There were no candles, but plenty of flames as the Wiltshire Steam and Vintage Rally celebrated its 40th anniversary at Oare this weekend.
The flames came in the form of mother-and-son motorcycle display team Stunt Mania. Over two shows each day they thrilled crowds with jumps, wheelies and – finally – fire stunts, with self-proclaimed Fire Queen Hayley Rilings riding her bike through a blazing hay bale as her son Ashley mounted a ramp and jumped above her.
Creating lots of smoke, but enjoying a far more sedate pace, were the steam miniatures. More than 30 of them took to the arena, and several could be seen ring-side running belt-driven agricultural equipment.
There were plenty of full-size steam engines around the Rainscombe Park showground too, including a 1909 Burrell Agricultural Engine owned and driven by Tim Mayhew of Wilton near Salisbury.
There were almost 80 vintage commercial vehicles including delivery and haulage trucks, fire engines and ambulances, Land Rovers and Jeeps, most in stunning condition after being brought back to life by enthusiastic owners.
The show attracts well over 100 classic and vintage cars every year. Some – including Minis, VW Beetles and MG roadsters – are barely older than the show itself. Others, like the 1992 convertible BMW318i, have attained the status of recent classics.
But undoubtedly the oldest, and the noisiest, was the 1905 Fiat Isotta Fraschini land speed record car. The spoked rear wheels are driven by a chain attached to a 16.5 litre aero engine designed to power an airship. It has a top speed of 120mph, and was warmly welcomed by enthusiasts having made the short trip from Burbage – especially when that engine was first fired up.
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