Vintage steam fair draws great crowd to Leeds Harewood House

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Steam whistles, glistening engines and the shouts of glee of thousands of excited children.

A steam fair featuring old engines, classic cars and a host of vintage tractors has been hailed a great success having drawn crowds of thousands to the Harewood House estate.

Ian Whitfield, of Cheshire, driving a 1906 Locomotive steam car engine on a 10.25" gauge portable miniature steam railway.

Ian Whitfield, of Cheshire, driving a 1906 Locomotive steam car engine on a 10.25" gauge portable miniature steam railway.

The event, attended by an estimated 5,000 people this weekend, has boosted hopes that the fair, traditionally held at Harewood in years gone by, could now grow from strength to strength in coming years.

“We’re really pleased,” said Richard Ashworth, director of Outdoor Shows which organised the fair. “We’ve been fortunate with the weather, and we’ve attracted exhibitors from above Newscastle, and as far south as Nottingham.

“We try and make it a good family day out. There’s the vintage element, which is an attraction, and the children always have a big interest in the old cars.”

As well as the vintage engines, there were fairground rides, stalls and trade stands, as well as entertainers.

John Colwill, of Thorne, near Doncaster, cleaning his 1934, Sentinel S4 Steam Wagon.

John Colwill, of Thorne, near Doncaster, cleaning his 1934, Sentinel S4 Steam Wagon.

Among those who attended on Saturday was Andrea Robinson from Pool in Wharfedale, who came with partner Adrian with his parents Adrian Snr and Anne Carter, along with sons Dylan, 20 months, and Leo, four.

“The sun was out and it was a really warm day,” she said. “There was lots to see, loads of different engines of all kinds of models and there was a big display in the main arena so we could see them all in action. There were classic cars, birds of prey, and a crazy bear show for kids. The kids thought the fairground rides were great although Dylan did like the engines. We had a lovely day.”

Last year marked the return of the Steam Fair to the Harewood House estate after a considerable five year break, but a dampener was put on its success by wet weather and heavy downpours.

Organisers hope the success over this weekend, with jubilant crowds of 5,000, will help cement its reputation once again as a family friendly event.

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“Now, the hope is to focus on making it bigger and better for 2018,” said Mr Ashworth.

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