LATE summer sunshine helped attract bumper crowds to the 24th Otley Vintage Transport Extravaganza.

Hundreds of classic cars, trucks, motorbikes, buses and more were on show under a cloudless sky at Knotford Nook, off Pool Road, on Sunday, September 8.

People flocked to the event from early on with the main car park filling up before 11am, and the overflow parking - on fields - well used.

As well as enjoying looking at the array of pristine vehicles that were on show, they were also treated to live music, fairground organs, children’s amusements and a variety of arena displays.

The extravaganza is held each year by Chair Nigel Francis and is the big annual fundraiser for the children’s charity, Hang on to a Dream, which he runs. The charity is this year supporting 22 year old Holly Walker, who has Rett Syndrome - a genetic brain disorder that severely affects the ability to communicate.

Nigel - who is also a Town Councillor - was delighted with the weather and the turnout. He was also relieved that a number of last-minute hitches (including band and first aid cover cancellations) were able to be overcome.

He said: “Thousands of people attended the event in brilliant sunshine, but what most people do not know is that the event was almost cancelled due to last minute problems.”

The organisers had further headaches on the day itself when they had to hastily find a new arena compere and main vehicle marshall, but luckily both positions were covered and the ‘show went on’.

Mr Francis added: “The event was a massive success with about 500 vehicles, over 100 stalls and displays and a full programme of arena events including terrier racing and performances by Otley Rhythmic Gymnastic Club, Sapphire Supreme Majorettes, African drums and the City of Leeds Pipe Band.

“One of the highlights of the day was when we were able to donate, via Hang on to a Dream, a cheque for £7,000 to Holly Walker to buy the Tobii Dynavox I-15 eye gaze -

eye-tracking equipment that will allow her to communicate through a computer.

“Next year will be the 25th OVTE and we are looking at doing something special to celebrate this occasion.

“This year we had to overcome a number of problems and I would like to publicly thank all the helpers and workers for everything they did: without them or the vehicles there would be no show.”

Town Mayor Councillor Peter Jackson was among the many visitors out enjoying the event on Sunday.

He said: “Thank you to Nigel Francis and his team for inviting me along to what was a magnificent extravaganza.

“With the great weather conditions people flocked to this annual event, and I enjoyed talking to so many people who were displaying their vehicles.

“Describing the time they had spent on restoring their vehicles, you could clearly see their passion and love of restoration on display.

“This year’s event was the busiest I have seen over the years - well done to all involved.”