This year’s show was held over the weekend of July 21st and 22nd. We had other things planned for the Friday before so we had decided to move Victoria to the rally field on the Thursday. The weather was looking good and we steamed our way to the showground at Five Heads Road, Horndean without any problems. Here we were shown to our post and set up most of the camp. The field was damp and the grass hadn’t been cut around our pitch so it was decided that we would put the tents up at a later time. Then it was off home and wait until Friday evening when we would return to start our weekend ahead.
Unfortunately we were meant to be moving another engine to different rally but due to the continual rain this show had now been cancelled. We woke Friday morning the rain was coming down and we decided that we would wait until Saturday morning to return to the rally field.
Saturday morning arrived and the weather was looking Ok. We jumped in the car and made our way back to Victoria. As we uncovered her the rain started so it was decided that we would wait for this to pass and have a cuppa. Well it didn’t pass and Saturday was a wash out! This has been the only time in the five years we have owned Victoria that we haven’t steamed her on a rally field. By 3pm we were soaked and fed up and decided to return home for the night.
Sunday started brighter but the ground was a quagmire and our thoughts turned to getting Victoria and her wagon off the field. Luckly the day started without rain and the file was drying out. There was a steady stream of public, but I think this had a lot to do with another well known steam rally (Netley Marsh) only 20 miles or so away being canceled. Sunday evening Victoria chuff out under her own steam but the wagon had to be pulled off the field by a tractor.
All in all it was a lot of effort from the organisers, exhibitors and many helping hands, there was a large selection of cars, some tractors, stationary engines, commercials, military and trade stands, and on Sunday many more motorbikes. As for steam engines, this year Victoria was the only one in attendance.
This rally always seems the struggle in so many ways. Holding it on the same weekend as the well established “Netley Marsh” is the first problem. The field could be better laid out, as it can sometimes look a bit like a caravan site rather than a vintage rally. This is a rally that used to be a real success at other venues. I hope that will be the case again. A small handful of Double LL members work hard each year to put this event on and I hope that maybe next year the weather will be better. And try moving it away from the Netley weekend!