Wind, rain, sun and steam make for a whirlwind event

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THOUSANDS of steam enthusiasts braved the rain and took a step back in time at an historic village event this weekend.

The 43rd Weeting Steam Rally took place from Friday to Sunday and despite the soggy conditions, thousands turned out to have a go at activities ranging from 19th century threshing to 21st century helicopter rides.

Saturday’s crowds were turned away by heavy rain, but the remaining days saw thousands pile into Fengate Farm to see more than 70 steam engines and 60 trader stalls.

Wendy Young, in her third year as organiser, said the rally was a big part of Weeting.

“The rally was originally set up to fund the village hall which it did 40 years ago and it’s just kept on getting bigger and bigger,” she said.

Highlights of the event included the Flyin’ Ryan Motorcycle Stunt Show and demonstrations of traditional farming practices such as ploughing and threshing.

Pupils from seven local schools visited on the Friday to learn about the practices and Ms Young said their visit showed that the rally had an educational part to play too.

“When the children come we plan the ring events so they can go on the fire engines and see the displays and they absolutely love it,” she said.

As is customary, the local village hall and church were given stalls free of charge to raise funds.