Woolpit Steam Rally returns after two year absence

Visitors enjoy the Woolpit Steam Rally.Picture: RICHARD MARSHAM/RMG PHOTOGRAPHY

Visitors enjoying the Woolpit Steam Rally which is making its return in May 2022 - Credit: Richard Marsham

A popular Suffolk steam rally is set to power up again - after being cancelled for two years in a row because of the pandemic

Woolpit Steam Rally takes place on the weekend of May 28 and 29 at Warren Farm, Wetherden, near Stowmarket.

Organisers raised £17,200 for local charities from the last event held in 2019 and hope to raise more money this year.

"We are already being offered some very rare, interesting and historic exhibits, and it is this desire to present to the public such unusual machinery which makes Woolpit Steam different from many other shows," said co-organiser David Seeley.

"This encourages the true enthusiast to travel from all parts of the country but equally captures the imagination of the casual visitor."

The show is best known for its pre-1930s tractor display and this year it expects to see 20 machines taking part.

"We have already received several entries which are new to Woolpit with some making their preservation and restoration debut," said Mr Seeley.

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Other draws include a further 70 tractors built before 1965 and a display of trailed farm implements which would have been commonplace on farms in the era before three point linkage revolutionised the industry.

Around 80 stationary engines - several more than 100 years old - will be driving an array of mills, pumps, dynamos and other machinery. Among the attractions will be the Bamford line shafting display showing one engine  powering multiple machines for preparing feed for livestock.

There will also be a wood sawing display with examples of steam, tractor and stationary engine-driven saws producing planks, posts and firewood.

A lovely warm sunny day at Woolpit Steam rally .

A sunny day at Woolpit Steam rally - Credit: Sylvie Bettsworth


A Second World War era Caterpillar D7 bulldozer will be levelling soil, while other exhibits include full-size steam engines such as showman's engines and agricultural engines.

And there will be vintage cars, motorcycles, and commercial and military vehicles.

The rally will host more than 50 craft, trade and auto jumble stalls and hot and cold food, licensed bar and ice cream vendors.

Dormans Electric Yachts will be providing thrilling rides, and there will be dodgems, side stalls, Punch & Judy and a full ring programme on both days.

Gates open from 9am to 5pm and tickets cost £2 for children, and  £6 for adults on Saturday, £7 Sunday. No card payments. Parking is free. The show is easily accessible from Junction 47a of the A14 eastbound, or Junction 49 westbound.