THOUSANDS turned out for a weekend celebration of all things vintage in Flookburgh.

Despite challenging weather conditions threatening the 45th Cumbria Steam Gathering, on Cark airfield, plenty of enthusiasts still turned out in their droves to admire displays of preserved machinery and vehicles.


David Foster, one of the organisers of the event and treasurer of the Cumbria Steam & Vintage Vehicle Society, said that despite the rain it was 'a really good event'.

"Because of the weather conditions we had less than we would expect on a fine weekend," he said. "However, the number of people who did turn up knowing the weather conditions were less than ideal was phenomenal."

Although nothing had to be cancelled because of the weather, two car parks were unusable because they were deluged. Mr Foster said the traffic management team were 'marvellous' in their dealing with the situation.

The event featured more than 1,200 exhibits and showcased classic cars, steam engines and motorbikes.

"They range from the biggest steam engines to the smallest artefacts and memorabilia," said Mr Foster. "A really good cross section of most types of transport and engineering."

One of those in attendance was Richard Straughan with his 1929 Sentinel steam wagon, which he has spent the past 28 years restoring. Mr Straughan went home to Beamish in County Durham having won the best wagon in show cup.

"It's fantastic, I'm over the moon," said Mr Straughan, who is a mechanical engineer. "I won it last year as well. To win it twice on the trot is absolutely fantastic."

Broke FMX, an extreme moto cross display team, were one of the star attractions of the weekend. The riders pulled acrobatic stunts and tricks for spectators.

There was also a sheep show, temporary sandpit, a climbing wall, birds of prey, mobile zoo and entertainment from Mr Alexander's Travelling Show.

Sian Beaty, from Holmrook, was at the gathering with her husband, Mike, and their Willys Jeep, which was used by the Swiss army and bought by the couple in 1997.

"We were pleased to be able to drive around the ring on both days despite the mud and the rain," she said.