Raby Castle Classic Vehicle Show – 14th Century Nostalgia

Raby Castle Classic Vehicle Show 2018
Raby Castle Classic Vehicle Show 2018

Raby Castle delivered some 14th century nostalgia at the 2018 classic car show on Sunday, June 17th.

Built by the distinguished Nevills in the 14th century, the castle is one of the most well preserved medieval haunts in the North East of England.

Sitting comfortably within 200 acres of beautiful parkland in the heart of the beautiful Durham Dales in County Durham, Raby Castle and the current owner, Lord Barnard welcomed the classic fraternity to this much awaited eclectic gathering.

Fortunately the weather was kind enough to stay dry and warmish, which is always an added bonus when fields and vehicles cross paths.

Organised Event

Arriving at just after 11 bells, we were given the helpful one finger salute by the event stewards, who did a splendid job pointing us the direction of an already busy fielded parking area. Entry to the tearooms, play area and gardens was free and the classic show ticketed at a reasonable £7.50 for adults.

It is worth pointing out that Castle entry would be an extra £6.00, which could hike the price up for those wanting to visit both attractions in August.

Being tight Northerners, we of course opted to kick the castle tour into touch, for the time being at least.

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Layout consisted of four main areas with displays all fairly accessible, including wheelchair access. The only criticism would be the fluidity of the field display areas, which tended to make the whole experience feel slightly fragmented and at times disjointed.

Organisers could maybe re-jig certain areas with a view to designated classic types and criteria, which to some degree was already present, so a little tweek here and there would make the visitor experience more enjoyable for all concerned.

Good to see a varied range of Triumph cars scattered around the areas, which normally means the obligatory Stag saturation. Not so, there was a good mix of Toledo, Dolomite and TCs all spreading their very pragmatic wings to the eagle eyed public.

Dolomite 1500
An extremely well turned out Triumph Dolomite 1500

Refreshingly the tractor and commercial sector were also out in force, which always seems to add that extra variety. Sadly not many organised events seem to embrace this nostalgic machinery element, which although can be logistically challenging to organise, has appeal to both young and old alike.

We were extremely lucky to get a chat with former travelling showman Colin Smith, who gave us the tour of his delightful Scammell 8.4 litre beast and its very detailed coach paint. You can catch the chat on the video below.

The show had a nice balance between the vintage and modern classic era, with all four show-fields working quite well together.

Vehicle Departure

Some criticism was being directed towards the early departure of some vehicles that had been there since the beginning, which to some degree was true, but could have been due to the threat of bad weather. Whilst organisers have an obligation to ‘encourage’ those displaying their pride and joy to remain till event conclusion, ultimately discretion lies with the owner or custodian whether they do so or not.

We did note that some visitors were ‘beginning’ their visit at around 2-3pm, which is surely late in the day to cover such a large event like this one.

It must be said this particular show has fantastic look and feel, accompanied by an overwhelming friendly atmosphere.

Whilst lessons can always be learned from every single event delivered, credit must also be given to everyone concerned. Criticism is nothing without remedial solutions.

Click to enlarge images
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1 Comment

  1. Great selection of classic cars and classic tractors and fire engines too. Great backdrop and a favourite haunt from my younger years with my Dad.

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