Fairford Steam Rally saved from closure
IT IS FULL steam ahead again for a troubled Fairford rally that was in danger of going off the rails indefinitely.
The future of Fairford Steam Rally was put in doubt when it was cancelled for the third time in six years last summer because of waterlogged ground at Fairford Park.
A search to find a new site for the summer event, which has been running for more than 40 years and attracts around 12,000 visitors each weekend, was proving fruitless and there were fears it had reached its end.
But now organisers, enthusiasts and Fairford residents are celebrating after it was announced the rally was back on track at a new location in nearby Poulton.
Fairford rally director and show manager David Hooker lives at the new site.
He said: "We were hoping to keep the rally in Fairford but the sites were either unsuitable or astronomic prices, so we thought why not have it here?
"Everyone was just about devastated at the thought it wouldn’t go on, but when we announced we were going to have it everybody was over the moon."
Because the grassy Quarry Farm site is smaller than Fairford Park, the number of vintage cars and tractors will be halved this year. But there will be more entertainment instead.
"We’re just doing one day this year to see how we get on. If it goes well we’ll have two days again next year," David said.
Along with around 60 vintage tractors and 60 classic and vintage cars, the event will host a dog display, motorcycle stunts, a clown show and a falconry display in the arena, and will feature children’s fairground rides and plenty of food and drink stalls.
There will also be a free-entry party at Quarry Farm on the Saturday night before, with a hog roast, bar and live music.
A traditional steam engine parade is also expected to go ahead in Fairford’s Market Square on the Friday night.
Entrance on Sunday, August 18 costs £10 per person. Children aged 14 and under enter for free. Proceeds go towards Gloucestershire Air Ambulance.
Find out more at fairfordsteamrally.com