Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Great Dorset Steam Fair boss dies

Michael Oliver MBE
Mr Oliver was founder of the fair which attracts up to 200,000 visitors

The founder of the Great Dorset Steam Fair has died.

Michael Oliver MBE passed away "peacefully" at Dorset County Hospital, on Sunday, aged 75, his family said.

Mr Oliver's funeral will take place in his home village of Child Okeford, Dorset, at 1400 GMT on 15 December, in St Nicholas Church.

About 200,000 visitors attend the five-day event each year, at Tarrant Hinton, which celebrates the history of steam power.

The fair celebrated its 40th anniversary last year and was first held in 1969 for steam engine enthusiasts to get together.

A survey commissioned by North Dorset District Council and the event's organisers in 2006 claimed the fair was worth more than £22m to the local economy.

Mr Oliver was married to Jean and had two children and four grandchildren.

The steam fair is next scheduled to be held from 1 to 5 September 2010.



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