VIDEO: Full steam ahead as rally pulls the crowds

A flypast by the Battle of Britain memorial flight was one of the highlights at this year’s Belper Steam Rally.

The annual two-day event, which was run last weekend, and had to be re-scheduled last year due to rain from June to September, drew hundreds of people to Denby.

Rally chairman David Mellor, 70, of Belper, said the event enjoyed record figures because of the good weather. He said: “We haven’t had the figures from the gate - but the car park was full both days.

“I should think it’s the best gate we’ve ever had. Last year everything was rained off. We have had two years of winter weather so people were itching to get out. After four lean years, we’re lucky we’ve survived to be honest.”

The rally, which celebrates its 25th anniversary next year, started as a little gathering in Thornton’s car park following Belper councillor John Nelson’s ambitions to create a festival.

David said: “I never expected it to get this big. We are a company now. I must be mad! I started this as a young man - but I am still the youngest one on the committee. They call us ‘Last of the Summer Wine!’”

To keep things fresh, David introduces new displays each year - featuring a popular display of heavy horses this time - and promises an ‘unusual surprise’ for next year.

He added: “I can’t fault any of the sections. We had an old baling machine which we saw in action and a racksaw bench that winds thorough a tree trunk - it’s the old fashioned way of sawing planks.

“We would like to thank everyone who comes and helps us - without them we wouldn’t be able to function.”

There were parades in the main arena, which featured steam engines, military motorcycles, tractors, vintage and classic cars. There was also an ‘Olde Tyme Fair’, fair organs, along with trade and charity stalls and hot and cold refreshments, demonstrations and scurries by the Dove Valley Gun Dog Display Team, as well as dancing troupes.

l To watch a video of the event visit the website -