Banbury Steam Rally celebrates 50th anniversary

By richardc at

Hundreds of people flocked to the annual Banbury Steam Rally for a two day festival showcasing the finest steam engines, vintage cars, tractors and models.

Celebrating its 50th year, the rally was held next to the village of Bloxham, near Banbury, with fields full of vehicles and exhibitions. The rally included fairground rides, live music, and the popular car and engine parades.

Richard Millward who coordinated the Steam Rally at Rally Control said: “People love a bit of heritage, especially with this being the 50th year since this rally started. There are a lot more exhibits this year and people are even more enthused because it’s our 50th. We have more fields this year, and people have offered us more models and machinery.”

A field at the rally, full of military vehicles and aircraft included a Word War Two Hurricane fighter plane, where Kitten von Mew, a burlesque World War 2 era performer stood on the wing of the grounded plane and sang to a receptive audience.

Following her performance, Kitten said: “It’s my first time here and I didn’t think the rally would be so huge, it’s amazing it’s lovely that they have allowed me to come and sing and it’s the 1940s and 1950s era I perform songs from. The one song that is close to my heart is Over the Rainbow from The Wizard of Oz, it is such a tearful song.”

There was lots of historic context at the rally with 19th Century military re-enactment of a military camp from The American Civil War.

Darren Paul from the military camp re-enactment said: “Basically we are portraying a winter camp during the American Civil War. This gorgeous weather we are having makes it rather hot inside the tent, we try to educate the public and we learn from the steam fair and it’s a great
place to meet people.”