintage cars were also gathered, along with a couple of old steam engines and a dozen or so motor bikes.
The day proved a hit with villagers and visitors, with many asking if the day could be repeated, as so many people had come forward as potential exhibitors. It was decided the location would need to be much larger, so in 1998, the fair was held on the agricultural showground site for the first time and attracted a phenomenal turn out. That second year raised £10,000 which went towards the village hall project and the money raised was then matched by the National Lottery fund.
Chipping & District Memorial Hall opened its doors in November 1999.
Chipping steam Fair has since become an annual event, with the exception of a cancellations in 2001 and 2003 due to the Foot and Mouth epidemic and flooding. Proceeds are now shared between local charities and good causes across the North West.
In 2004, the show relocated to its current site in Green Lane and last year’s show saw the best ever visitor numbers. An army of volunteers begin preparing for the show in July each year for the following May.
2014 will be the 16th annual Chipping Steam Fair and the show will run on Saturday, May 24th, and Sunday, May 25th, from 10am to midnight and on Bank Holiday Monday, May 26th, from 10am to 5pm. Admission is £8 for adults, £6 for OAPs and children over 12, with under-12s free.
Attractions will include a beer tent, refreshment stalls, donkey rides, live music, Punch and Judy, fairground rides, arena entertainment, a craft tent and trade stalls. All the usual steam engines, classic cars, bikes and plant, vintage tractors and pedal cycles and commercial and military vehicles will also be on show and a biplane aerobatics team will perform, alongside The Street Monkeys, a professional Free Running/Parkour team. Radio Lancashire will broadcast from the showground on Sunday.