A steam fan's delight at Chapelton
THE age of steam returns to North Devon with fervour this weekend in the form of what is expected to be the biggest and best Chapelton Steam and Vintage Rally seen for many years. This Saturday and Sunday Chapelton Barton at Umberleigh on the A377 will be
THE age of steam returns to North Devon with fervour this weekend in the form of what is expected to be the biggest and best Chapelton Steam and Vintage Rally seen for many years.
This Saturday and Sunday Chapelton Barton at Umberleigh on the A377 will be bursting with more than 400 exhibits from the glories of yesteryear, as veteran and vintage vehicles rub shoulders with huge traction engines, agricultural machinery and mechanisms from another age.
Gates open at 9.30am and there is so much to see and do, with full sized and miniature steam engines, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, tractors, military and commercial vehicles in a series of displays and parades.
With the rally just a few short miles from Barnstaple, there is no reason why visitors need miss out on the town's Fair and Carnival either, as Chris Baber, president of the Devon Traction Engine and vintage Rally Club, explained:
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"Why not have a day out at the rally, then go along to Barnstaple later to enjoy the fair and carnival? Why not really make a full day if it?" he said.
"You can expect a really fun and entertaining day filled with fascination and nostalgia."
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And in fact, some rally exhibits will be making their way to Barnstaple in time to join the carnival!
Highlights not to be missed include two huge 1919 Fowler steam powered ploughs in action on Sunday with an impressive display of engineering ingenuity, plus a 1907 Stanley Steam Car - which might sound very eco-friendly but actually burned petrol to generate steam!
Appearing at its first ever rally or indeed anywhere in four decades will be a 1912 Burrell steam engine which has spent the past decade being restored by the Shambrook family from Tawstock.
A number of stationary engines, used to power everything from generators to circular saws will also be on show and working, together with a remarkable collection of horticultural machinery.
And don't miss the death-defying, low flying skills of the aerobatic Red Sparrows Display Team on Sunday! BBC Radio Devon host David Fitzgerald (Fitz) is also expected on Sunday.
Along with the time honoured beer tent, food and refreshments, the rally features a model and craft tent with skilful demonstrations from crafters and makers plus a chance to buy their wares.
Local master thatcher Ian Rose will also be in action with displays of his craft.
Shire horse cart rides will be on offer and there will be a traditional fairground with a variety of rides and stalls, accompanied by the nostalgic sound of pipe organs.
On the Saturday evening there is live music from The Texans, with free entry to those who have already paid for rally admission, or �3 at the door on the night.
Entry to the Chapelton rally on either day is just �16 per family, or �6 for adults, concessions �5 and children under 16 years �3. children under three years free. Camping - including rally entry - is �18 for two nights or �27 for three. Visit www.dtec.freeuk.com for more information.