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The Banbury Steam Rally was first launched in 1968 and will celebrate its 50th anniversary by hosting its most action-packed programme to date.

Rally call for historic event.

A rally call has gone out to vintage vehicle owners to be part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of a thriving historic event.

Banbury Steam Society is encouraging owners and enthusiasts to join them on 23 and 24 June at their annual display and demonstration spanning 130 acres near Bloxham, Oxfordshire.

The Banbury Steam Rally was first launched in 1968 and will celebrate its 50th anniversary by hosting its most action-packed programme to date.

Brian Wells, on behalf of Banbury Steam Society, said:

“The Banbury Steam Rally has withstood five decades and is as popular now as it was the day it launched. Since its inaugural event in 1968, the rally has grown from a one-day vintage vehicle display to a weekend programme of activities to entertain the entire family.

“In its early days, due to the lack and infrequency of transport, the event only attracted locals from the surrounding area. Ironically, as transport has modernised and become more readily available, the rally has pulled crowds in from the UK and beyond as history enthusiasts and families come together to enjoy a weekend of vintage vehicles, family fun and amazing attractions.

“As we celebrate the milestone of our 50th anniversary, we want as many exhibitors as possible to join us in making this our greatest year to date.”

The first ever Banbury Steam Rally took place in Cropredy in July, and featured 36 exhibits which were admired by a crowd of approximately 5000.

Since then, the event has grown and last year over 15,000 people turned out to enjoy a display of more than 1400 exhibits.

This year, the programme will feature vehicles including steam engines, miniature steam, commercial and military vehicles, classic cars, motorbikes, tractors and models. Guests can peruse stalls selling crafts, admire flypasts scheduled for each day or relax whilst watching arena shows.

Children will be spoilt for choice with pets corner, a funfair and fairground organs to choose from. Food, licensed bars and live music will also be available throughout the day.

Camping is available for those who would like to make the most of the weekend and four legged friends are welcome if kept on a short lead.

The event will take place on 23 and 24 June from 10am-5pm with entertainment available until late in the evening for those already on site.

Entry costs £10 for adults, £6 for under 16s whilst under fives go free. The event will take place in Smiths Field in Milton Road, Bloxham, Oxfordshire.

For more information, including details of how to apply for an exhibition space, visit www.banbury-rally.co.uk

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