Dales rally steams into action for 51st year

THOUSANDS of visitors decended on a North Yorkshire market town for its 51st annual steam rally.

Connor Denny, six, looking at a line of Traction Engines at the Masham Steam Rally.

Forty steam engines, as well as over 120 tractors and hundreds of other exhibits, came from all over the UK for the event in Masham, which was blessed with good weather. Engines gathered for a brief road run and parade into Yorkshire’s largest market place on Saturday.

Organiser Graham Nicklas said: “Last year we had around 10,000 people but it was a bit damp. Today it’s blue skies and the sun is shining.”

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A highlight on Saturday was a performance by the James Dylan Stuntworld team, while visitors yesterday got to see the Vanders Brothers’ Wheel of Death.

The first steam engine rally took place in July 1965, and was the brainchild of the then-Theakston distribution director, Maurice Lumley. Its aim was to raise funds for the town hall, and which made the princely sum of £5.

Mr Nicklas said: “We had a few wet years and that had a knock-on effect on the year’s profits. If it wasn’t for Theakston’s and a few local businesses that give us a bit of money...luckily, touch wood, we have made a little back and we are in a good position now.”