IT was a classic day out as hundreds of families enjoyed the sunshine at the eighth Forest Vintage Vehicle and Machinery Club show.

Organisers said the attendance on Sunday (September 8) in the grounds of the Speech House was the best yet as people kept streaming in all day.

Club secretary Sharon Vickers said: “The weather was absolutely fabulous and it was a brilliant family day out, with people meeting old acquaintances and just having a great time. The kids went free and thousands turned up.

“We had a great array of vintage vehicles, including five full-sized and six mini steam traction engines, around 120 cars, 90 tractors, 60 Landrovers, 20 military vehicles, 60 commercial lorries, 55 stationary engines and 50 motorbikes.

“There were so many wanting to exhibit, we had to turn some away. There were people from as far away as north and west Wales, Devon, Southampton and Surrey showing beside the locals

“And we operated a park and ride to get all the showgoers in with two double decker buses from the Heart of the Forest School, and later Russell’s Lodge when that was full.

“The people just kept coming and coming, and the event just gets bigger and bigger.”

A feature of the show was the 100th anniversary of the Forestry Commission with a special area showing the old and new of the organisation, such as vehicles, chainsaws and tools, archive photos and a display of pictures from the Forest of Dean Camera club.

To herald the event on Saturday evening, a fired up Showman traction engine and roller proved an impressive sight outside the Speech House.

“The event arena was busy all day, with things like horse tushing (log pulling), husky dogs, birds of prey, a police and fire accident rescue display and children’s tug of war, with sweets to be won,” added Sharon.

“A big variety of trade stands included auto jumble, and there were working and craft sections with cider making, metal work and wood carving,” said Sharon.

“We had a lovely dog show, plus fair rides and entertainers from Rainbow Gecko creating giant bubbles and face paintings for the youngsters, while the Stormtroopers from Star Wars also dropped in and the cadets from Lydney helped out.”

MDR Theatre Services of Lydney provided the stage for live music, which included The Hillbilly Band and Pillowell Brass Band, while a fairground organ sent traditional carnival sounds swirling around the showground.

“The catering vans never stopped and charities were also involved thanks to being given free pitches, with the likes of the RNLI, Great Oaks Hospice and Cats Protection attending,” said Sharon.

“We also borrowed hundreds and hundreds of chairs from local groups as well, so people could sit down if they needed a rest, and that meant people stayed longer and enjoyed the event.

“There was a really good vibe to the whole day.

“It’s at the heart of the community with hundreds of families attending and people bumping into old friends they haven’t seen for a while.

“We’ve had lots of good feedback, and hopefully we’ve raised a bit for local charities as well,” she added.

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