Thousands flock to popular rally event

Full steam ahead ... Exhibitors soak up the sun and show off their vehicles at Long Melford Vintage Rally.
Full steam ahead ... Exhibitors soak up the sun and show off their vehicles at Long Melford Vintage Rally.
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THE stage was set for a grand day out and the steam engines, vintage cars and animal displays did not disappoint.

Thousands of visitors made the most of the fine weather and headed for Melford Hall in Long Melford to attend a vintage rally over the weekend.

The rally, which has become a regular event in the village over the years, saw record numbers on both Saturday and Sunday, with organisers from the Farm Machinery Preservation Society claiming there were 25 per cent more people than last year.

Group chairman Bill Preston said people were treated to an assortment of vehicles from carefully restored steam engines, military vehicles, tractors and classic cars.

“We had a big turnout of exhibits, easily into the hundreds,” he said.

“There was something for everyone and the rally has a great appeal as we also have shire horses, crafts and brilliant falconry displays.

“The atmosphere was very friendly.”

He said one of the highlights of the event, which is run in support of Macmillian nurses, was a demonstration put on by Long Melford fire station.

“It was very action packed and saw firefighters rescuing people trapped in a car,” said Mr Preston.

Colin Cracknell, 84, a steam engine steward from Great Henny, said he had never seen the car park so busy for the rally.

“The weather was very good and it was a record attendance,” said Mr Cracknell, who has been involved with the society for more than 15 years.

“It covers such a wide range of interests and the exhibitors all said they enjoyed it and would love to come back again next year.”