High hopes for rural pastimes event

Dr Giles Smith (L to R) Tim Shelley, Paul Rackham Jr, Sally Fogden, Sue Long of St Nicholas Hospice

Dr Giles Smith (L to R) Tim Shelley, Paul Rackham Jr, Sally Fogden, Sue Long of St Nicholas Hospice and Tim Fogden stand next to the Holt 75 Tractor at the launch of the Euston Rural Pastimes Event with the amount of money raised by the event. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

HOPES are high that thousands of people will once again flock to an annual event which has raised £375,000 for charities over the years.

Paul Rackham Jr, (L to R) Tim Shelley, Dr Giles Smith , Sally Fogden, Sue Long of St Nicholas Hospic

Paul Rackham Jr, (L to R) Tim Shelley, Dr Giles Smith , Sally Fogden, Sue Long of St Nicholas Hospice and Tim Fogden stand next to the Holt 75 Tractor at the launch of the Euston Rural Pastimes Event. Photograph Simon Parker - Credit: Archant

The Euston Rural Pastimes event will return to Euston Park, near Thetford, on June 9.

Now in its 22nd year, the event will again see hundreds of steam engines, classic and vintage cars and tractors on display as families join in a range of activities.

New for this year will be a sheepdog trial, which has already attracted between 70 and 80 entrants, and one of the star attractions will be a Holt 75 tractor, the only one of its kind.

The event will raise funds for St Nicholas’ Hospice, which provides care and support throughout Thetford and west Suffolk, and local churches.Last year’s event raised £10,350 for the hospice, plus more which was donated to the churches, and attracted 6,000 people.

Giles Smith, chairman of Euston Rural Pastimes, said: “We hope we will have more people this year.

“A lot of other shows have been cancelled but we’re hoping for another good year. It’s a perfect event for families. It’s really good value and there is something for everyone.”

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The event will again feature three show rings. In the Norfolk ring, there will be a sheep dog display, steam engines, gundogs, terrier racing and a grand parade of heavy horses.

Other activities will include donkey rides for children, stalls and crafts and big band music.

Sue Long, St Nicholas’ Hospice Care community fundraiser, said: “On behalf of the hospice, thanks to the Euston Rural Pastimes organising committee for all their hard work ensuring the event gets better every year.

“I urge people to support what will be a fantastic day out and help worthy causes at the same time.”

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.

For more information, go to www.eustonrural pastimes.org.uk

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