Full steam ahead for 50 years

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Masham will be alive with steam this weekend as engines repeat an annual scene created since 1965.

And this year’s event will see incredible engines and around 800 other exhibits arrive from all over Britain, to celebrate 50 years of the Masham Steam Rally on Marfield Fields.

As organiser Flo Grainger, whose involvement spans over 40 years, said: “Steam engines are totally captivating, and like human beings have a heart.

“When an engine is ticking over at 62rpm it is almost the same rhythm of a heartbeat, and the warmth and smell of steam gives the aura that captures the atmosphere of the occasion.

“This is part of the great endearment of this and other such events, awash with the warm rosy glow of nostalgia.“

On the Saturday evening the engines will gather for the brief road run and parade into Masham market place, where large crowds are expected and local beers will be available.

On Sunday afternoon there will be a flypast from a Dakota of the Battle of Britain Memorial flight.

Organisers says the weekend will be filled with entertainment for families, enthusiasts and anyone looking for a unique event.

And, to the mark its continuous sponsorship from the start, local brewery T&R Theakston Ltd has created a special Golden Jubilee Logo.

The town’s first steam engine rally took place in July 1965 and was the brainchild of the then Theakston distribution director, Maurice Lumley.

It’s aim was to raise funds for the town hall, and which made the princely sum of £5.

Over the years it has grown into a significant event that attracts visitors from all over the country, and exhibitors as far away as Scotland.

Flo added: “We are incredibly grateful to T&R Theakston Ltd for their continued sponsorship.

“Without their annual backing we would not be here marking our 50th anniversary.

“A few years ago there was a danger we would have to call it a day but thanks to an appeal, we were able rescue the situation.

“And the first business to answer our cry for help was none other than Theakston’s.”

T&R Theakston Ltd Executive Director Simon Theakston said: “Like Theakston’s Old Peculier and the annual sheep fair, the steam rally has become synonymous with Masham.”

The event opens at 9.30am and admission is £10 for adults, concessions £8, children £2 and Under-5s free.