Monday, July 21, 2014
Thousands turned out in sweltering temperatures to take a step back in time for what is believed to have been the biggest Weeting Steam Rally in its 46-year history.
Although the gates for the annual show only officially opened to the public on Saturday, a record 600 children arrived on Friday to look around as the show was being set up.
The threat of stormy weather meant a few people stayed away on the Saturday – but as the clouds passed and the temperatures soared, the crowds soon flocked in to see the attractions, which this year included a heavy horse cart and a gun dog display.
A cooler day yesterday brought yet more people through the gates, with the massed displays of steam engines and more than 140 tractors – as well as working demonstrations of vintage vehicles – among the most popular attractions.
But those not interested in classic vehicles could enjoy trade and craft stalls, children’s entertainment and restaurants and bars, as well as an evening fair.
Organiser Wendy Young said she was delighted to see families staying from morning through to the evening. When you can keep a family there all day, you know you are doing well,” she said.
“Most years I am looking around for things to fill the gaps but we had more exhibits of everything this year and were completely full.
“It is nice for people who live nearby to have something so big on their doorstep.
“People who have been here a long time appreciate the nostalgia of the event.”
A community tent, she added, also allowed the museums and nearby organisations to show the best of what the area had to offer, while helicopter flights gave people a bird’s-eye view of the show. Banham Zoo mascots also gave away goody bags for children throughout the weekend.
Although an official count of the number of visitors has not yet been completed, Mrs Young hopes the event will have pulled in between 5,000 and 6,000 people.
The show was started by Richard Parrott in 1968 and has grown considerably over the years.
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