This weekend, an otherwise unassuming field just outside Bloxham will become the centre of the steam enthusiasts universe.
The Bloxham Steam Rally is one of the biggest in the UK and this weekend it will mark its 50th anniversary with more vintage steam powered vehicles, than ever before.
In fact this year’s show, talking place this weekend, June 23 and 24, is so big, an extra field is needed to fit everything in.
The event is not exclusively for fans of steam powered vehicles but has something for just about everyone.
Nathan Allan, who is in charge of the military vehicle section, said: “We’ve really pushed this year to increase the size of the rally. The 50th is a really big thing for us because there’s a lot of steam rallies over the last few years that have fallen by the wayside because they haven’t grown and developed.
“We’ve tried to make it more accessible and universal to everybody and get a lot bigger range of exhibits in.”
Included in the bigger range of exhibits are more than 100 vintage tractors, classic caravans, commercial vehicles, steam-powered saws and other tools, helicopter rides, demonstrations by Native American Indians, American Civil War re-enactment, various small animals, a craft market, fairground rides, live music and a beer tent.
The military section too has pulled out all the stops and will feature a very special exhibit.
Nathan said: “We’ve got a full sized Hurricane aircraft in our section this year. It’s a replica but it looks identical to the real thing with RAF ground crew to go with it.
“We have the Battle of Britain Memorial flight coming over. We have a Spitfire on the Saturday and a Lancaster Bomber on the Sunday which is a brilliant thing to have.”
There will also be an attempt at a UK and possibly world record as Nathan explains: “We have one of the largest gatherings of miniature steam engines that has ever happened at least in the UK but probably the world.
“In fact we are going for the world record. If we get as many as we hope there should be over 80, if they all turn up.
“For a lot of those there can be more work in building a miniature than a full size steam engine. A lot of engineering goes into those because they are exact replicas.”
The rally takes place on the fields, owned by the Smith family, on the Milton Road between Bloxham and Adderbury.
Gates open at 10am both days with adult tickets £10, children £6 and under fives free. Camping is also available for £45 with fields now open.
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