When the whistles from a dozen steam engines let go their triumphant signature blast at dead on 11am on Sunday, May 26 and Monday, May 27  Abergavenny will know once again it is Steam Rally weekend in Bailey Park. The Rally is run by Abergavenny Rotary Club with the enthusiastic help of a band of volunteers. Because of this willing hard work by people who want to make the show a success, the money raised for mostly local good causes has increased year on year. Among the organisations which have benefitted are Longtown Mountain Rescue, Blood Bikes Wales, Borough Band, Scouts and Guides, and a host of youth sporting clubs.

“The Rally is unique in that it is held in a park in the centre of town,” said Rally Organiser David Hassall. “On the one hand this means that we have a tight area to work in, but on the other it means that every spare bit of ground is used. It is quite something to walk round, moving past a stage with dancing can-can girls, to tractors and vintage motor-bikes and that’s just in the first hundred yards, with cars crafts, and goodness knows what else. The show is exciting, noisy and a treat for all the senses, why don’t you make the effort to come along? You won’t be disappointed.”

The dedicated men and women who look after the steamers which will grace Bailey Park spend all their ‘leisure’ time looking after the giants, keeping them polished, their brasswork gleaming, a tribute to a forgotten age. Members of Rotary, say there really is something for everyone on the park and on the rugby pitch are the classic cars with displays of motor-bikes, tractors, commercial and military vehicles, even one mighty truck - what was at the time the biggest recovery vehicle in South Wales and South West England, which will come up from Newport with a petrol consumption of five gallons to a mile. Petrol was cheap in those days.

There will be a full programme of events in the arena, with Shire Horses, the Tigers, daredevil motor-cycle youngsters, aged 5 to 15. This year sees the launch of a new arena show for the 2024 season “Defying Gravity”. This new arena performance is the only show of its kind in the world, it’s fresh, new and has never been seen before.

The performance combines freestyle BMX and the extreme sport of mountainboarding which results in a breathtaking, jaw dropping aerial performance which will delight and impress audiences of all ages. And be sure to look out for the special tug of war, between a mighty steam engine and hundreds of children.

But the show has moved with the times. The new ticketing system, introduced post-covid is proving a success, buy an early bird ticket in advance by Sunday 19 May 2024 and save yourself 15 per cent on the price of £10, just scan the QR code on the rally advert or go to the Steam Rally Website at http://abergavennysteamrally.co.uk/