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Saturday, 01 November 2014

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Cumbria Steam Gathering

VINTAGE steam and motor vehicles drew the crowds at a popular festival.

Thousands of visitors flocked to Cumbria Steam Gathering, in Flookburgh, for its 40th anniversary year.

A 1925 Foden Steam Wagon, owned by Hal Bagot, of Levens Hall, that had been at the county’s first steam gathering, in Kendal,was one of the stars of the ruby anniversary event. The vehicle was joined by a 1920 Fowler Showman’s Engine Bertha from Levens Hall Steam Collection.

Kevin Lawrence, 52, of Barrow, from the Levens team and the North West co-ordinator for the Steam Apprentice Club, said: “This is the biggest (steam) event in the area.
“There’s a great atmosphere. We meet up with friends – it’s very social.

“There’s an interest from all age groups. We need to keep the skills alive and bring new blood into this specialist engineering field.”

Ulverston’s Jason Varley, a manager at the family-run Bardsea Leisure Park, and his friends, were exhibiting the only fully-preserved Fowler Steam Wagon. The 1931 Pendle Prince was rescued by his late grandfather, Tom Varley, from a scrapyard in 1971. Mr Varley said; “It’s nice to see the vehicles and the work being appreciated.”

A range of classic cars were exhibited, including Model T Fords on Saturday, and bicycles. Families also enjoyed the funfair, a sheep show, a steel orchestra and the trade stands. Tractor demonstrations had to be forfeited because of the wet ground.

Cumbria Steam Gathering treasurer, David Foster, praised the team who ensured the event could go ahead. He said: “It’s been a remarkable turnout. It’s a great relief that the weather has not been too bad.

“The effort in the build-up in the weeks preceding has been phenomenal. We’ve had tremendous support.”

Evie-Mae, five, of Haverigg, who wants to become an engineer, had fun on South Lakeland Model Engineering Society’s miniature railway. Her mum Sharon Neate, 35, said: “It’s a lovely family event, we come here every year.”

Annette and Terry Hurst, of Biggar Village, Walney, had a great day with granddaughters Katie Hurst, eight and Annabelle McNally, 10. Mrs Hurst, 65, said: “We come every year because it’s a good day out, the kids love the rides and we like to look at the engines and the bikes.”

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