Nuneaton Town Centre was a-buzz on Sunday 12th August as the Mary Ann Evans Hospice hosted their spectacular Classic Transport Festival for its third year. The festival proved to be a success despite the wet weather with over 100 cars taking part in the event overall. 70 Vehicles signed up to the Classic Transport Rally and 45 vehicles registered for the Classic Static Display.

After enjoying a bacon roll, cooked by Heather, Hospice Cook, rally entrants were waved off on the two new routes through the beautiful Northern Warwickshire countryside. Spectators viewed the vehicles at various points along the routes and as they made their way to Abbey Street the Mayor of Nuneaton and Bedworth, Cllr Chris Watkins was ready and waiting to lead the rally into Harefield Road in a 1960’s Vespa and side car!

Hospice staff and volunteers manned the charity stalls and were on hand to talk to the local community about the services the Mary Ann Evans Hospice provides which include a Day Hospice, Hospice at Home, Rapid Response, Lymphoedema, Complementary Therapy and Bereavement service. Raffle prizes available from the stalls included a signed postcard by Rubens Barrichello and a Bentley Continental GT3 hat signed by 6 drivers of the Blancpain GT Series Endurance cup Spa 24hrs.

Debra June & the Rockin’ Tunes, a dynamic six piece Rock n Roll band featuring sax, boogie woogie piano double bass, guitars and drums entertained the crowds with sensational songs from the 1950’s alongside DJ Howling Wolf in-between sets. Dancers from Strictly Jitterbug also got the crowd up on their feet doing jitterbug. Entertainment for the youngsters included Go Karts so they could try their hand at racing and Magic Matt Redmond who did stilt walking, balloon modelling and a magic show.

Paul Gough, Nuneaton and Bedworth Town Crier, who has achieved worldwide notoriety within the fraternity for his witty and intelligently crafted performances opened the event in Market Place and announced various features throughout the day.

Anker Radio supported the festival once again, broadcasting from the Hospice & in the town, keeping all the spectators up to date with announcements, interviewing vehicle owners & Hospice staff alike throughout the day.

Special appearances on the day were made by Charlie an American Truck, a Nostalgia Dragster and Stock Cars. Throughout the day spectators could also enjoy a number of refreshments from vendors such as Morton’s Vintage Ice-cream, Sperrin Brewery, The Little Camion Creperie & Weston Hall’s Sausage and Cider stand.

Trophies were awarded for ‘Best Restored Vehicle’ and ‘Highly Commended Vehicles’, with judge Les Ratcliffe inspecting the classics! The awards were presented by Nuneaton & Bedworth Town Mayor Cllr Chris Watkins & his Wife Collette Watkins.

Fundraiser, Jessica Atkinson said, “We successfully managed to organise such a lovely day for the community. There was a fantastic atmosphere in the town centre despite the wet weather and It was wonderful to see so many people joining us for the event, spectators and participants alike, all for a great cause.

Thanks must go to the Event Sponsors, Paynes of Hinckley who brought along the all New Focus and New EcoSport, Listers Toyota Nuneaton who brought their new magenta fizz AYGO, Best Western Weston Hall Hotel, Nuneaton Replacement Panels, Honey Legal, Anker Radio and Domino’s Pizza Nuneaton & Bedworth who provided all the participants with a pizza voucher. Additionally, a big thank you goes to the Event Committee, Daz Keach of Katz Dancewear, Keith Morton of Morton’s Vintage Hire, Lorraine Allen & Dave Leach from Nuneaton & Bedworth Borough Council & Mike Parson’s.

The generous support of our local community helped us raise just over £4,000.00 for the patients and families cared for by the Mary Ann Evans Hospice. Events such as this make it possible for our organisation to exist and make the community a great place to live. Thank you again for your support!”