Despite the leaden grey skies, the seventh annual Stratford Festival of Motoring attracted an amazingly eclectic mix of motors this Bank Holiday weekend, and thousands of visitors flocked in from across the country.
Cooler weather didn’t chill visitor’s enthusiasm for the motoring madness that arrived in the Bard’s town for the popular two-day event with more than 300 cars on show throughout the town’s historic streets. Car lovers from across the country joined in organised runs through the surrounding countryside, arriving town before parking up for a day of shopping and eating with like-minded people.
Car dealerships featured again this year, with Rybrook BMW & Mini, Inchcape Mercedes, and Westway Nissan bringing some spectacular cars. Westway Nissan also brought two serving members of The Red Devils!
Joe Baconnet, BID Director at Stratforward BID - which organises the festival - said: “The weather was a little fresh, not like 2018’s scorcher, but it was dry and the town was busy. We’ve had good feedback from our businesses so far and the visitors we talked to were very positive. The whole aim of the motor festival is to lay on something a bit different and showcase Stratford’s businesses to an audience from across the country. The sight of hundreds of cars, classic and up-to-the-minute, has become something people will travel a long way to see and this year was no exception.”
Over 300 vehicles from old to new were on display including a brace of 1928 ‘Blower Bentleys’ (what Bugatti once called the fastest lorries in the world!) to rare 1960s and 1970s cars and up to the minute performance vehicles including GTRs, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins. As the centrepiece and in celebration of its 60th birthday, Minis were shown on ‘Issigonis Alley’, known locally as Bridge Street! There were showpiece cars too from the British Motor Museum, Coventry Transport Museum, Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust and the Military Vehicle Trust at Cox’s Yard. AllMods Car Club displayed for the first time at the Festival and created a buzz on Union Street, attracting huge crowds.
Local businesses also got involved with many arranging for cars to come to the event, and entertainment company, CEX, ran a competition. Festival Patron and local celebrity, the motor commentator, Quentin Wilson, presented trophies including one for the best dressed in the style of their car’s nationality – the winner was the ‘Italians’, from Warwick!
Provisional dates for next year are Sunday, 3rd May and Bank Holiday Monday, 4th May 2020.