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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Thousands enjoy day in sun at Distington vintage rally

Classic cars, restored commercial vehicles, working engines and saw bench demonstrations were among the attractions which kept hundreds of families entertained at the 32nd West Cumbria Vintage Club rally.

Distington rally photo
Charlie Brown with his 1958 BSA Road Rocket

Ice cream and sun cream were the order of the day – a far cry from last July when wet weather forced the show’s cancellation for the first time in its history.

Bob Sanderson, spokesman for the organisers, said: “This time last year the field had a lake in it. We are very pleased with the weather this year and the support from locals.”

Among the exhibitors at Sunday’s event was Barry Porter, of Pardshaw, who spent the day demonstrating with his 80-year-old saw bench, which he bought as a £20 pile of scrap and restored into a mobile bench.

Barry, a furniture maker, cuts all his own oak on the bench.

He said: “People like to see a machine that uses winches, rollers and levers. There are very few wood carvers about so it’s nice to keep any tradition going.”

Jim Rudd, 59, of Beckermet, wowed the crowds with his scale model of the last showman’s road locomotive built by Burrells of Thetford.

Jim said: “You just make it one piece at a time. I had to get the boiler made by a specialist firm. Once I’d put the deposit for the boiler that was me committed.”

He added: “It’s nice to bring it to events like this and to see people take an interest and to explain to younger people how it works and what it does.”

Doug Gilmour, 79, of Distington, took along his 1951 Singer 4AB Roadster.

He said: “As a boy I wanted one but I couldn’t afford one so when I saw one for sale I bought it.”

Neil McGurk, 49, of Southwaite, brought his 1966 Mk2 Jaguar, which he bought in 2005 as his everyday car. He now has a 1956 Morris Minor for day-to-day use but likes to see both used and looked after.

He said: “I think they’re so much more interesting than new cars.”

Charlie Brown, 60, of Dearham, regularly attends the show, bringing some of his collection of motorcycles.

He said: “I have had motorbikes since I was little. My first was a James Comet 98cc when I was eight. I have just about had every bike under the sun. I like British bikes.”

Mike Mansergh, 61, of Dalston Road, Workington, displayed his 1959 AC Aceca.

He said: “I was on the initial committee when the club started and I have been here every year since. It’s full of good friends and good company.”

There were also performances by Egremont Town Band and Two-Headed Sheep Morris dancers from Calderbridge, along with re-enactments from Midgard Living History of Seascale, donkey rides and fairground attractions.

There was a craft fair, trade stands and charity stalls, and refreshment stands kept the visitors well fuelled.

Mr Sanderson said the event attracted about 4,000-5,000 people, including exhibitors.

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