Thousands of visitors flocked to this year’s 1940s-themed Tractor Fest at Newby Hall and enjoyed the spectacle of a Lancaster Bomber flypast.

Guest of honour at the event was 96-year-old former Flight Engineer Douglas Petty who took part in 31 missions during World War II in both Lancaster and Halifax aircraft.

Mr Petty – a member of York Normandy Veterans who was based at RAF Leeming – was given a tour of Tractor Fest before enjoying the flypast along with crowds of visitors and exhibitors. He was warmly welcomed by visitors, many stopping to chat and thank him for his service during the war.

Over the two days of Tractor Fest – held at the end of the week-long D-Day commemorations – more than 12,000 people were at Newby Hall to enjoy the sights and sounds of vintage tractors, cars, lorries, stationary engines and motorcycles.

Of particular interest was an exhibition of more than 90 Fordson N tractors – known as the tractor that won the war. Exhibits totalled 1,650 and included 1,000 vintage tractors.

Kevin Watson, chairman of Yorkshire Vintage Association which organises Tractor Fest, said: “This was by far our best year yet in terms of visitor enjoyment and exhibitor numbers. The 1940s theme attracted fantastic turnouts on both days and the Lancaster Bomber going over was the icing on the cake.

“The Fordson exhibition was great to see and our thanks go to the Nottinghamshire group of the National Vintage Tractor and Engine Club for getting so many of the Fordsons to the show.”

The weekend’s damp weather meant the popular March of the Tractors from Newby Hall into Ripon and back was cancelled.

Kevin added: “However, the sun came out and made the Sunday of the show our busiest ever in the 14-year history of Tractor Fest.”

Tractor Fest is the largest outdoor tractor event in the UK, sponsored by Europe’s leading agricultural and machinery auctioneer Cheffins. Other sponsors are Ripon Farm Services and Econ Engineering.

Cicada has managed media relations and social media for Tractor Fest and Newby Hall since 2013.

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