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Thursday, 18 December 2014

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Classic car rally drives forward flood-hit Cockermouth's revival

More than 100 vintage and classic cars descended on Cockermouth at a new event to help put the flood-ravaged town back on the map.

Rally photo
Keith and Carol Thomas in their 1953 Buckler

Cockermouth Revival Weekend, a two-day rally and test competition for classic cars, was held for the first time on Saturday and yesterday.

The race was organised by Wigton Motor Club to mark the recovery of the town that was devastated by floods nearly a year ago. It was also held in memory of a former member, Max de Redder, who died in June.

The weekend kicked off with the Allerdale Amble, which set off from the Sheep and Wool Centre at noon on Saturday. The 75-mile touring event took cars as far as Eskdale.

Sunday saw the Cockermouth Revival Rally where cars assembled in Main Street before a 90-mile route through Cumbria.

Cockermouth mayor Alan Tyson opened the event, which was dedicated to Mr de Redder of Blindcrake, a former club member and motor sports enthusiast.

Club secretary Graeme Forrester said: “We’ve had a really positive response to the weekend.

“We’ve had 107 cars from the 1920s to the 1980s coming from all over the country as far as Aberdeen and Kent.

“We are very pleased with the turnout and we had some very large crowds in Cockermouth to see us off on Sunday.”

Mr Forrester said the event had helped boost the town’s economy.

“Several of the hotels in Cockermouth were fully booked with competitors. Other people have come to watch and have stayed and eaten locally. The event has had national publicity and it will help to put Cockermouth back on the map.”

A new, young organising team at the motor club planned the event.

“They have done really well,” said Mr Forrester. “We are really proud of them. We’ll have to see after the debriefing, but we could put this on again next year.”

Mr Forrester said that Mr de Redder would also have enjoyed the event.

“I’m sure he would have approved of the weekend,” he added.

Mr de Redder’s widow Pat drove the number one car, a Ford model A from 1929, on both days for the rally.

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