VIDEO & GALLERY: Classics bring the crowds to the Common

THOUSANDS of classic car enthusiasts poured on to Harpenden Common for what is believed to be the biggest midweek event of its type in the UK.

The annual Classics on the Common evening attracted between 8,000 and 10,000 visitors who wandered around and admired 1,200 four-wheel vehicles and 200 two-wheel vehicles.

The oldest was a Daimler Type A dating from 1900 but there were plenty of other cars to admire including 1928 Bentleys, Austin Sevens and Model T Fords.

More modern cars were represented by the likes of Ferraris with the organisers, Harpenden Village Rotary Club, putting a 20-year limit on the age of a vehicle except in exceptional cases.

At least two vehicles are thought to have come from overseas but the overwhelming majority were from within the UK.

The event opened an hour earlier this year at 3am to prevent too many tailbacks and congestion during the rush hour. David Law, chairman of Classics on the Common, said: “We brought it forward to spread the load a bit and it worked well in that there was a steady stream of vehicles coming on to the common.”

Classics on the Common has been running for 17 years with the Rotary Club, which previously used to assist with it, taking over the running last year. This year it was raising money for three main charities - Herts Air Ambulance, Herts Action on Disability and Rotary Shelter Boxes.

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Organisation is a major task with around 90 people in high-visibility jackets from the Inner Wheel, the Three Valleys Club, explorer scouts and police cadets joining Rotary members in marshalling cars and visitors.

David explained that there were few trade stands because the aim was maintain it as a community event for people who enjoyed classic vehicles and people in Harpenden.

He added: “It was successful and everyone was saying that. We will have a get together and review of how things went but as a team we are delighted with how it turned out.”