Vintage gathering in Wensleydale to host steam ploughing for first time in history
This weekend is to see the 35th annual Hunton Steam Gathering, in farmers' fields in the Wensleydale village, drawing 10,000 visitors over the two days.
It's centred on steam, with big engines, miniature, fair and vintage engines, and an original set of gallopers. Now there will also be steam-powered ploughing. For the first time in history the gathering is to host a pair of giant Fowler BB1 steam ploughing engines in action, weighing 20 tonnes each and winching a plough.
For a village committee in Hunton, and a team of 60 volunteers, this is a show that has grown in reputation, while staying true to its countryside roots.
Committee member Ben Jobling said: "It has the feel of a village fair, but just so much bigger than that with people travelling from all over the country.
"Steam evokes so much in people, for those that are fascinated. It's about seeing something working, and moving, people just love it.
"And it's heritage. A lot of people see that and support it. We have big steam, miniature steam, just over 70 steam-powered vehicles on the field. It's a family day out that is not just for the vintage enthusiasts. Our main aim is to put on a show that people can enjoy."
Founded in 1985 by David Robinson, local landlord and steam engine enthusiast, the first rally was held behind the village pub.
The Hunton Steam Gathering, now over a 70-acre site, will see 1,000 exhibits displaying over 120 years of agricultural and motoring heritage.
There will be 35 steam engines and 60 miniature steam engines, 200 classic cars, 200 tractors, commercial vehicles, motorbikes and more.
Traditional craft tents and markets will showcase local produce, while there will be a vintage fair and displays from birds of prey, Burmese mountain dogs, and fire and rescue teams.
Demonstrations will see forestry, bailing, threshing and chainsaw carving, but one of the biggest drawn looks set to see a vintage ploughing match on Sunday, featuring three generations of ploughing methods including with heavy horses, steam and tractor powered.
And after an absence of three years the gathering returns with steam ploughing demonstrations over two days tomorrow and Sunday.
Mr Jobling said: "It's something you don't see nowadays. It would have been a common sight in the past. It's just good to watch. It's almost therapeutic to watch something like that, keeping those links with farming heritage.”
The event raises money for charity, as well as investing in local projects. Over 35 years, more than £150,000 has been pledged.