Rural event set to roll into action with stunt displays and a sheep show

The Sheep Show in action at Stonham Barns

Stonham Barns Park Steam, Vintage and Rural Show on May 22/23 is set to include a sheep show Picture: KEITH SUFFLING - Credit: Keith Suffling

A show celebrating the glories of rural life is set to go ahead in May — complete with Covid safety measures.

Stonham Barns Park near Stowmarket will be hosting its popular annual Steam, Vintage & Rural Show on the weekend of May 22 and 23. 

A number of shows — including the Suffolk Show — have been cancelled this year because of the coronavirus crisis meaning rural events are much thinner on the ground than in normal times.

Park owner Alan Forward said the show — one of the site’s most popular events of the year — would be “hugely nostalgic”. 

It will features a collection of historic traction engines, steam rollers and other attractions such as tractors, stationary engines, agricultural and construction vehicles, cars, vintage motorcycles, bicycles and wood and metal crafting.


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Vintage vehicle demonstrations will take place in the show ring and vehicles will be parked up for the public to take a closer look and talk to the owners. 

Among the spectacles will be displays by all-action stunt show Vander – Double Wheel of Death featuring an 11 metre structure which rotates on a central axis with a cage at the end of each axial.  

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The Vander stunt team members run, skip, juggle and even perform blindfolded on the outside of the wheel during what organisers describe as a “mesmerising” stunt display.  

The team, established in 1987, has performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Glastonbury, Moscow’s Red Square and the F1 GP in Bahrain. 

For those keen on livestock displays, The Sheep Show will feature nine breeds of sheep presented in a live stage show and culminating in an all-action sheep shearing demonstration.

The show — in the style of New Zealand sheep shearing events — has appeared at more than 120 outdoor shows from the Orkney Isles to the Royal Cornwall Show.

There will also be stalls, food outlets and a licensed bar.  

Mr Forward said: “This is one of our most popular events of the year and we are looking forward to hosting it again this year with all the safety protocols in place.

"There’s nothing more inspiring than attending a steam and vintage show and we have lots of action to add to the rural spectacle.  

“Everyone steps back in time with the sights and smells of the era. It’s hugely nostalgic for the adults and a great escape from everything — and the kids just love the splendour of it all and the chance to get up close to the exhibits.”

Adult tickets are £10 and under 12s go free. For advance tickets and more information call Stonham Barns Park on 01449 711111 or visit here  Opening times are 10am to 4pm. Dogs are welcome if kept on leads.  

Stonham Barns Park is a leisure, retail and holiday venue which includes The Suffolk Owl Sanctuary, The Bistro, Adventure Golf, a Teapot Pottery, a nine-hole golf course, holiday lodges, antiques store, a caravan park, camping and glamping, an indoor play barn and fishing lakes. 

The site confirmed it has been awarded the VisitEngland ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry charter marque to show the attraction meets government and public health guidance on Covid-19. Health and safety processes including hand sanitising stations, social distancing and NHS Track & Trace check-in have been put in place. 


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