THOUSANDS of people descended on Shrewsbury for a steam rally extravaganza.

More than 15,000 visitors turned out for the two-day event at Onslow Park hosted by the County of Salop Steam Engine Society to mark its 50th anniversary.

On display were 100 steam engines including six engines shown at the first steam rally in 1961.

Visitors strolled around more than 1,000 exhibits including motorcycles and fairground organs.

Society chairman John Onions said: “For half a century a band of enthusiastic volunteers have been running the County of Salop Steam Engine and Vintage Vehicle Rally, and the Golden Anniversary Rally was a real extravaganza of steam.

“We had an action-packed weekend for all the family with some outstanding exhibits demonstrating their power and performance, and enjoyed some superb weather.

“I would like to say thank you to the mayors of Bishops Castle, Church Stretton and Shrewsbury for their support, but especially to our band of enthusiastic volunteers whose valuable contribution is greatly appreciated.”

Members also staged a re-enactment of the original road-run to celebrate the birth of the society.

Steam engines received a civic send-off by Keith Pinches, Mayor of Bishop’s Castle, and town crier Mike Shanagan before embarking on the journey to Onslow Park, Shrewsbury.

Vice chairman Edward Goddard added: “The gathering of steam engines during this commemorative road run was a truly magnificent sight, and was a great way to celebrate our history and our 50th anniversary.

“It was decided to start the run from Bishops Castle because it was the home of the rally for about 25 of the 50 years.”