Vintage Transport Festival Steaming Success

A wonderful eclectic range of vintage cars, buses, tractors, fire engines, steam traction engines, aeroplanes and military vehicles were all on display at Fawley Hill’s National Vintage Transport Festival over the bank holiday weekend raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support.

In the exhibition ring, there were displays of vehicles, dog shows, and even camels!  On Sunday, organiser Lady Judy was hoping to achieve a Guinness World Record of the greatest number of Labradors all in one place. At the event in 2016 there was 300 but sadly there was only 29 this time which include Lady Judy’s Labradors, Belle  and Boris and celebrity guest Ben Fogle who lives in Fawley’s Storm and Swift.

At the restored Victorian railway station, the steepest standard gauge railway track in the world visitors could enjoy a train ride and see animals that roam in the estate on the way.  We saw deer including young foals, emus and peacocks.  The driver had to toot his horn to get the deer off the track.  At the railway station, there were model railways along with incredible old artefacts including an old chocolate machine, signs and pictures.

In the big top there was live musical entertainment throughout the weekend with Ben Portsmouth, Taking Care of Elvis singer headlining on Friday night at a Gala Dinner and the Crooked Billet pop-up pub.

Big yellow duck, Lily who raises money for Macmillan on the River Thames in Henley over the summer was invited to come along and was floating on the large pond next to the station.

English TV Presenter on Wheeler Dealers and local resident Edd China had his own tent, ‘Edd Space’ which housed some mad inventions including a bed and bathroom on wheels!

There were plenty of things to buy in the market stall area and Lady Judy was selling a gypsy caravan which had the sign on “FOR SALE Call 077**** or find Lady McAlpine” plus a food court and fairground rides.

Lady Judy said, “Sadly the Labrador count was disastrous.  We don’t know yet how much we have raised for Macmillan but it will be thousands.  My highlights were seeing all the beautiful engines in the arena again after so many years.  Living, breathing creatures, so carefully maintained… and the WW1 planes playing dog-fights overhead.. but really, so much was good.  The music was terrific all weekend, and those who contributed, be they musicians, Morris dancers, vehicle owners, traders, caterers or the mass of volunteers and paid youngsters (especially my grandchildren of course) made the weekend special for a LOT of people. The compliments have been flooding in!   A lot of the traction engine boys are trying to persuade me to do the real LAST ONE for my 80th next year – if I do it will be 17-19 May – but I have sold the car parking fields…so have a problem to solve.”





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