Thousands steam their way to rally

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More than 6,000 people turned-out for the 25th Belper Steam Rally at the weekend, with organisers proclaiming it the “best event ever”.

The anniversary event saw a host of attractions fill the showground off Street Lane, Denby. However the whole rally was nearly cancelled at the last minute after steady downpours in days leading-up to the event left the field water-logged.

Roger White with his Foster agricultural engine.

Roger White with his Foster agricultural engine.

Chairman Terry Mellor said: “I’m gobsmacked that we got away with it. It was touch and go for a while and the field flooded on Tuesday and Wednesday but we went for it and I’m glad we did because we had the best show we have ever had. It was an absolutely fantastic weekend.”

Gun dogs, a tractor display team, steam engines, military vehicles, motorcycles, vintage and classic cars, an ‘olde tyme’ fair, fair organs and The Wild Bunch Cowboys were among the attractions.

A Spitfire and Hurricane from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight also streaked across the skies as part of the event.

Mr Mellor continued: “The flypast was incredible. We have everything but the Lancaster come over now. One of the best attractions for me was Sky Symphony - an absolutely mesmerising display of kite acrobatics. They are the Red Arrows of the kite world.

“It was also a first for Derbyshire that the Dancing Doe Tractors from Lincolnshire performed.”

The rally was first held on the Thorntons field in Belper, before later moving to Eyes Meadow and then on to Denby.

Councillor John Nelson, who was involved with establishing the first event was invited along to formally open the rally.

Mr Mellor added: “The committee would like to thank all the exhibitors and supporters over the years. We are very grateful to the volunteers who help us stage the event - without them we couldn’t