Steam rally party in Masham

Masham Steam Fair will take place on July 21-22 2012 (110717AM11)
Masham Steam Fair will take place on July 21-22 2012 (110717AM11)

A fundraising party for Masham Steam Fair is to be held in the town this Saturday, May 19.

The party will take place on the market square, from noon–8pm.

There will be live music performances from the early evening at Suncatchers Café, and a real working steam traction engine on show.

Pizzas cooked to order will be available from Pizza Loco, a mobile pizza oven in a replica steam strain, and there will also be a giant wood-burning brazier and a Grand Raffle.

The steam rally has become well established as a tourist event and draws tens of thousands of visitors to Masham, but in recent years has been plagued by bad weather and last year’s rally made a loss of £4,500.

Organisers considered shutting the rally down but, encouraged by long-standing regular visitors and steam enthusiasts, decided to press ahead.

Flo Grainger, rally co-ordinator and vice chair of Masham Town Hall Association, said most of the £44,000 cost of staging the rally had been found.

“It does cost a lot of money when you include the cost of marquees, toilets, security, fencing and so on – and we have to pay the engines a bit for coming because running expenses and insurance costs are high.

“We have been round local businesses and they have been very generous – for example Simon Theakston has been very generous and the parish council has given £2,000.

“We’ve also asked the traction engine owners if they will come for half the normal fee and they’ve been absolutely brilliant. They’ve all said they will take less because they want to keep the steam rally going - and these are just working lads.”

Mrs Grainger, co-owner of the Old Station Café and Caravan Park, Masham, added: “Over the years the rally’s brought so many people to Masham and it supports local businesses because so many of the people who come to the steam rally keep coming back..

“It’s an awfully long winter and businesses like local cafes, pubs and b&bs need all the help they can get”

All proceeds from the event go to 47th Masham Steam Engine and Fair Organ Rally, which will be held on Saturday, July 21 and Sunday, July 22.