Steam engine enthusiasts will be gathering in a North Yorkshire market town later this month as one of the country’s biggest annual rallies reaches a significant milestone.
This year’s Masham Steam Engine and Fair Organ Rally – which is celebrating its 50th anniversary – will feature more than 70 large and miniature models, as well as attracting more than 800 entries into a host of classes.
And, to the mark its continuous sponsorship from the beginning, local brewery T&R Theakston Ltd has created a special Golden Jubilee Logo.
The town’s first steam engine rally took place in July 1965, and was the brainchild of the then Theakston distribution director, Maurice Lumley. Its aim was to raise funds for the town hall, and which made the princely sum of £5.
Over the years it has grown into a significant event that attracts visitors from all over the country, and exhibitors as far away as Scotland.
Event organiser Flo Grainger, who has been on the committee for the last 45 years, said: “We are incredibly grateful to T&R Theakston Ltd for their continued sponsorship.
“Without their annual backing we would not be here marking our 50th anniversary. A few years ago there was a danger we would have to call it a day, but, thanks to an appeal, we were able rescue the situation.
“And the first business to answer our cry for help was none other than Theakston’s!”
She added: “In addition to keeping our fingers crossed that the weather will be on our side, we are hoping our ten original surviving committee members will be with us on the Sunday to help us celebrate this very special year.”
T&R Theakston Ltd Executive Director Simon Theakston said: “We are extremely proud to have had the Theakston name associated with this wonderful annual institution for 50 years – every year since it was founded.
“Like Theakston’s Old Peculier and the annual sheep fair, the steam rally has become synonymous with Masham and helps give the town its unique character.
“To mark Masham Steam Engine and Fair Organ Rally’s 50th birthday – and our half a century of sponsorship – we have created a new logo for the event, which will be displayed on all literature and promotional material, as well as on our own website.
“We have also commissioned a brand new trophy for the overall ‘Best in Show Award’ to mark this very special weekend in the Rally’s history.”
Masham Steam Rally takes place on Marfield Fields, Masham, on Saturday, July 18 and Sunday July 19.