The 19th annual Marcle steam rally held at Much Marcle, near Ledbury in Herefordshire took place on the 16th and 17th of July this year in beautiful sunshine, in fact if anything, the weather was perhaps too good as, though busy, visitor figures were down on last years event suggesting that people preferred to stay at home and sunbathe.
Marcle is put on by the Herefordshire Traction Engine and Vintage Club and we think that they have found a winning formula in the way they present this event. The location is outstanding, a large flat field with plenty of room surrounded by beautiful countryside and numerous pubs! A nice touch is that the exhibitors are provided with a ploughmans lunch, this must be one of the few rallies that continue with this fine old custom.
All sections were well supported on both days with plenty to see. The programme boasted 36 steamers but in fact there were 30 on parade, these however were well presented and an interesting selection. The engines were encouraged to move about the site so long as care was taken and the public seemed to appreciate this. Several engines spent most of the weekend motoring about, notably the Foden steam tractor from Eastnor Castle which never seemed to stand still! Steam ploughing and sawing were demonstrated, as were other interesting machines including a cider press, all having an attentive crowd watching.
On Saturday evening, many of the steamers drove to the local pubs, returning to the rally field before dark or gathering at the ‘Walwyn’, a pub opposite the entrance to the rally field where a good time was had by all.
In our opinion, we can find nothing to criticise in Marcle rally, the organisation was efficient, the staff friendly and helpful and were eager to help. People were left alone to do as much or as little as they pleased which was no doubt appreciated by everyone.
We recommend Marcle rally to all, both exhibitor and visitor, there is something to interest everybody and in fact a good few organisers could learn from their success. We wish them well for their 20th anniversary rally next year.