Nostalgia reigns at Starting Handle Club vintage show

The Starting Handle Club Summer Show. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Starting Handle Club Summer Show. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Engines gently puttered and the steam rose high above the Starting Handle Club's annual two-day show which supports charities including the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

The Starting Handle Club Summer Show. Tractor pulling contest.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Starting Handle Club Summer Show. Tractor pulling contest.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The weekend event attracted bigger crowds than last year, according to show chairman Mike Curtis.

Programmes and a number of refreshment outlets had sold out by early afternoon on Sunday.

Visitors browsed some 500 items of vintage farm machinery and other engines on the newly-expanded show site in Marsham, near Aylsham.

A popular draw was the tractor pulling, including for the first time lawnmower tractors which took part in a mini version of the challenge.

The Starting Handle Club Summer Show. Working spaniels display.Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Starting Handle Club Summer Show. Working spaniels display.Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Back in its home village and on display was the Soame steam cart, built in 1897 by Marsham blacksmith George Soame.

Among its admirers at the show was Alan Furness, from Dilham, whose grandfather helped build it.

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An unusual addition to the traditional show ring displays, which included gun dogs, was 20-year-old Hayley Baker who had her head shaved by sheep shearers, using old-fashioned shears.

Ms Baker, from Marlpit Lane, Norwich, is a type one diabetic who felt she had received a lot of support with her condition and wanted to help others.

She hopes her stunt has raised about £300 for Cancer Research UK.

Mr Curtis believes the pull of the show for many is nostalgia.

'A lot of people are reliving their childhood,' he said. 'Norfolk's a rural county and people are interested in this type of machinery.

'We're also showing the next generation what used to happen - it keeps memories alive.'

Work on the 2017 show would start as soon as this year's had left the site, he added.

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