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Friday, 31 October 2014

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Cumbria Steam Gathering 2011

Click here for details of the 2012 Cumbria Steam gathering on cumbrialive.co.uk

A STEAM engine extravaganza attracted thousands of people from across the country.

The Cumbria Steam and Vintage Vehicle Society staged the Cumbria Steam Gathering on Cark Airfield, near to Flookburgh, on Saturday and Sunday.

Steam and diesel fumes filled the air as tractors, steamrollers, engines and wagons were driven around the main arena.

A record-breaking 1,300 stalls, rides and exhibits featured throughout the show.

Classic cars, vintage bicycles and ex-army helicopters enthralled spectators to the sounds of the Pantonic Steel Orchestra’s steel drums.

Two ex-US Army ‘Huey’ helicopters which saw service in Vietnam flew in ready for the show.

They were collecting for the injured soldiers’ charity Help For Heroes and the air ambulances.

There was also Cumbrian Wrestling, archery, a sheep show, model car racing and an old time fairground.

Vintage cars were popular among visitors. Exhibitor Nita Atkinson, from Grange, displayed her 39-year-old MG Midget.

Ms Atkinson bought the blue convertible new in Barrow, aged 19. It was her first car.

She said: “We come every year to show this one. It gets a good response from the public.

“There’s a lot of 70s nostalgia about. It is a beautiful day, we have enjoyed the show.”

Elise Porter, 20, from Ulverston, was enjoying the sunshine at the show.

She said: “It is really good.

“It’s a bit expensive to get in, but it’s a good atmosphere.

“It’s busy and that is great.

“The karting was good and it is nice to see all the vintage cars.

“It’s a good British day out.”

Greta James, 59, from Lindale, said: “It is fantastic. We come every year.

“The weather makes it. It makes people feel better when it’s sunny and everyone is smiling.

“There are a lot more different stalls than last year and the tractors are different too.

“It has been the best show we have been to this year.”

Martin George came to the event from Haverigg.

The 54-year-old said: “It is going well. You can’t complain about the weather.

“It’s gorgeous.

“It was about a 40-minute drive to get here but it was worth it.

“I have come in the past but we aren’t regulars to the show.

“I like the vintage cars – there’s quite a collection.

“It’s a good day out that caters for everybody.”

Jean Mills was in walking distance of the show. She came from Flookburgh on foot.

Mrs Mills, 62, said: “There is a great variety of things to see.

“It is brilliant.

“I have never been before.

“We watched the tractors and steam engines – they were amazing.

“It is a brilliant show and it’s wonderful that the weather has kept up so well.”

Steam engine and tractor exhibitors had the chance to take part in apprentice training.

Young steam enthusiasts were able to sign up and be taught how to drive the old-fashioned machines. David Lomas was one of the exhibitors who took part.

Mr Lomas, from Derbyshire, took on two students.

He said: “It’s good to keep the interest going.

“We had applicants from all over the country – it was a big mix.

“It costs the organisers money but it shows their level of commitment to keeping steam alive.”

Mr Lomas put his eight-tonne steam-roller on display and was awarded class winner.

He said: “I have been coming for six or seven years now and I enjoy it immensely.

“The weather is wonderful today so I am glad so many people are here.

“We couldn’t have asked for better.”

As some visitors complained about the £12 cost to get into the showground, David Foster, treasurer of the Cumbria Steam and Vintage Vehicle Society, explained that the society needed two busy days just to make the show financially viable.

Mr Foster said: “It is going brilliantly.

“If the sun shines, then we do all right. It really brings out the crowds.

“The numbers are about what we would expect when the weather is this good.

“We try to cater for anyone and everyone and not everyone likes to look at engines all day long.”

A number of the exhibits hit their maximum capacity in the same month the entry forms were handed out.

Mr Foster said: “We must have been doing something right.

“Plenty of people have come.

“We have had tremendous support, which is great really.

“We couldn’t have asked for better.”

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