THE ROAR of motorcycle engines brought a peaceful West Oxfordshire village to life when 8,000 bikers descended.

For almost 30 years Cassington Bike Night has provided an opportunity for bikers to come together.

The event has been run solely by a village committee since 2012 but riders from across the country continue to flock to West Oxfordshire.

With the number of bikers far more than Cassington’s 750-strong population you could forgive residents for dreading the event, but bike night committee member Dan Bakewell said the opposite was true.

He said: “It’s a bit quirky but the bikers are so respectful and it makes for an incredible evening.

“You’ve got this impression of what a Harley Davidson driver is like but they’re just nice people who want a good evening.

“They’re bonded by their love of bikes and we’re bonded by our love of the village.”

Six years ago the event was passed to the village by the British Motorcycle Riders Club Oxford, who still meet in Cassington every Monday.

It began as a gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts but has experienced a huge surge in recent years, with a record 10,000 bikes attending in 2014.

This year, 6,000 bikes and 8,000 riders from as far as Guernsey and Yorkshire gathered on Monday, June 25.

Riders park on the village green and adjacent fields and refreshments are provided through food stalls and a beer tent.

It is a rich opportunity for charities and local organisations such as Cassington Village Hall and St Peter’s Primary School, with some making more than half their annual income from the bike night.

Mr Bakewell lives in the village and sits on the core committee of six people who spearhead the event.

He has contributed to an estimated 25 bike nights and for years was part of an army of up to 60 volunteers fulfilling a range of roles, from cooking burgers to marshalling.

He said: “Most of us do it because it’s a great thing for Cassington.

“But over the years I’ve learned to tell one bike from another.”

An incredible 1,500 burgers were cooked for this year’s bike night and Mr Bakewell believes this illustrates the spirit of the event.

He said: “I’ve never heard anyone say they wish it didn’t happen.

“It’s all about the village coming together.”