The County of Salop Steam Engine & Vintage Vehicle Society celebrates 50th anniversary

The fantastic spectacle of superb steam engines, and beautifully preserved classic and historic vehicles from yesteryear will be delighting visitors to the 2011 County of Salop Steam Engine Society’s Rally at Onslow Park, Shrewsbury on Sunday 28th August and Monday 29th August.

The origins of the Society started in a small field in Church Stretton, Shropshire in August 1961 with 18 steam engines, and the annual rally has since grown to see over 1,000 exhibits from all over the UK.

Society Chairman, John Onions said: “This year we have been working hard to ensure the 50th anniversary is celebrated in style and we aim to have 100 highly attractive steam engines including some that attended our first rallies. Our ‘Golden Anniversary Rally’ will be a great event, and be even more spectacular as we have doubled the normal number of steam engines appearing to delight visitors! We enjoy superb support from steam preservation enthusiasts and of course our own members, so this year’s rally will be a fantastic showcase. For ‘half a century’ a band of enthusiastic volunteers have been running the County of Salop Steam Engine & Vintage Vehicle Rally – one of the UK’s finest – and the ‘Golden Anniversary Rally’ will be a real extravaganza of steam! We promise an action-packed weekend for all the family with some outstanding exhibits demonstrating their power and performance”.

John Onions continued: “The main arena cavalcade of magnificent steam traction engines (and steam rollers) accompanied by popular, traditional, patriotic music is a fantastic highlight of our Rally. We are looking forward to this year’s event with great confidence and tremendous pride, but also hoping for some fine weather! The sights, and steam on the Rally field are a joy to visitors and a tribute to the skill and hard work that goes into the restoration and maintenance of these magnificent machines. It really is a sensational spectacle one that delights our audience year after year”.

Rally Organiser, Derek Whitefoot said: “Our visitors are passionate about steam, vintage vehicles, the Golden Age of Victorian Farming – and much more. We have organised a fine spectacle of superb steam engines, and beautifully restored vehicles from the past for the two day event that delights and entertains our visitors year after year. Roger Mills, will be the commentator in the mini arena where visitors can see steam engines in action. He will be using David Mitchell’s vintage VW Standard T2 van – with its own public address system from 50 years ago!

Our Rally offers ideal entertainment for the family, with lots of activities to enjoy and it is a lovely way for families to spend the weekend, with excellent refreshments at good-value for money prices. We always have some new sights, with many steam engines making their debut at Onslow Park after making a journey across the UK. Our Commercial Vehicles Section Secretary, Neil Boughey has worked hard to get 50 historic Leyland lorries to make a special appearance, and we have hundreds of vehicles, a variety of tractors and over 1,000 exhibits, so we can safely promise an entertaining and fun-packed family day out”.

Victorian Farming at this year’s Rally!
The past proves to hold a special magic for visitors and the Rally showcases an exciting mix of impressive working machines that capture the history and heritage of farming in the Victorian era. Exhibitors breathe new life into the past and demonstrate everything from ploughing by huge steam engines, steam cultivation, corn cutting and harvesting with reaper binders; to chaff cutting and hammer milling involving early tractors and other machines. There is also steam ploughing, wood sawing, stone crushing and teams of shire horses will be ploughing part of the site to complete the spectacle of pastoral delight!

Visitors will be able to take a unique journey back in time when the clock is turned back to Victorian times for two days, in the beautiful farming landscape of Onslow Park! There’s a bee-keeper, wheelwright, corn dolly maker, live blacksmith demonstrations, brick-making presentations, and cider making. Over 240 tractors on view on the showground – and some spectacular tractor pulling! Visitors can explore the world of rural Victorian farming with its wonderful original farming skills – and literally live and breathe the past. Pure nostalgia!

The Rally features a full Arena Programme on both days which includes a highly popular display of birds of prey (static and flying), displays of vintage tractors on the move, a convoy of historic commercial vehicles, working horses on parade, vintage cycles and perambulators (with the majority of entrants in period costume), pre-and post World War II cars, veteran cars, classic motorcycles and steam cars.