Weather hits rally event

A DOG'S LIFE: John Finch, with his dog Dexta on a 1963 Super Dexta tractor and Long Melford Vintage Rally.
A DOG'S LIFE: John Finch, with his dog Dexta on a 1963 Super Dexta tractor and Long Melford Vintage Rally.

APPALLING weather resulted in the second day of a popular vintage rally being cancelled.

The site of Long Melford Vintage Rally was reduced to a muddy mess due to heavy rain on Saturday night, leaving thousands of visitors disappointed.

Saturday’s event at Melford Hall proved a success, with an estimated 4,000 people attending to see vintage cars, steam engines, tractors and animals displays, but the following day was a wash-out as exhibitors packed up early.

Bill Preston, chairman of the Farm Machinery Preservation Society, which runs the rally, said the field resembled a quagmire.

“It was a shame because on Saturday we had a brilliant day,” he said.

“But the weather was appalling overnight and on Sunday morning people started packing up and we decided to abort the day.”

Mr Preston said it was the first time any part of the event, which has been running for 29 years, had been called off.

“There were losers all round because the visitors missed out on the Sunday, which is traditionally the busiest day, and the retail and food stalls lost money,” he said.

Due to the muddy conditions, many tractor owners were called upon to help stranded vehicles leave the site.

“Hopefully next year, the weather will be better,” added Mr Preston.