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The event, held annually on a farm near Haughley, featured a large number of fully working vintage engines, many of which were in action.

Attractions included a Caterpillar bulldozer that moved earth and a steam engine that sawed wood.

Visitors stop to admire the exhibits (Image: Sarah Chambers)

Ultimately, the rally days were bathed in sunshine and the wind on the first day dried the fields. Some steam demonstrations in the Ring had to be abandoned on Saturday due to boggy conditions, but the programme was back to normal on Sunday.

The show is organised by brothers David and Gerald Seeley from Rattlesden, who have been involved with the event since its inception in 1987 and took over management of the event in 1997.

They were satisfied with the course of the trade fair – and the feedback from exhibitors and stand owners was positive.

Visitors enjoy the tractor exhibition at the Woolpit Steam Rally (Image: Sarah Chambers)

The non-profit event, with all proceeds going to charity, attracts both vaping enthusiasts and the general public.

According to David, the initiative is receiving great support locally and local businesses and volunteers are happy to help.

He added that the number of visitors this year was very good, with around 5,000 on both days. That was probably a little less than last year, but it was a record event.

Old steam engines on display at the Woolpit Steam Rally (Image: Sarah Chambers)

“Last year we thought it was an absolute special case; we had never experienced such a rush of visitors,” he said.

He admitted they were concerned about the construction work because rain was making it difficult for heavy vehicles to access the site, which is owned by Woolpit farmers Bob and Trish Baker of R&P Baker.

“It wasn’t a good start to the season,” he said.

An old locomotive at the Woolpit Steam Rally (Image: Sarah Chambers)

However, after months of wet weather and soaked ground, the exhibitors were “very understanding”.

“In a normal year, if the water table was normal, the water would have just seeped through. On Thursday night, we got half an inch of rain and even we had puddles,” he said.

“That slowed things down. We knew we couldn’t fit a couple of bigger flatbed trucks, so I made some sensible phone calls.”

It was hard work putting the rally together (Image: Sarah Chambers)

In addition to working steam engines, visitors could also admire 75 stationary machines, some of which are over 100 years old.

There was also an exhibition of vintage cars, motorcycles, commercial and military vehicles from the period before 1965.

“I think we gave them a good show,” David said.

“I feel like people want to get out and spend money – they’re not interested in the doom and gloom stories on the news.”

The Queen Mary will be exhibited at the Woolpit Steam Rally (Image: Sarah Chambers)

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