Castle Combe plays host to vehicles of a bygone era
9:06am Monday 19th May 2014 in By Trevor Porter
Thousands of visitors took a look at life in the slow lane when Castle Combe race circuit played host to a two day steam and vintage rally this weekend.
Instead of cars hurtling around the North Wiltshire track at speeds up to 160mph interest at the weekend was shown in steam vehicles that travel at walking speed.
Among stream engines setting the pace at 4mph were vehicles from a bygone era crowding the paddock and rows upon rows of vintage motor cars and motor cycles parked alongside the famous race track.
Organisers of the rally said they were delighted with the turn out for this year's event, the 29th time it has been held.
Rally vice chairman Keith Day said: "This show is a favourite with entrants and visitors alike.”
Steam engine driver Colin Hatch only shows where he can drive his 1901 Burrell engine and loves the Combe event.
He said: "It's the first event of the season and for me it’s the best. There is a great atmosphere at Combe, so friendly for entrants and spectators alike”
Travelling from Stert, near Devizes, was the Bullen family with their 1926 Foden steam tractor Perseverance.
The steam engine was supplied new to the Kirby sawmills in 1926 and the family have restored the old engine and presented it in the livery of its first owner Arthur Kirby.
Devizes based enthusiast Robert Bullen said: "It's been a labour of love rebuilding this old Foden but the work over the years is well worth it."
Making its debut at the show was the 1933 Hillman Aero Minx motor car. Co-owner Peter East of Chipping Sodbury had driven the car to the Combe circuit fort its first showing.
He said: ”It's a rare car and a real pleasure to be able finally to put it on show."
Another making its debut was the 1928 Humber rebuilt by Bristol’s Gerald Dawson.
He said: “It was a box of bits when I bought I the Humber and have spent eight years rebuilding her.”
Among the tractor section was the immaculate 1960 Fordson tractor of Rob Webb.
The Chippenham enthusiast said: "We have completely restored this old tractor and named her Olive after my late aunt.”
Show chairman Dennis Marsh explained the interest in a show like the Combe event.
He said: “I think these events are so popular because people can remember the vehicle from their younger days and the younger folk have never seen some of these old exhibits working.
"We have a great selection of working machines that span decades."
Show secretary Pauline Day said more than 1,000 exhibits were on show at the Combe circuit. She said: "This year we have 16 full size steam engines well over 100 commercials with vintage cars and motor cycles adding another 500 to the total.”
The two day Castle Combe Steam and Vintage raises money for the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and, with the weekends, funds raised over the years total more than £50,000.