Driffield News

Full steam ahead as road run returns after three years

The popular Driffield Steam Fair evening road run, which sees thousands of people congregate in Driffield town centre to watch the engines, will go ahead this year after an absence of three years.

The road run has always been a popular part of the two-day Steam Fair event, which this year will take place at Driffield Showground on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th August.

However, last year, the road run was unable to go ahead due to public health concerns around rising numbers of COVID-19 in the area leaving Steam Fair organisers Custom Shows, hugely disappointed.

The road run is a big part of the show and is what people flock from all over the country to see, so we are pleased it is back on because it attracts more people to the area and the big steamers love coming into town.

darren harper

But after being given the green light this year, the cavalcade of magnificent steam engines, vintage tractors, cars and motorbikes, will make their way from the Showground and through the town centre to the delight of the crowds of people who will gather to watch the procession.

Darren Harper from Custom Shows, which took over the running of the annual steam fair in 2020 following East Riding Engine Club’s decision to cancel it after 30 years, said he was over the moon to see the road run make its return this year.

He said: “The road run is a big part of the show and is what people flock from all over the country to see, so we are pleased it is back on because it attracts more people to the area and the big steamers love coming into town.

“Last year we had to follow the advice of Public Health England because of COVID, but now restrictions have relaxed we can have the steamers come through the town and they are over the moon with it.

“Driffield is one of the very few steam rallies in the country that has an authorised road run left which is why it was so important to keep it going and because it brings huge benefits to the town.

“It is great to have East Riding of Yorkshire Council on board which has supported the road closure for the road run, but we have warned them to be prepared that this year’s road run will be bigger and better than ever before.

“We have more exhibitors than ever before and 80 per cent of those coming have said they want to be part of the road run so it will be huge!”

Last year, East Riding ward councillor and Driffield town councillor Matt Rogers sought assurance from East Riding Council that the road run would be given the same consideration to return as other events across the county, and he said it is great for the town that it will return next month.

“I am absolutely buzzing with the news,” he said. “It was my personal view that it should have happened last year and I was given assurances that it would go ahead this year, circumstances allowing, and I am chuffed it can do.

“It is great for the town and great for businesses and it is part of Driffield’s heritage and something people really look forward to.”

A spokesperson for East Riding of Yorkshire Council said: “The council is delighted to be supporting the return of this event to Driffield. It is hoped this event will attract many visitors to the town and provide a positive boost for local businesses in the area.”

Driffield Steam Fair returns this August and Darren said they have pulled out all the stops for this year’s event and he promises a packed weekend of entertainment for all ages to enjoy.

He said: “This year we have more big steam engines, more tractors, live music, lots of entertainment for the children including fairground rides, bouncy castle and assault courses and a great selection of food on offer – everything you need for a family fun weekend.

“In the main arena we will have two big steam engines for people to go and sit on and see how it all works and on Sunday members of the public will have the opportunity to try their hand at driving an engine around the arena under supervision.

“We have put everything into making this year so special so that after COVID, people can come out and enjoy themselves.”

He added that steam fairs hold a special place in people’s hearts because they help to bring history alive.

“The fair helps to teach people about how engines used to run 100-150 years ago,” he said. “History is usually read about in textbooks but at the fair, people can see it in front of their eyes and young people are interested in the past and how their grandparents and great-grandparents used to live.

“The steam world is like one big family and the steamers love getting back together and being able to play about with their engines and show what they have got, rather than them being stuck in a shed.

“Ticket sales are going well and already up more than 50 per cent on last year and we are really looking forward to getting back to Driffield this summer with the Steam Fair and the Country Fair and Car Craze and helping to boost tourism to keep Driffield thriving.”

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