Classic cars lead charity funds drive in Downton-themed rally

Among those looking forward to the rally are, back, Kate Clinkarrd, with, front, Lili Cooper and Ashley Clinkard, pictured at the Swan Inn, in Swinbrook, where Lady Sybil and Branson planned their elopement in Downton Abbey

Among those looking forward to the rally are, back, Kate Clinkarrd, with, front, Lili Cooper and Ashley Clinkard, pictured at the Swan Inn, in Swinbrook, where Lady Sybil and Branson planned their elopement in Downton Abbey

First published in News

Classic car enthusiasts and Downton Abbey fans are being invited to take part in the Downton Cotswold Rally to raise funds for an Oxfordshire cancer charity.

The vehicle-based treasure hunt will visit six picturesque West Oxfordshire locations used for filming by the popular ITV series.

The rally, in aid of Abingdon-based Against Breast Cancer, will be held on Saturday, September 20, as part of the fundraising activities taking place during the Witney Trade Fair and Abacus Wedding Expo.

As reported in last week’s Witney Gazette, the Witney Trade Fair is returning to the town after a nine-year absence and will be held in a marquee on The Leys on Thursday, September 18, and Friday, September 19, followed by the Wedding Expo on the following weekend.

Against Breast Cancer is one of 11 charities benefiting from fundraising activities over the four days, in what the organisers describe as “a collaboration of commerce, community and charity”.

Fair organiser Chris Clinkard said: “What do you think was the most watched televised wedding in the past two years? It was Downton Abbey’s marriage of Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley, which attracted an international audience of more than 200 million people.

“The show is huge in Russia, China and just about every other country you can mention, which is why the Witney Trade Fair and Abacus Wedding Expo is paying homage to the show’s West Oxfordshire heritage.”

A Downton theme will run across both shows, with an exhibition dedicated to the TV series in the marquee.

Teams of up to four people per car are being invited to don period costume to take part in the Downton Cotswold Rally at a cost of £100 per vehicle.

The entry fee includes breakfast, lunch and an evening hog roast, along with admission to a live music charity event in the evening.

A trophy will be awarded to the winning team, with prizes also given for the best period dressed team and best turned-out vehicle.

Anyone who wants to take part, or volunteer to help run the event, should call 01993 708330.

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