Full steam ahead - to Norfolk

STEAM engine enthusiasts in north Suffolk will have a little further to travel this year to enjoy the sights and sounds of one of the region's most popular annual events.

STEAM engine enthusiasts in north Suffolk will have a little further to travel this year to enjoy the sights and sounds of one of the region's most popular annual events.

The Grand Henham Steam Rally is being held at the Royal Norfolk Showground near Norwich on September 20 and 21 _ the first time in the event's 28-year history that it has been forced to leave Suffolk.

The Henham Estate, between Halesworth and Suffolk, is the event's normal home, but the estate is currently up for sale at £12 million.

Roger King, one of the rally organisers, thanked the Aussie Earl of Stradbroke for all his help in recent years but understood why the event had to move this year.

“We hope to return to north Suffolk next year but in the meantime we are planning a super event at the Royal Norfolk Showground,” said Mr King.

The event is still being organised in north Suffolk with local charities, including a number of parishes in the Henham area, set to benefit.

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The rally is also raising funds for the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

“It would be nice if all the regular visitors to Henham can come and see us at the Royal Norfolk Showground and it may well be that there will be more first-time visitors than normal because of the change of venue,” said Mr King.

Attractions include a parade of historic steam engines and working steam demonstrations, along with hundreds of vitage vehicles including cars, motorcycles, tractors, commercial and military vehicles.

There are also stationary engines, working crafts and a model engineering exhibition.

“The programme of entertainment includes performances by the Raindrop Kite Theatre Company, stunt kite flying demonstrations on Sunday only, the Cluballs circus skills show, model helicopter flying demonstrations and batton twirlers.

“There's also the Ken Fox Wall of Death, one of the world's leading wall of death riding troupes and the last still touring in Europe, plus live music, large fairgound, avenues of trade, craft and food stalls, and a licensed bar,” said Mr King.

The showground is easily reached from the A47 near Norwich and the rally is open from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is £5 on Saturday, £6 on Sunday, with accompanied children under 14 free. Car parking is also free.

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david.lennard@eadt.co.uk

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