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Our ambition this year was to make the last £33,000 pounds to take the rally to the grand total of £1 million pounds raised for local charities in their 25 events. Well we succeeded after a very successful 2011 Rally and now look forward to the next £1 million raised.
The Rally was started in 1986 by Allen Eaton MBE in response to a request for a donation from the Warden of Hollowell Church for repairs to the roof. On the grounds that there were only 100 households in the village and the sum required being £5000 Allen declined to donate the requested £5 but offered to organise a steam rally instead.
Following a well attended meeting in the village hall in March, the rally was planned for the first weekend in July which it remains to this day. The rally had a very respectable 233 exhibits 11 of which were steam engines, a tribute to Allen’s powers of persuasion and negotiation that have developed still further over the years!
In 1986 the proceeds form the two day event amounted to £8,090, well in excess of the amount required for the church roof. Twenty four rallies later in 2010 alone, £84,000 was donated to local charities including the church fabric fund.
Before you challenge the year started and the number of rallies, one rally had to be canceled due to the outbreak of foot and mouth. The risk to local farmers was deemed to be too great, so 2011 really is a Silver Anniversary.
In order to mark the 25th event the committee are planned many special features this year, including an area dedicated to exhibits that attended in 1986, also traders that have been supported the rally from the start, such as the local ice cream maker Gallone. There were opportunities for visitors to try their hand at Welly Wanging, Sheaf Throwing, and Tyre Rolling, all features in 1986 as well as all the fun of the fair.
Hollowell Steam and Heavy Horse show is now more than just a steam rally, from the original 11 acre site including car park, it has grown into almost 100 acres of family entertainment, with 40 steamers, around 30 Heavy Horses, over 100 tractors etc and an auction on Saturday morning.
Part of the success is due to the friendly atmosphere for exhibitors, traders and visitors alike. The layout changes every year, new attractions are presented and old favourites are retained. There is a separate ring for Heavy Horses and purpose built stabling.
The rally is run by Allen Eaton MBE, a dedicated group of unpaid volunteers on the committee, and help from local people, in this way the maximum amount of proceeds can be donated to local charities.