Sandbach ‘Trucktown’ in fast lane for 29th Transport Festival

SANDBACH is gearing up for another crowd-pulling Transport Festival celebrating its historic roots in the truck and bus-building industry.

Plans are in full swing for the 29th annual event which is set to fill the town centre with a host of family attractions over the weekend April 13-14.

Organisers will present a packed programme of live entertainment, arts, and, of course, some of the UK’s finest new and vintage vehicles.

The event’s appeal to all members of the family is ensured with the return of SpareParts, an Arts Council England funded festival and engagement programme with a unique blend of art, performance and spectacle dedicated to all things transport, travel and motion.

Saturday attractions will include steam train rides, remote controlled cars and fairground thrills in Sandbach Park as well as a music stage and classic cars on The Commons.

Sunday, the main festival day, will see the return of SpareParts with its own unique programme of dance, street theatre and performances.

There will be displays of classic to modern cars and vehicles such as HGVs, buses, tractors, military and emergency.

Harley Davidson fans will be in for a treat with a parade of bikes from the Stoke-based enthusiasts group.

Returning for 2019 is a Spitfire display commemorating the role of the famous fighter plane in the war and its links to Sandbach.

Back in 1941 town truck-builder ERF raised £5000 to buy a Spitfire which went into squadron service with a Canadian unit of the RAF and an aircraft can be seen on The Commons next to the Air Cadets.

Jodie Gibson, SpareParts Festival Artistic Director, said: “SpareParts really is a unique festival where transport and arts collide! It’s great to be returning to Sandbach, a town with such historic transport links. It’s a perfect fit for SpareParts.

“We have had two successful years working with the Transport Festival and SpareParts brings another dimension to an already successful event. Audiences can expect  an array of high quality performances, all with a transport theme. This year audience members will be peddling their own musical, watching aerial dance and even cloud gazing!

”Alongside bringing international artists to the programme we  create opportunities for local people to participate or perform.

“This year we are hosting the ‘Sky High Stage’ where local groups can share their talents and the DOPE boys will perform a hip hop dance alongside local schoolchildren.”

Festival chairman Elsie Alcock said: “Truck-builders ERF and Foden are famous names associated with Sandbach and for many years we were lovingly known as ‘Trucktown.’ While heritage is still a very important part of the festival it has grown into much more with an extensive programme for all.”

The former Sandbach mayor also hopes to give the town a welcome boost to trade.

She added: “We keep the number of outside caterers down so our local pubs and cafes can benefit. It’s great to see so many people visiting them over the weekend.

“Last year we welcomed over 25,000 visitors and judging by the interest so far we hope to exceed that for our 29th annual event.”

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