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Steam rally to star vintage First World War engines and tractors

PUBLISHED: 11:23 22 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:59 22 May 2018

Steam scale models at the Strumpshaw Steam Rally 2017. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Steam scale models at the Strumpshaw Steam Rally 2017. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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Vintage tractors and agricultural engines used during the First World War will be on show at a bank holiday weekend steam rally.

Stanley Stone, 13-months-old, studies a steam scale model with his dad, Matthew, at the Strumpshaw Steam Rally in 2017. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStanley Stone, 13-months-old, studies a steam scale model with his dad, Matthew, at the Strumpshaw Steam Rally in 2017. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

A parade of the historic vehicles will be the star of the Strumpshaw Steam Rally, which takes place on the Strumpshaw Hall grounds between Saturday, May 26 and Monday, May 28, 9am-5pm.

The rally parade in the grand ring will mark the centenary of the end of the Great War in 1918.

Mike Curtis, rally organiser, said: “We wanted to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the war and realised that many of our exhibits played a central role both over in France and back in the UK. If only they could speak, they would have some stories to tell.”

Seven agricultural engines and tractors, which were either commissioned by the War Department or commandeered during the four-year conflict, will be on show.

The Garrett steam tractor, built in 1917, which was used during the First World War in France to haul guns, It will star in a grand ring parade at the 26th Strumpshaw Steam Rally from May 26-May 28. Picture: JULIA MARTINThe Garrett steam tractor, built in 1917, which was used during the First World War in France to haul guns, It will star in a grand ring parade at the 26th Strumpshaw Steam Rally from May 26-May 28. Picture: JULIA MARTIN

Some of the engines were sent to France to help the war effort while others were used at home to produce food and forage on farms.

A Garrett steam tractor built in 1917 was one of a batch of engines ordered by the War Department and sent over to France to haul guns, ammunition and supplies.

After the war, it was sold as surplus in the early 1920s and spent the next three decades working on farms in Suffolk and Norfolk.

Current owner Mervyn Mayes, from Yaxham, near Dereham, will be at the wheel of the engine.

Other veteran engines on show will include Achilles, a Burrell engine built in Norfolk in 1910 and used by the Army to build military roads, and Success, a Ruston Proctor agricultural engine dating from 1914 which set a national record by baling 242 tonnes of hay in a week.

The steam museum’s own star attraction Princess Royal will also be joining the celebrations to mark her 100th birthday.

More than 500 exhibits will be on show at the rally, including 50 steam engines, road rollers and wagons.

The rally is in its 26th year and attracts around 4000 visitors over the weekend.

New attractions for this year include a display by the Norfolk and Suffolk Tractor Pullers and performances on the Sunday by the Lowestoft Signing Choir.

Tickets cost £10 for over 16s - under 16s go free. The price includes free entry to Strumpshaw Hall Steam Museum.

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