Gallery: Thousands flock to Euston Rural Pastimes

The Euston Rural Pastimes event in full swing.

The Euston Rural Pastimes event in full swing. - Credit: Archant

A fundraising event which celebrates rural life now and in times past has been hailed as the best yet.

Now in its 22nd year, Euston Rural Pastimes took place at Euston Park, near Thetford, on Sunday.

Visitors flocked to the event to see hundreds of steam engines, classic and vintage cars and tractors on display, a sheepdog trial and craftspeople at work, to name a few attractions.

Cannon Sally Fogden, vice chair of Euston Rural Pastimes, said about 5,500 had been counted at the gate, not including children, but there would have been about 7,000 to 8,000 on the ground.

Giles Smith, chairman of Euston Rural Pastimes, described it as being the “best ever, definitely”.

“Certainly despite the weather, it was an amazing turnout,” he added.

Cannon Fogden said: “It really was, despite the cold, a very, very special day.”

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There were more heavy horses than the event had ever seen - 45 including 36 Suffolk Punches - and also a record number of classic cars for the show at 300.

The sheepdog trial, which was new for this year, saw 80 entries and is likely to be held again next year.

One of the star attractions was a Holt 75 tractor - the only one of its kind - which had crowds of fans admiring it all day.

Families enjoyed picnics in the park, overlooking the event, and activities for children included a pet show.

Cannon Fogden said the flower festival at St Genevieve Church at the park was “completely amazing”.

She believed a key to the show’s success was the variety of attractions on offer.

“If you are bored by the horses you can go and see the tractors and we have lots of things for children,” she said.

Dr Smith said he believed it had been the second best ever year in terms of fundraising.

Funds from the event, which has raised £375,000 for charities over the years, will be split between St Nicholas Hospice Care and local churches.

The event first started in 1990 when Honington Church was in need of essential repairs and a fundraising committee was set up under the chairmanship of Dr Smith.

The farm manager of the nearby Euston Estate, the late John Farrow, suggested that it could be held in Euston Park and the event was born.