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Vintage Speed Trials event at Grimsthorpe Castle near Bourne takes visitors back to pre-war racing era

Visitors to Grimsthorpe Castle stepped back in time to the 1930s for a traditional speed trials event.

The Vintage Speed Trials event returned to the castle on Saturday for the second consecutive year, reviving the spirit of races that have gone on at Grimsthorpe Castle since 1903.

The event attracted around 75 vehicles - with 31 motorcycles and 44 cars each taking to the half a mile track three times. All of the cars were pre-1939 vintage.

More than 1,600 people also paid a visit to the venue to watch, getting closer than ever to the action watching from the paddock at the trackside.

The vehicles taking part were all parked up trackside with visitors getting the chance to get close to these spectactor vehicles.

Mel Hart is one of three passionate event directors, who put on the event.

Setting off
Setting off

She said this year went far better than anticipated, thanks in part to the weather.

But rather than feeling crowded and busy, there was a perfect garden-party style atmosphere - just what she and colleagues Richard Powell and Ian Bancroft were hoping to achieve.

“It went brilliantly,” Mel said.

“People just came for a relaxed day out and it was definitely our best event yet in terms of numbers of people taking part, spectator and how the event ran.

David Rempton with his 1933 MG J3 Midget
David Rempton with his 1933 MG J3 Midget

“It’s not a competition for our drivers - they can go as fast as they like, with a crowd watching.

“We want it to be a day for the whole family, not just petrolheads, and we definitely achieved that. It was fantastic.”

In contract to the grey and rainy day last year, this year’s event was brilliantly sunny. Food and drink was on hand for anyone getting a little too warm to take a break from the action.

There were also vintage vehicles on display for visitors to browse with an MG Q-type attracting cars. There was also the opportunity to be photographer in aformer Doreen Evans car, which also proved popular.

Mel was particularly pleased to see people embracing the spirit of the event by dressing up - something the directors want to continue to encourage for next year.

“We really want people to feel they’ve stepped back in time to a traditional speed trials event when they come through the gate,” Mel said.

Grimsthorpe is the perfect venue, said Mel, with its close proximity to Bourne - once the manufacturing base for English Racing Automobiles. The father of Raymond Mays, the founder of ERA, raced at Grimsthorpe in 1904.

And Grimsthorpe will play host to the event again in 2020.

“It was such a success this year,” Mel said. “We’re definitely returning next year.”

Click here to find out about another event taking place in Bourne this weekend

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