About the Honiton Hill Rally
The Honiton Hill Rally is a very long running, annual rally with a great deal to offer.
We are proud of our reputation of being a working rally with a selection of farming machinery, steam engines, commercial vehicles and motorcycles just to name a few.
For the last few years that Honiton Hill Rally has been held at Smeatharpe Airfield EX14 9RF. This site features concrete roadways and hard standing areas which enable us to promote our working exhibits & displays.
The History of the Honiton Hill Rally
Early in 1971 a number of vintage farm machinery enthusiasts had the idea of holding a Rally to exhibit there tractors, stationary engines, steam engines and other items of vintage farm equipment. Don Hill from Dalwood, Frank and Maurice Coombe from firs farm, Offwell, Ian McClachlan from Ottery St Mary, and Rex Summers from Awliscombe met in the course of their work at Honiton and Taunton markets. Their discussions led to a meeting with Dennis Batten of Offwell, Horace Netherway of Cotleigh and Roger stone of Fenny Bridges at which the Honiton Hill Veteran Tractor and Horse Ploughing rally was inaugurated.
This is still the Rallys official title but throughout the south west and even further a field it is now known affectionately as Honiton Hill Rally.
The first rally was held on August bank holiday Sunday 1971 at the firs farm, Offwell by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Frank Coombe. This afforded the enthusiasts an opportunity to “play with their toys” and show how farm machinery operated in the past.
To illustrate the seriousness of their aims each founder member contributed £5-00 to promote the event, members of the public were invited to attend for a small admission fee.
The first rally was acknowledged as an encouraging and worthwhile venture. From humble beginnings the rally expanded to the extent that the Offwell site could no longer accommodate the increasing number of exhibitors and visitors. In 1974 a larger site was obtained at Stockland hill, by kind permission of Mr Horace Netherway.
The rally flourished there until 1981 with more lovingly restored machinery, more varied country crafts and additional entertainment to create a carnival of country life from yesteryear.
In 1982 the Rally moved to another site on Stockland hill by kind permission of Mr Roger Parris and continues to go from strength to strength. It has always caught the imagination of local people and has enjoyed their loyal support over the years. For many of them it is a place to meet friends and a good day out for all the family.
During the years past we have lost some of our founder members but they are remembered with gratitude, for their genuine love of the countryside. With out there vision and enthusiasm this annual gathering would never have taken place.