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Long Melford Vintage Rally is off due to rain but couple have set up alternative event

Long Melford Hall hosts its annual vintage rally 2014.FL; ANL-140507-131002009
Long Melford Hall hosts its annual vintage rally 2014.FL; ANL-140507-131002009

After being devastated to hear that a water logged field meant Long Melford Vintage Rally had to be cancelled, a couple from the village set up their own event.

The heavy rain over the past month meant the fields at Melford Hall, where the popular event was supposed to be held this weekend, would be unsuitable.

A statement on the rally’s website read: “The recent bad weather has forced us to abandon the 2016 Rally. The site is waterlogged and an inspection has revealed there is no prospect of it drying out even if the weather improves.

“The chairman and committee apologise for the obvious disappointment and inconvenience but trust you will understand we cannot risk another experience as we had in 2012.”

Downbeat, Paul Watson, 32, and Emma Cranfield, 33 - usually wardens at the vintage rally - decided to try and set something up on a smaller scale, and now hope their Melford Crank Up event can support local organisations.

“My partner had gone to therally for as long as she could remember,” said Mr Watson, who livesin St Catherine’s Road in the village with Miss Cranfield.

“Her parents have been exhibiting for 40 years so she doesn’t think she has ever missed one.

“We thought ‘we’re not going to miss this year either. We’re not going to let the weather spoil it’. We thought we’d try to do something good with what’s left.”

Being held at the football club, there will be stationary engines, old tractors and classic cars and motorbikes on display, as well as a variety of stalls. In total there will be around 50 stalls and exhibits.

The rally will be completely free, however, donations will be gratefully received.

These will be split between Long Melford Football Club, where the event is being held, and Sudbury Community First Responders.

The football club has allowed for the use of its site for free, while Gryphon First Aid has offered to provide the event with free first aid cover.

“I was terribly disappointed when the rally was cancelled,” said Mr Watson. “It’s something we look forward to every year.

He added that he had even spoken to the sun who had promised to make a rare appearance.

The event will run from 10am-5pm on Sunday at Long Melford Football Club, Stoneylands, New Rd, Long Melford, CO10 9JZ.

For more information please call Mr Watson on 01787 581905.