At the turn of the twentieth century, steam was big business in Stoke Goldington. This was mainly because of the activities of the Whiting Brothers; local farmers who ran their businesses at Moulsoe, Castlethorpe, Lathbury and Stoke. Not only did they run their farms but they undertook contract ploughing and harvesting over a wide area of the local countryside. At their peak they had four pairs of ploughing engines and 10 sets of threshing tackle; they were the forerunners of the modern agricultural contractors. Their main repair yard was at George Inn Farm, Stoke Goldington.
The first local Steam Rally took place in 1975 in Weston Underwood. Organised to raise funds for the renovation of the Village Hall, the first Rally was a great success both in its organisation and fundraising. But 1976 was a disaster. Constant rain in the preceding weeks turned the field into a sea of thick mud. The Rally lost a lot of money and the Weston Underwood Committee reluctantly decided to call it a day.
In 1976 the Stoke Goldington Village Hall opened and its new Committee decided to take advantage of the available slot in the Steam Rally Calendar to organise its own event. Francis Whiting, grandson of one of the original Whiting brothers, made land available at his farm at Gayhurst, and so the first of the present series of Rallies, The Gayhurst Park Steam and Vintage Rally, took place on
14 -15 May 1977.
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