Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Steam rallies thousands

THOUSANDS of people attended the 53rd annual Woodcote Rally on Saturday and Sunday last week.

THOUSANDS of people attended the 53rd annual Woodcote Rally on Saturday and Sunday last week.

The event boasted a record 657 exhibitors in categories including full-sized and miniature steam engines, tractors, stationary engines, commercial and military vehicles, vintage and classic cars and motorbikes and 17 models.

Attendance figures are yet to be confirmed but organisers believe it attracted more visitors than in 2015, when more than 15,000 people came and £16,500 was raised for good causes in the Woodcote area.

For the second year running, two pairs of Shire horses gave a working demonstration and there were falconry displays, storytelling sessions, wood turning and sculpting demonstrations in the “country area” as well as a children’s farm.

There was a trade area with more than 1,000 stalls and a craft tent with 50 tables, 10 more than last year.

The Cholsey Silver Band, several young musicians from Woodcote Unplugged and rock group Ready Or Not performed throughout the weekend and there was a free concert for Woodcote residents on the Friday evening beforehand.

Organiser Andy Crockett said: “It was very, very good this weekend. It looks like our numbers are up on last year and everyone I’ve spoken to said they really enjoyed themselves.

“I think we publicised it more widely than in previous years and the warm weather encouraged people to come. The craft tent and trade stalls were very busy every time I looked.

“There were also lots of people milling around in the entertainment area enjoying the music and drinking beer. We’re hoping we made a good amount of money but it’ll be several months before we’ve counted it all up.”

Since it was first held in 1964 the rally has given away more than £425,000 to various charities and community groups. Proceeds are usually shared out at a ceremony in December.

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