SUNSHINE, blue skies and the unmistakable smell of steam engines brought thousands of people to Heddington at the weekend.

Vintage tractors, steam traction engines, military vehicles and fairground rides all combined to offer families a great day out.

There were working horse demonstrations, sheep shearing and displays of veteran cars.

Heddington and Stockley Steam Rally chairman Jerry Field said: “We had a great rally and fantastic attendance from the public – more than we had last year. The weather was really kind to us.”

He guessed more than 7,000 members of the public went through the gates over the two days.

“We’ve had an awful lot of positive feedback, both from people who came along as paying public, but also from traders and exhibitors saying it is one of the best they have been to.”

One of the highlights each day was a spectacular parade of traction engines. But there were also thrills and spills in the lawnmower racing and the tractor pulls.

The rally has grown since it started 41 years ago and is now a country fair as well as a firm favourite in the calendar for steam engine officionados.

“A lot of people like to come out and have a good day in the countryside,” said Jerry. The show also brought the village community together once a year to help plan and run it.

“We said right at the outset this year that our primary objective was just to have an event everybody enjoyed.”

Even as the work of clearing the field is done, the organisers are turning their thoughts to next year’s rally and a date has already been chosen.

This weekend the village is looking forward to Heddstock Festival on the same site next to the Ivy Pub.

Headlining is the Bowie Experience, with Gaz Brookfield, Billy in the Lowground, Pignose, The Tribe and Mick O’Toole also on the bill.

The family oriented festival is staged between 2pm and 11pm on Saturday to raise money for Heddington Amenities Committee. Visit for ticket information