This years annual Steam Roller, Traction Engine and Vintage Machinery event ” The Rally in the Valley”, faced an uncertain future after it was cancelled. It was due to take place on Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd July 2012 at Severn Park in Bridgnorth, however The organisers were offered a new location for the event, less than a 2 minutes drive from Severn Park located near Fort Pendlestone instead, so it was rescheduled for Friday 10th, Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th August 2012 instead, at The new location, which is bigger than Severn Park and has the added advantage of free car-parking.
The Rally in the Valley began in 2008 as the public launch of the Trevithick Replica Engine CATCH ME WHO CAN, which was being built in Bridgnorth by the Trevithick 200 Charity to celebrate the bi-centenary of the original engine being built at Hazledines Foundry, Bridgnorth in 1808. Since then The engine has been to many events and I’ve also seen the replica in steam down at the Severn Valley Railway, where it was built.
Since then the Rally-In-The-Valley has grown and I am hoping that this years rally will again feature an array of exhibits such as Traction Engines, Steam Rollers, Tractors, Commercial vehicles, Stationary engines, Threshing Machines, Fairground Organs, Showman’s Engines, barrel organ, Sentinel steam wagons plus miniature traction engines and steam rollers, I am also hoping that the replica of Catch-Me-Who-Can, will also be on display.
One of the The most exciting events at a recent Rally in the Valley happened when The owners of Two Aveling & Porter TRaction Engines, who were exhibiting at the event, decided to drive the Traction Engines through the High Street on a busy Saturday morning instead of round it, which brought the traffic to a stand-still for quite some time and caused absolute chaos in the town. Then Having eventually got through the Town Centre they then had to go down the bank towards the river and as they did so the brakes faded on both vehicle, then as they both trundled across the bridge, it started vibrating alarmingly, so they had to cross it one at a time, all of which was great fun to watch.
The Last time I went there was also be an impressive display of vintage farm machinery such as Stationary Engines, threshing machines & vintage Tractors courtesy of the Bridgnorth Vitage Machinery Association., Kinver Model Society were also demonstrating their miniature steam engines such as Catch-Me-Who-Can & LMS 5960 Leander.There were also Lots of great displays taking place in the main arena throughout the weekend , including a a heavy horse ploughing demonstration as well as a cavalcade of exhibitors, Traction Engines, Steam Rollers and Showman Engines – The Highlight for me was when the Owners all blew the whistles simultaneously . A large and impressive display of military vehicles, such as Scammell Tank Transprters, amphibious DUKW, many different examples of World War II Tanks, jeeps, Half-tracks, military Ambulances, military trucks and staff Cars a mouth-watering array of vintage and classic cars and bikes, Commercial Vehicles, vintage Motorcycles and Stationary Engines was also on display
There were also many Awning Displays courtesy of artisans from Blists Hill Museum in Ironbridge who were demonstrating various crafts such as Pottery, Coracle Making, blacksmithing, painting, Dress-making, Corn Milling, basket weaving Longbow Archery & Pipe Making. There will also be a variety of other market stalls, selling traditional arts and crafts, fresh produce, such as Jams, Pickles, Honey, Home made cakes, Wine & Beer.
At This years event, entertainment will be provided The Bridgnorth Ukelele Band and local band Thomson Oldeman will also be performing on Saturday lunchtime (They are also performing at this years Bridgnorth Music and Arts Festival too), and the amazing Victorian music hall style pianist Dr Busker and the Wild Rovers, will be performing live music on Saturday Night in the beer tent. Members of Elcock Reisen Band will also be perfrming as will singer Joanna Rose. Food and drink will be provided by on-site Caterers offering food such as Burgers, Hot dogs, doughnuts, Ice Creams & Candy Floss. For those like me who don’t drive I am also looking forward to sampling the beer that the bar supplier “Hop and Stagger” brewed specially for the event at their micro brewery in Bridgnorth which will be on sale in the beer tent.