Organisers of this year's Woolpit Steam Rally battled through rain and mud in the build-up to the event to put on an impressive display of ancient engines.

The event - which takes place annually on a farm site near Haughley - featured a host of vintage engines in full working order, many of which were in action.

Among the attractions were a Caterpillar bulldozer moving earth and a steam machine sawing wood.

Visitors stop to admire the exhibits (Image: Sarah Chambers)

In the end, the rally days were bathed in sunshine and wind on the first day dried the fields. Some steam displays in the ring were curtailed on Saturday because of the boggy conditions, but the programme returned to normal by Sunday.

The show is organised by brothers David and Gerald Seeley of Rattlesden who have been involved in the event since it started in 1987 and took over the running of the event in 1997.

They were pleased at how the show went - and feedback from exhibitors and stallholders has been positive.

Visitors enjoying the tractor display at Woolpit Steam Rally (Image: Sarah Chambers)

The not-for-profit event - which gives any proceeds to charity - attracts both steam enthusiasts and the general public.

It is well-supported locally, said David, and local businesses and volunteers are happy to lend a hand.

Attendance this year was very good on both days, he added, at around 5k. This was probably slightly lower than last year, but that was a record-breaking event.

Old steam engines on display at Woolpit Steam Rally (Image: Sarah Chambers)

"Last year we considered to be an absolute freak - we had never seen attendances like that," he said.

He admitted that they were concerned in the build-up as the rain made for difficult conditions for heavy vehicles getting onto the site, which is owned by Woolpit farmers Bob and Trish Baker of R&P Baker.

"It's not been a good start to the season," he said.

An ancient engine at Woolpit Steam Rally (Image: Sarah Chambers)

However, exhibitors were "very understanding" after months of wet conditions and saturated ground.

"In a normal year if the water table had been what it normally would be it would just drain through. We had half an inch of rain on Thursday night and even we had puddles," he said. 

"It slowed things down. There were a couple of larger low loaders we knew we would not be able to accommodate so I made some sensible phone calls."

It was hard work putting together the rally (Image: Sarah Chambers)

As well as working steam engines there were 75 stationary engines - several more than 100 years old - for visitors to enjoy.

There was also a display of pre-1965 vintage cars, motorcycles, and commercial and military vehicles.

"I think we put them on a good show," said David.

"I got the feeling that people want to come out and they want to spend money - they don't care about the doom and gloom in the news."

The Queen Mary on display at the Woolpit Steam Rally (Image: Sarah Chambers)