Monday, 02 August 2021

Steam rally cancelled due to flooding

THE Stoke Row steam rally has been cancelled due to flooding.

Organisers of this year’s event, which was due to take place on June 7 and 8, say the ground is too wet and it would not be safe to proceed.

They say the site near Ipsden became waterlogged during the floods in January and February and has still not drained properly.

Tony Waistell, of Stoke Row Steam and Vintage Club, said: “It’s very much a disappointment because we’ve spent all year putting it together.

“We told all our exhibitors a couple of weeks ago so they’d have time to find somewhere else to go.

“Everyone has been very supportive and the people we’d booked to come have agreed not to charge us. They’d all seen on the news how bad the flooding was so they knew we had no control over it.

“Sadly, that field has never recovered from the Thames bursting its banks. It’s so low-lying that it was under 3ft of water at one point.”

This is only the second time the rally has been cancelled in its 34-year history. The first time was during the foot-and-mouth outbreak of 2001.

Next year’s event has been provisionally scheduled for June 20 and 21 and organisers hope the later date will give the site enough time to dry out if there are floods over the winter.

Last year’s rally was the most successful to date, attracting a record crowd of more than 6,000.

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