Monday, 28 September 2020

Rally’s harking back to the great days of steam

Rally’s harking back to the great days of steam

A FEAST of four-wheeled wonders — and much more — is in store at this weekend’s Woodcote Rally.

Now in its 56th year, the event offers a chance to marvel at steam engines big and small, plus a host of other vehicles.

A spokesman for the rally, which runs from 10am tomorrow and Sunday, said: “There are veteran and vintage cars, motorbikes, trackers and military and commercial vehicles.

“There’ll be steam and tractor working displays a well as all the events in the main ring.”

A grand steam parade will be the highlight in the main ring, where there will be driving competitions in each of the exhibition categories.

There will also be a steam and tractor working area with a series of displays. Elsewhere, a hot air balloon launch will take place on Saturday evening if the weather permits.

Other attractions include a craft tent and country area with a birds of prey display and a children’s farm.

The spokesman added: “New to the craft marquee we have a pottery stall, a candle maker, leather bags and pictures made in wood, alongside all the regulars. Watch artists at work and see demonstrations of spinning, weaving and knitting.

“At our varied collection of trade stands, you can purchase anything from tools to secondhand motor parts, plants, kitchenware, general fashion, garden furniture and brick-a-brac items.

“Learn about birds of prey in the country area and be intrigued watching demonstrations of traditional crafts. Try your hand at wood-turning. Watch the thatcher, willow weaver and stick makers at work.”

Children can also enjoy a penalty shootout challenge, pony rides, a fun fair with inflatables, an arts and crafts station and a play bus.

The spokesman said: “You can also visit the mobile farm and the donkey sanctuary and enjoy afternoon tea at the vintage tea tent while listening to the Cholsey Silver Band on Saturday and the Abingdon Town Band on Sunday.

“For musical entertainment, there will be various singing and musical performances on stage throughout the afternoons. On Saturday night the returning band is The Lightyears, the ultimate party band. And it goes without saying that there will be the Woodcote Festival of Ale, arranged by the South Oxfordshire Branch of the Campaign for Real Ale, for those who like the odd drop of real ale, plus they will also supply a good selection of wines. There will be plenty of food stands nearby and a Pimm’s and Prosecco Bar will be available for those who fancy a real taste of summer.”

This year’s Woodcote Rally is being held on the field north of Tidmore Lane. Tickets are the same price as last year: £10 for adults, £8 for senior citizens, £5 for children and £25 for families of two adults and three children.

Free car parking is available in the rally field off Tidmore Lane via Reading Road. The spokesman added: “Access to the car park site will be well signposted within the village and approach roads. Please follow the signs and don’t rely on your satnav.

“Alternatively, Thames Travel offer an hourly bus service from Reading and Oxford on the X40. The nearest bus stops in Woodcote are at the war memorial.

“Come along and enjoy the fun and help us boost the amount of money the Woodcote Charitable Association gives away to local charities and worthy good causes each year — £11,000 last year and £492,000 since 1964.”

For more information, including directions and a map of the rally site, visit

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