On the first weekend in August 1970, a small group of enthusiasts gatherd in the historic village of Cromford to enjoy together their veteran machines, lovingly preserved and restored. They probably had no idea that their little gathering would grow into one of the great annual events in the North Midlands: The Cromford Steam Rally.
Within a couple of years of that modest beginning, the gathering grew into a much larger celebration of a bygone age. As well as the steam engines, always the main attraction, old cars and lorries joined in, tractor enthusiasts added a fine array of farmimg machines and stationary engines, motorcycles, rural crafts, models and minature steam engines added extra dimensions. Soon, thousands of people were coming from far and wide to enjoy this unique panorama of nostalgia and entertainment that Cromford Steam Rally provided.
It is estimated that in the intervening years something like half a million people have passed through the gates of the rally field. Every one of those visitors helped, by means of their entrance ticket to raise thousands of pounds that the rally contributes to charities and good causes. Literally hundreds of organisations have benefited over the years, both large and small. All were, and are, important contributions in their own way, from major items like scanner units for hospitals in the region, and the BBC's Children in Need appeal, to more modest funds for local Scouts and Sports Clubs, not forgetting outing for local senior citizens, all are very impotant to the people concerned.
That is the secret of Cromford Steam Rally. From the characters who organise and support the event on the field, to those who benifit from the funds generated year-by-year.
Since that first modest gathering in 1970, many things have changed, not least the cost and difficulty of restoring and preserving the ancient machines at the heart of our rally, yet the numbers and quality of the rally exhibits are greater than ever before.
The rally organising committee hopes that you enjoy this years Cromford Steam Rally, both for the exhibits and activities on the field, and for the fact that one small piece of history is being made to add to the long chronicale of notable support over the years.