Town steams up for show

Steam Fair at Farmer Copleys  -  Andrew Borthwick & Dan Smith taking a break between crushing aggregate for the rollers
Steam Fair at Farmer Copleys - Andrew Borthwick & Dan Smith taking a break between crushing aggregate for the rollers

VINTAGE steam and traction engines stoked interest in thousands of Five Town residents who flocked to the first Pontefract Steam Rally at the weekend.

Three thousand people attended the event at Farmer Copley’s on Pontefract Road, Purston where there was an extensive collection of steam rollers, traction engines, miniature steam engines, classic cars, stalls, and entertainment from a brass quintet.

Organisers say they were disappointed by the number of people who attended – putting the turnout down to a lack of advertising and children’s activities.

Alan Jackson, chairman of the organising committee, said: “We had a good show but we had expected around 5,000 people and needed that many to come through the gates to make back the money we spent on hosting the event.

“The people who came said they had a very good time. They told us it was very interesting and we showed them a lot of different and unusual things – we had the oldest running traction engine in the world, all the way from Australia.”

Derek Rayner, president of Leeds and District Traction Engine Club, managed to entertain crowds of all ages with a two-day demonstration of classic road making.

He said: “Generally it takes ten people to do a road making demonstration and wouldn’t normally take two days but we were there to entertain.

“We have made a nice farm road now for Farmer Copley who can use for his tractor.”

Leeds and District Traction Engine Club organised the event which was previously held at Harewood House in Leeds.