Fantastic Atmosphere at Stratford Festival of Motoring!
Almost 500 classic cars and high performance motors participated in Stratford Festival of Motoring this bank holiday weekend. People flocked into town to see the cars and soak up the sunshine. Car entries were sold out for both days, though the inclement weather on Sunday morning meant that the owners of some convertibles were unable to participate as they had no rain cover; better weather on Monday ensured a fuller turnout. Live music added to the atmosphere courtesy of The Rocking Dinosaurs, The Voice contestant Karl Loxley and Rozie T's Dance Academy.
The Town centre was largely pedestrianised for the event and full of a huge variety of cars shimmering in the sunshine; from Maserati’s by the theatre, to an exotic chrome wrapped Lamborghini, retro 1980s and classic British vintage cars. The newest cars included a 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 and an electric Renault Zoe. Tesla’s high performance electric cars also caused a stir and local dealership, Listers of Stratford, showcased four brands, Honda, Audi, VW and Toyota. American cars in Wood Street included the oldest car at the festival, a 1913 Model T Ford. The Motor Heritage Centre, Coventry Transport Museum and the Auto Adrenalin Club added to the mix.
Participating cars were waved off by the festival patron, motoring journalist and Stratford based celebrity, Quentin Willson on a scenic drive around a choice of routes through stunning local countryside. The Chateau Impney route included driving through a ford. Whilst some drivers chose to avoid it others, spotting a photographer, accelerated or even went through twice to make a big splash! On arrival back into town they drove slowly through the town centre on a Lap of Honour before parking up according to car themes.
Children had a fantastic time particularly at the family area in Rother Street where there was Go-Kart action, an art stall, a bouncy castle and the addition of a climbing wall on the Monday. Children grinned from ear to ear as they clambered aboard the fire engine and had their photos taken! The children’s car model hunt was really popular with children and parents who set off around Rother Street in search of ten model cars hidden in business windows. Prizes include an impressive Doug Brown radio control Car, tickets for The Creaky Cauldron and Stratford Butterfly Farm.
Trophies were awarded in a variety of categories and Quentin Willson presented the award for his favourite entrant, a Ford Mustang Shelby owned by Adrian Waller. Adrian first saw the car when he was 17 and it took 20 years from him to be able to buy it! The Furthest Travelled Award went to Peter Darby who had travelled all the way from Dumfries with his vintage Morgan. The Treasure Hunt Winner was Owen Bannister in his 1968 Mini Cooper. The Mayor’s Choice trophy was awarded to Bernard Long of Stratford for his 1953 Triumph Mayflower.
Over 70,000 extra visitors came to Stratford to enjoy the spectacle and boost the local economy. The organisers, Stratforward, work on behalf of almost 500 town centre businesses, Ruth Wood, Events Manager said, “It was great to see the town centre filled with so many people enjoying the spectacle! Participants and visitors were delighted that the event was in Stratford town centre as there were able to enjoy the excellent range of shops and restaurants. They loved the Festival and found Stratford so welcoming and friendly. We couldn’t stage this Festival without the support of businesses and the Wellesbourne Lions volunteers. We would like to say a huge thank you for helping to make this event such a success.”