Record attendance at Festival of Classic and Sports Cars at Helmingham Hall, Suffolk

William and Sophie Harding.Picture,NIGE BROWN’.

William and Sophie Harding.Picture,NIGE BROWN. - Credit: Archant

Organisers believe they broke the attendance record at the annual Festival of Classic and Sports Cars on Sunday.

Carl Holmes.Picture,NIGE BROWN’.

Carl Holmes.Picture,NIGE BROWN. - Credit: Archant

Around 850 classic and sports cars were on display in the grounds of Helmingham Hall. There were also children’s activities, birds of prey, craft exhibitions, and live music at the event, held in association with the Suffolk Vehicle Enthusiasts Club.

Around 7,000 people attended last year and events coordinator Ian Leggett believes that figure was eclipsed.

Tom Gilham with 1960 Cadillac.Picture;NIGE BROWN’.

Tom Gilham with 1960 Cadillac.Picture;NIGE BROWN. - Credit: Archant

He said: “It was a very successful day, with tremendous weather, and I think we must have had a record attendance. We had the same number of cars, but visitors seemed greater. It just seemed to be heaving. We are totally exhausted. It was just go, go, go.

“I think it’s the reputation of the show. A lot of car owners said they came for the first time because they’d heard it was a wonderful show.

Evie Styles.Picture,NIGE BROWN.

Evie Styles.Picture,NIGE BROWN. - Credit: Archant

“There is a lovely, pleasurable atmosphere. It is free and easy with lots going on against the backdrop of the house. It is exciting without the pressure. You can do what you want. People are not trying to grab money off people. The gardens are free and you can go and have a quiet half-an-hour walk, or watch the bird of prey.

“We try to keep prices at food stalls reasonable. You have got to pay to get in, so we don’t want people being ripped off.

Mia and Will Martin.Picture,NIGE BROWN’.

Mia and Will Martin.Picture,NIGE BROWN. - Credit: Archant

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“There is a just a friendly, relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. We are so lucky: we have had lovely weather for three years in a row now. The reputation is growing each year.”

Proceeds from the event are donated to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

Mark and Lesley Sloane .Picture;NIGE BROWN’.

Mark and Lesley Sloane .Picture;NIGE BROWN. - Credit: Archant

Mr Leggett said: “It costs them £5,000 a day just to run one of the hospices, so the event is very important to us.

“There was good weather and people were in a good mood, and donated generously. We raised around £5,000 last year and think we have raised more this year.”

Evie Styles.Picture,NIGE BROWN.

Evie Styles.Picture,NIGE BROWN. - Credit: Archant

Some of his favourite vehicles on display included a Morgan AEr08, a SS sports car built in 1934, and a “lovely” MGB, which won car of the show for owner Ruth Miller.

“There are so many nice cars, it is hard to pick your favourite,” he added.

James and Isaac Taylor.Picture,NIGE BROWN’.

James and Isaac Taylor.Picture,NIGE BROWN. - Credit: Archant

Lucy Dawson with MG.Helmingham Festival of Classic and Sports Cars at Helmingham Hall:’Picture;NIGE

Lucy Dawson with MG.Helmingham Festival of Classic and Sports Cars at Helmingham Hall:Picture;NIGE BROWN. - Credit: Archant

Noah Rose with 1951 Riley..Picture;NIGE BROWN’.

Noah Rose with 1951 Riley..Picture;NIGE BROWN. - Credit: Archant

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