Cavalcade history in pictures

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Last weekend the Rushden Cavalcade of Historical Transport and Country Show was cancelled for the first time in 34 years because of bad weather.

These days the popular May Bank Holiday event regularly attracts more than 30,000 visitors and 1,200 exhibitors from all over the country.

It started back in 1976 when its organisers from Rushden Historical Transport Society were trying to raise money so they could find a permanent home.

The first event was a small show which was staged in Rushden Hall Park and also included a parade of vehicles around Rushden town centre.

Over the years the cavalcade has been held at several venues in the area, including Knuston Hall, Rushden’s Spencer Park, Lancaster Farm off the B645 and Duchy Farm before more recently moving to its current home in fields off Avenue Road, Rushden.

Society chairman John Sugars said: “This year would have been our 34th year.

“This is the first time we have ever had to cancel the cavalcade because of bad weather. We did have to postpone it one year because of the foot and mouth outbreak and put it back to the September but that wasn’t really successful because it clashed with too many other events.

“This time we weren’t able to put it back because it takes about a year to organise the event and particularly this year with the Jubilee and the Olympics there are too many other things happening later on.”

Over the years Mr Sugars has seen the scale of the cavalcade grow and puts its popularity with visitors down to the wide variety of attractions on offer.

He said: “It’s popular because it’s a good event and we try to make it attractive to the whole family.

“There is plenty on offer for the enthusiasts but there are also lots of things for the rest of the family too like a fun fair, and this year for the first time there would have been a pets corner.”

One of the highlights for Mr Sugars from the past 34 years was meeting steeplejack and cult television personality Fred Dibnah.

He said: “Fred visited the cavalcade in 1998 and 1999.

“He was a really lovely man and he really enjoyed the time he spent with us.

“His visits were definitely one of the highlights from the past 34 years.”

The cancellation of this year’s show means the society may have to put a number of projects it was hoping to work on during the next 12 months on hold.

It may delay the extension of its railway track from Rushden Train Station to Higham Ferrers and a number of vehicle restoration projects.

So it is urging people to get behind its other events this year and is looking for sponsors for events.

It also needs to find somewhere to store a historic 1960s double decker bus which has been undergoing restoration work.

Anyone who can help, make a donation or sponsor an event can call 07748464470.